If you are looking to improve or upgrade your phone systems, you’ve probably run across both Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as well as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) as options, and may be wondering – what’s the difference? While VoIP focuses on inbound and outbound phone calls, UCaaS is more of a collaborative communication tool that combines VoIP with video and chat capabilities. Read on to find out how both UCaaS and VoIP work so you can determine which one is best for your organization.
How VoIP Works
VoIP is not a new technology. In fact, it has been around since the 1970s, but it didn’t gain traction as a business calling tool until the 1990s. Although it’s not the latest technology, VoIP is a solid tool that organizations use to save money over keeping traditional telephone systems. It works by connecting your phones to your internet services provider who then transports and delivers your calls. You still use regular handsets or software-based applications (softphones) to communicate, but you also have the flexibility to use your speakers and microphones on your smartphone or computer to conduct calls too.
VoIP is a step up from old PBX systems, and some of its key features include being able to receive and make phone calls over an internet connection, listen to voicemail messages, and forward calls to alternate lines when necessary. Additionally, VoIP also provides call logs, auto-attendants, dial-in-conferencing, number porting, as well as call monitoring and recording.
Works UCaaS is a tool that companies use to unify all of their business communications into a streamlined platform. It helps to bring together different services including VoIP, instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, as well as other collaboration tools. UCaaS is delivered and hosted by a cloud communications provider “as-a-service”, and it provides your users with a consistent experience and interface across multiple devices (smartphone, computer, etc.).
In addition to having all the features of VoIP, UCaaS also includes video conferencing (that can range from two to many attendants), integrates well with your other software applications (like CRM), and promotes collaboration amongst your entire workforce. Plus, UCaaS also includes chat and text messaging capabilities, the ability to share your calendars and files, and you can also send and receive faxes.
UCaaS or VoIP – Which is Best for My Company?
VoIP isn’t necessarily a substitute to UCaaS since part of UCaaS’s services also include VoIP calling. If you decide on a VoIP service only, you will be missing out on video, but it still may be sufficient for smaller companies that are looking for a cheaper and simpler alternative to traditional phone services. If you are a larger organization (or a smaller company that is growing), UCaaS may make more sense because, in addition to including video, it also unifies all of your communication methods (text, chat, email, voice, etc.). Plus, you have the flexibility to add or subtract phone lines as needed, and having a single vendor for all of your communication needs makes maintenance more manageable.
At Cloud Phone Nation, our job is to help you find the right communications solutions that are best for your company. As your organization’s needs grow and change, we can help you establish a plan that supports your current and future goals. If you would like to learn more about VoIP or UCaaS, or if you have any other questions, please contact us today.