For over a decade, VoIP phone systems have dominated voice communications infrastructure for businesses. The most forward-thinking and ambitious of VoIP providers have not stopped there, though, pushing the envelope of what businesses should expect from such services by rolling out secure, enterprise-grade chat and video conferencing features.
Integrations with business CRMs and more advanced features relative to traditional business phone systems, such as call statistics and cloud-synced call recording quickly made it clear that these new telecoms businesses were shattering the glass ceiling imposed by traditional telecoms hardware and technology.
The Difference Between VoIP and UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)
Whilst VoIP deals solely with voice communications over your internet connection, unified communications combines this technology with a number of other services to bring you a fully-fledged communications software suite that covers all bases.
With a secure chat service for your business, you’ll be able to quickly send images and files across an encrypted connection and without having to switch to a third-party app. Not only is this more convenient, but the added security is essential for protecting your business’ intellectual property.
Combined with video conferencing features and the built-in VoIP system, your UCaaS platform will truly break down the barriers of communication and collaboration for you and your staff.
The Benefits of VoIP
VoIP technology itself has many benefits when compared with traditional phone systems. For starters, it’s much cheaper in terms of call costs, hardware maintenance and acquisition and monthly fees.
When it comes to call costs we’ve made this point before, but it bears repeating; an international landline call on the standard BT international rate, at time of writing, would cost you 55p/min. With a VoIP provider like Yay.com, on the other hand, it would cost you 1.5p/min. This is a saving of over 97%.
In terms of hardware, VoIP apps (or ‘softphones’) remove the necessity of purchasing desk phones for your staff unless you want to. The platform itself won’t require you to purchase any on-site hardware, which means you’ll also be saving on the costs of maintaining and servicing that hardware.
We’ve already alluded to the powerful features possible with a VoIP phone system that would be impossible with a traditional phone system, but one of the most fundamental advancements VoIP made possible is the significant improvement to call quality.
Better data transport protocols and signal processing technology allow any noise to be more easily removed from a signal (and a cleaner, more intact signal to be transported in the first place). When combined with the transport medium of high-speed wireless internet and fibre optic cable versus long-distance copper cables, more data can be transported at once and at a faster rate. Combined, this results in much higher call quality for VoIP phone systems.
The Advantages of UCaaS
The beauty of UCaaS is actually that you don’t need to choose between it and VoIP. Since the voice communications of any UCaaS platform will be VoIP-based, you’re really just choosing a service that has evolved from VoIP, carrying all the advantages with it, plus the added bonuses of chat and video communications.
Though you should benefit from all of VoIP’s advantages with a UCaaS service, bear in mind that not all VoIP services are created equal. If your needs when it comes to business communications are voice-first, then you’ll want to be sure that the VoIP offering from any UCaaS provider you’re considering is strong enough to meet your needs, just as you would if you were comparing VoIP providers.
Whether you’re communicating internally within teams or externally with customers and clients, though, the added modes of communication supplied by unified communications suites go a long way towards eliminating miscommunication and keeping everyone on the same page: moving confidently towards shared goals.
UCaaS, then, doesn’t comprise a departure from VoIP, but the next step in the evolution of business communications services. On top of the VoIP foundation providing voice communications, chat messaging and video conferencing take care of more casual and more formal, involved communications respectively.
Yay.com’s own enterprise chat feature is due for release very soon and, following from that, a video conferencing platform is in the works too, so Yay.com is expanding rapidly to fulfil this Unified Communications role for you.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in getting to grips with our VoIP offering, you can start your free VoIP trial today.