What is a UCaaS Platform?

Shawn Boehme
Post by Shawn Boehme
March 16, 2022

The age of unified communications (UC) is upon us and has been gaining adoption by companies of all sizes. As companies, large and small, struggle to stay competitive in a highly globalized economic environment, they look for ways to encourage employees to communicate and collaborate from any device, via any medium, from any time and place. The umbrella term for the many ways in which telecommunications companies are striving to create that reality is unified communications – an integrated set of voice, text, video, and web collaboration applications that allow for a massive expansion of a company's communications abilities. 

See how PanTerra Streams combines all the communication solutions you need into one platform, no matter how large your company is. 

What is a UCaaS Platform?

A UCaaS platform is a cloud-based software system that allows users to access and manage their business applications and data from anywhere at any time. Within the unified communications arena, there are several competing concepts fighting for dominance over the field. With IT and telecommunications executives obligated to prove a clear return on investment (ROI) and thus justify investment in this technology, the drive to maximize the potential of unified communications is powerful. The first goal of any unified communications platform is that it be cost-effective and utilitarian. Only after that has been firmly established can the other goals – higher sales, lower support costs, and improved productivity – be addressed.

Benefits of Using a UCaaS Platform

Cloud-based computing is a relatively new paradigm in which a third-party pool of systems are connected by networks – usually, but not necessarily, the Internet – and provide infrastructure, applications, and platforms as a service, all of which are dynamically scalable.  The cost of computation, content storage, and application hosting and delivery is significantly reduced by the reusable, trans-organizational nature of the cloud.

In other words, because the SaaS is offered to multiple clients at once from a single source and from a single code base, the cost to each of those clients is reduced.  Simply put, cloud-based computing means that the applications you use aren't hosted on a machine you own, and they aren't restricted to use by your company. In addition to the cost effects, the net effect of using the cloud for your applications is that you can quickly log into your Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) servers and have your secure, personal files, programs, and even settings exactly as you left them, from any internet-enabled computer.

Different Types of UCaaS Platforms

The two major branches of unified communications currently in place are startlingly similar in many respects and extraordinarily different in others. Both offer most of the same tools: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony service, audio and video conferencing, and instant messaging on the basic level, and integrated inboxes, telepresence, and Follow-Me/Find-Me for improving productivity and enhancing revenue.

The first branch of unified communications is on-premises. On-premises unified communications is exactly what it sounds like – a system of hardware and software elements that exists within the physical space of your office. On-premises unified communications involves physical installation, ongoing maintenance, and repair of devices and programs that must be integrated into your existing network. 

The second branch of unified communications is cloud-based. Cloud-based unified communications exists 'out there' in the form of web-based SaaS applications that take up no physical space within your office. In contrast to on-premises unified communications, cloud-based unified communications requires no physical installation and is maintained and repaired by the vendor at the server end. Because the service is web-based, it can easily be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.

How to Choose the Right UCaaS Platform

With cloud-based unified communications, the goal is to bring all forms of communication – voicemail, email, fax, and even text and instant messaging – together into a single 'inbox' that is accessible from any device. For example, if your device doesn't have a speaker, or it would be inappropriate to use it, the platform offers a transcription service that can translate a voicemail into text format. 

There are several powerful services that all inexorably lead to that single goal: top-tier cloud-based unified communications platforms offer call center services, VoIP telephony services, real-time presence tracking, conferencing services, and dozens of other tools, each of which works together to make your employees' communication tools as universally available and applicable as possible. 

The unified communications solution you choose should reduce your telecom costs, improve responsiveness to your clients, secure your business against both present disaster and the calamity of potential future ones and have the ability to integrate with other 3rd party applications like MS Teams, Salesforce, Outlook, etc. 

Use these three qualifiers to determine if a unified communications solution could be right for your company. 

  • Responsiveness – Today's customers expect your organization to be connected – and today's workers expect to be able to connect with one another easily. The unified communications solution you choose should bring together all your team’s communication methods under one universally-available umbrella, allowing your business to respond – internally as well as to vendors, consultants, and most importantly clients. 

  • Security – When you choose a unified communications solution, all of your communications are stored off-site – in the cloud, as it were. That means that even in the event of the worst possible disaster at your place of business, your messages must remain intact and available from any web browser. At the same time, your unified communications solution must understand the value of interconnected interfaces between applications. Your unified communications provider must ensure that their platform interfaces transparently with common communications programs such as Outlook, MS Teams and SalesForce – giving communications through those programs the same level of security. 

  • Integration – With seamless voice-to-text, text-to-voice, and click-to-call and click-to-conference functions from email, instant message, and even fax, your unified communications platform should bring a level of unity to the concept of unified communications seamlessly integrated into a single point-of-contact that is accessible from virtually any device. One such example would be for teams to have access between each other and clients with real-time presence tracking that intelligently forwards messages to the most appropriate device for a given worker at any given time. 

A UCaaS platform is a great way to manage your business applications and data. It offers a number of benefits, such as flexibility, scalability, and security. You should choose the right platform based on your needs and requirements. See if PanTerra Streams could be the right UCaaS solution for you. 

The biggest danger in investing in any single IT system, telecommunications or otherwise, is that the system will eventually become a victim of progress. Choosing the right UCaaS platform means that it works constantly to keep abreast of the latest developments in telecommunications, and is always working to upgrade its cloud-based unified communications solutions to keep them firmly up-to-date with the times and needs of its customers.

For more information about how a UCaaS platform can benefit your company, find your specific industry here. 

Shawn Boehme
Post by Shawn Boehme
March 16, 2022
Shawn Boehme is a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience in the Unified Communications space. As the Director of Sales for PanTerra Networks since March 2015, Shawn has played a pivotal role in empowering businesses across the U.S. and Canada to maximize their productivity and streamline costs through advanced cloud communication solutions. His unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch service and driving business growth through effective communication strategies has earned him the reputation of an expert in the field.

With a deep understanding of the challenges enterprises face in harnessing the full potential of their phone systems, Shawn is dedicated to uncovering each client's unique needs, pain points, and successful aspects of their existing communication infrastructure. This extensive industry experience, coupled with his specializations in phone and messaging platforms, PBX and call centers, contact centers, and unified communication, allows him to design tailor-made solutions that address specific challenges and expedite businesses towards success.

Shawn's unwavering dedication to providing unmatched value and a superior customer experience demonstrates his commitment to surpassing client expectations. He leverages his extensive knowledge and technical expertise to not only meet but exceed the unique demands of each client. When seeking advice or solutions in the Unified Communications space, businesses can trust Shawn's judgment and rely on his proven track record of driving growth and delivering exceptional outcomes.