Cloud-Based Unified Communications Guide

What is Cloud-Based Communication?

The fastest growing sector of the business communications market is cloud-based unified communications. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offers advanced software applications that combine the common voice and unified messaging features used every day in the workplace, with advanced functions that improve efficiency across all departments on one platform.

Cloud-based communications offer essential benefits to the workforce, including:

  • Better client interaction and satisfaction
  • Improved employee efficiency and productivity
  • Mobile support distributed workforce with unified presence
  • Unified shared workspaces allowing increased team collaboration
  • Remote work ability reduces the need for excessive business travel 

Unified Communications Features

Unified communications (UC) is a term used in business circles to describe the integration of real-time communication services that increase productivity and collaboration across business sectors.

So, what features should you look for in a cloud-based unified communications solution?

  • Instant messaging (chat)
  • Presence information
  • Telephony (VoIP)
  • Video conferencing
  • Data sharing (including web connected virtual whiteboards)
  • Call control and management 

There are a number of different UC solutions on the market, and the features and capabilities of these solutions vary widely. Businesses should carefully evaluate their needs and requirements before selecting a UC solution.

Reasons Why Businesses Choose Unified Communications

The goal of UC is to enable a user to communicate with any desired communications partner using any desired method or combination of methods all from a single platform.

There are several reasons why businesses pursue UC. One is increased productivity. When workers have easy access to each other and to the tools and information they need, they can communicate and collaborate more effectively. This can lead to better decision-making, shorter project completion times, and fewer errors. 

Another reason is cost savings. When businesses integrate their voice and data networks, they can realize significant reductions in infrastructure and operational expenses. In addition, by consolidating multiple communication tools into a single platform, businesses can often achieve economies of scale. 

Finally, many businesses pursue UC to improve customer service. When customers can reach the right person or department quickly and easily, they are more satisfied with the service they receive. In addition, businesses can use UC features such as presence information and video conferencing to provide more efficient and effective customer support remotely, from any location. 

Cloud-Based Unified Communications Services

The main benefit of cloud-based UC is that it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that you can make and receive calls, participate in video conferences, and instant message with colleagues from your desk, from a coffee shop, or from your home.

Another benefit of cloud-based UC is that it can be scaled up or down as your business needs change. This is in contrast to a traditional PBX system, which can be expensive to maintain and expand.

If you’re considering a cloud-based UC system for your business, be sure to do your research and choose a reputable provider. Cloud-based UC can be a great way to improve communication and collaboration within your organization.

Cloud-Based Communication Examples

There are many reasons why cloud-based communications are the modern choice for small and large businesses alike. Some of the most popular include:

  • Mobility. UC offers single number access, allowing you to make and receive calls from a mobile application just like you are in the office. This unified communications solution makes it easy and efficient for employees to operate from anywhere.
  • Presence Management. Presence management allows managers to access real-time, accurate information about employee status. It can provide employee information such as: available, unavailable, in a meeting, on the phone, or at lunch. You can update status to indicate what the best way to make contact, and employees can easily update their availability.
  • Instant Messaging. IM offers the ability to send and receive secure messages throughout an organization, allowing communication through IM or chat across the globe, while providing a historical reference of conversations, actions taken, and follow-up requests. 
  • Softphone. Softphone is a unified communications software application allowing users to make and receive telephone calls over the internet or a data network using their computer, laptop, or mobile device. Chat functions can also be added to this solution.
  • Unified messaging. The unified messaging solution allows employees to receive voicemails and faxes directly into their email inbox. 
  • Desktop Integration. With desktop integration, clients can click and call internal and outside parties directly through software, such as a CRM, document, or website. The feature can also be customized to include screen pop-ups, call log, and handling rules to allow drag-and-drop transfers.

Unified Communication Statistics

Unified communications is designed to simplify communication and collaboration by providing a consistent, unified interface and user experience across devices and platforms.

According to a recent study by Markets and Markets, the unified communications and collaboration (UCC) market is expected to grow from $38.9 billion in 2018 to $62.7 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8%.

Businesses are seeing improved efficiency and reduced costs associated with the implementation of a unified communications solution. Here are some interesting statistics:

  • The value of cloud communications for a business includes an increased ROI (47 percent), improved employee satisfaction (46 percent), and productivity (32 percent). More businesses are seeing that applying unified communications as a service will bring genuine value to their company over the longer term.
  • A single-provider UC solution delivers a 56 percent lower total cost of ownership. Businesses that subscribe to ready-to-deploy UC solutions can unlock a much lower TCO by significantly lowering IT costs.
  • Employee use of collaboration tools is up by 44 percent. Studies have shown that the use of digital workplace technology has grown significantly since 2019, particularly for collaboration (44 percent), file storage and sharing (16 percent), and instant chat and mobile messaging (7 percent).
  • Approximately 25% of US businesses will purchase new phone systems, with more than 40 percent being UC sales. Surveys also indicate that a majority of new UC telephony systems will be outside managed.
  • Cloud-based unified communications systems will make up 74 percent of the new licenses bought by organizations. A majority of businesses have indicated that there will be a growing demand for cloud-based systems within their working environment.

Unified Communications Solutions

Using a hosted unified communication solution, employees can work efficiently through mobility, unified messaging, presence management, instant messaging/chat, web and audio conferencing and contact center applications. All of these features let remote workers or remote offices act as one, giving transparency to customers. These features also allow for flexibility, whether your employees are working ½ days from home or catching an important call while on the road. 

To learn more about how unified communications can benefit your company’s productivity, speak to a Taylored Systems expert about a communications solution to fit your specific needs.