Understand the differences between UCaaS and VoIP and how they work together to improve business communication.

UCaaS vs VoIP: Which is Better for Your Business?

Nicholas PriceLast updated on September 1, 2023
11 min

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Phone communication connects your customers with a human voice, and by exploring UCaaS vs VoIP, you get greater capability to enhance the customer experience and be more competitive.

You’re unlikely to have a conversation about business communications without running across terms like UCaaS and VoIP. Each is a type of technology, and each has a well-defined place in modern business communications. By learning more about what they are and how they benefit your small business, you will more easily be able to set up a modern phone system that works for you today and in the future.

Modern communication technologies help you gain the advantage of greater efficiency and enhance the customer experience. That’s great news for your business and your clients.

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What Is Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Voice over internet protocol is a method of transmitting voice data from one user to another via data packets and an internet connection.

Small and mid-sized businesses are increasingly switching their phone systems over to VoIP systems. According to Global Market Insights, the VoIP market could hit $55 billion by the year 2025. In North America, Global Market Insights projects that over 40% of businesses will switch their business phone systems to VoIP phone systems by 2025.

What’s driving these percentages? The answer is pretty clear. Businesses are increasingly discovering the advantages of using cloud services, software as a service, advanced telecommunications, and the advantages of a remote workforce.

VoIP refers to voice over internet protocol. It’s proven technology for transmitting voice over the internet. The rise of broadband technology makes a VoIP infrastructure a favorable choice for businesses of every size. A VoIP phone system is a modern phone system that offers many more features and capabilities than a PBX phone system.

VoIP is becoming the mainstream standard for voice communications across every industry. Comparing VoIP vs UCaaS isn’t exactly an easy apples-to-apples matchup. VoIP can operate independently of, or as part of a larger equation that makes up a unified communications platform.  Let’s take a deeper look at how VoIP differs from unified communications as a service (UCaaS).

Is VoIP Different Than Unified Communications as a Service?

VoIP phone services have taken business communications technology to a whole new level. UCaaS builds on top of this innovation. With UCaaS, you have access to an abundant number of useful software solutions.

In the interest of making things simple, a VoIP system is a great enabler for UCaaS technology. While VoIP technology focuses on the enhanced voice calling features, UCaaS Is different in that it incorporates multiple communication channels, making it a unified communication system.

(Related: See UCaaS vs CCaaS)

UCaaS goes beyond just a business phone setup. UCaaS solutions are designed with software integrations at the core, bringing together channels such as text, email, online chat, as well as many internal communication platforms. VoIP makes it possible for UCaaS to deliver on its capabilities. The key to using UCaaS effectively is to focus on the exact solutions you need.

Statista gives us a good idea of the scope of growth of UCaaS Systems in the United States. Their research shows:

  • Onsite UCaaS systems have grown from 3.78 billion in 2014 to 6.9 billion into 2020.

  • Hosted UCaaS systems have grown from 2.92 billion in 2014 to 13.21 billion in 2020.

As technology continues to advance, UCaaS, as it is, may only be scratching the surface of future capabilities.

UCaaS vs VoIP

In considering a comparison of UCaaS vs VoIP, you can see there’s no direct comparison. These terms represent different types of technology, each with its own set of features and capabilities.

VoIP powers voice communications for inbound and outbound calls. Depending on which service provider you choose, you get a wide variety of phone system features. Essentially, VoIP enables voice communication via the internet.

By contrast, UCaaS has the capability of giving you multiple communication channels, and all of them are cloud-based solutions. UCaaS uses VoIP to power voice communication, as well as opening up channels for texting, emailing, chatting, etc. UCaaS communication are desirable for some companies because it  unifies all your communication tools into a single source.

Your business can access a UCaaS system, “as a service” by setting up a service agreement with a unified communications vendor.

Benefits of UCaaS

With this information in mind, you’re probably wondering exactly how a UCaaS system could benefit your business. So, let’s take a brief look at 8 benefits of UCaaS:

1) Cloud-technology costs less

UCaaS Is a subscription-based service where you pay monthly. You eliminate costly equipment and installation costs, as well as ongoing maintenance costs for communications.

2) Advanced functionality

It allows you to easily switch between communication channels like voice, text, and messaging.

3) Increased flexibility

It allows your call agents to be more agile in how they approach customers with the goal of enhancing the customer experience.

4) Enhances collaboration

Gives your call agents the ability to communicate with managers, coworkers, and customers in real-time to get assistance and deliver a better customer experience.

5) Enables and unifies a remote workforce

Makes it possible to set up remote teams and distributed teams to establish a well-functioning virtual call center.

6) Scalability

UCaaS and VoIP systems are scalable, which means you can add or remove call agents to accommodate business growth or seasonal workflows.

7) Redundancy

As a cloud-based system, UCaaS allows you to forward calls to another number, so your phone system is never down completely.

8) Streamlines workflows

Multiple communication channels bring data from various sources into a single source, where multiple employees can access customer contact information and call history at the same time, creating efficient workflows.

Cloud-based solutions usually offer an open API, which is a type of technology that makes it easy to integrate customized business tools for your business without having to build a back-end infrastructure.

Benefits of VoIP

If the benefits of UCaaS sound like they’re more than what your business currently needs, you might consider how the benefits of a VoIP phone system can enhance your communication processes.

Take a look at these 8 benefits of a VoIP phone system:

1) Call quality

The quality of VoIP calls has improved in recent years such that the person being called can’t tell whether you’re using a traditional landline or a VoIP system.

2) Variety of voice features

Modern VoIP systems give you far more voice call features then a traditional phone system. Your VoIP service provider offers a host of features like call routing, voice messaging, call queue, click-to-dial, call whispering, call analytics, desktop notifications, and much more.

3) Security

VoIP systems have standardized encryption protocols which means you can count on your calls and data to be secure.

4) Remote work friendly

Since VoIP systems are cloud-based, your call agents can work anywhere they have access to an Internet connection. With a VoIP phone system, you have access to customer information from any location. Another nice benefit of VoIP is that you can transfer calls internally without the customer having to dial another number.

5) Self-service options

VoIP makes it possible for you to answer simple, frequently asked questions using automated functions. That means you can serve your customers 24/7/365.  SuperOffice reports that 70% of customers expect a company website to offer a self-service option, and 40% of customers prefer self-service functions over a phone call.

6) Call recording

VoIP gives you the ability to record calls. You can play back important calls for review. Call recording it’s also useful for coaching and training your call agents.

7) Increases productivity

Call logs give you instant access to call activity. The data informs you about your busiest times, how long call agents are spending on calls, and much more. With VoIP, you eliminate the problems associated with “phone tag,” which leads to customer dissatisfaction.

8) Cost-effective

VoIP phone numbers are virtual phone numbers which means they’re not connected to a landline system. Calls go through the internet, drastically cutting down on the cost of domestic and international calls for your customers. You eliminate costs for maintaining separate networks for phone systems and internet data.

Use Cases for UCaaS

Virtually every industry will find valuable uses for UCaaS to streamline their workflows.

  • Enables mobility – UCaaS users can simply log in to your system and collaborate with each other using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Service and support people have greater access to salespeople in the field and vice versa. Managers have the same access to data so long as they have a reliable internet connection and device.

  • Supports group collaboration efforts – UCaaS is an excellent platform for managing group projects. Group members can easily share documents, keep track of progress, and share calendars while working together in person or remotely.

  • Supports a seamless customer experience – Whether salespeople are working onsite or at home, UCaaS allows them to access data about the customer’s account, giving them instant access to data to help close sales. They can also send files or reports to customers on the spot.

  • Brings multiple locations together – Your employees can communicate with each other in exactly the same way, whether they’re sitting next to each other or whether they’re miles apart. Your managers can monitor employees in one location and still communicate effectively with employees in another location. Managers and call agents get the benefit of viewing the same information.

  • Keeps workflows and tools connected – A problem that many businesses contend with is having to log in and out of disparate business solutions. UCaaS allows you to tap into a wide variety of cloud-compatible business solutions and software integrations in one place for greater data transparency and enhanced internal collaboration.

Use Cases for VoIP

Your phone service provider is the expert when it comes to listening to your business needs and showing you how to utilize various phone system features to streamline your workflows and enhance the customer experience.

Here are a few of the ways that businesses commonly use VoIP phone systems to create efficiency and enhance productivity.

  • Shortens the sales cycle – Phone interactions are still a major communication channel for making sales. VoIP phone system features use automation and other tools to send leads through the sales funnel faster. Research by Salesforce shows that 92% of all customer interactions occur over the phone. About 85% of customers said they were dissatisfied with sales phone experiences, and VoIP phone system features give them a better experience.

  • Combines with your CRM system – Combines phone system features with your CRM or helpdesk software for a single source of data and voice call functionality.

  • Call routing transfers calls to the right person – Easily set up your VoIP system to route calls to the right people on the first call. You can set up call routing to handle returns, tech support, or sales closings.

  • Turns call centers into contact centers – Gives your service center call agents contact information right from the start so they can give personalized service. For technical calls, your IT people have access to call history to help resolve problems faster. Call center agents can use a variety of communication channels including email and text to accommodate customers on their preferred communication channel.

  • Setting up toll-free or international numbers – A VoIP system lets you set up toll-free, international numbers, or vanity numbers using just one click. Pair up your toll-free numbers with local phone numbers that customers are more familiar with.

  • Set up a virtual call center – A VoIP system makes it possible for you to set up a virtual call center and still have the same communication capability and software solutions as call agents working in the same facility. Set up remote teams to reduce costs and find the best talent regardless of where your HQ is located.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of VoIP phone systems is that you can easily add functionality through integrations. This enables you to create a customizable communication stack that contains only the technology your team needs. Flexibility is always an option.

Call Center Software: UCaaS vs VoIP

The way of the future for call center software is VoIP phone center software where you get all the flexibility and capability to turn your call center into a fully operational contact center.

For many businesses, a VoIP phone system greatly enhances their current voice call capability, and it’s the perfect choice for right now. UCaaS Is an innovative solution that gives you the benefit of even more tools to meet your needs today and in the future.

The Benefits of Call Center Software

Your sales, support, or customer service call center works best when it has a robust set of phone system features. Aircall offers an innovative VoIP phone system with UCaaS capability. With Aircall, you get the best variety of call center phone features like call routing, predictive dialing, toll-free and international numbers, call queueing, and so much more.

Aircall works with your help desk, CRM, and sales automation tools to give your call center agents a single source for the data they need to handle calls efficiently and deliver the utmost in the customer experience.

Check out Aircall’s App Marketplace for numerous listing of software integrations to work with Aircall’s cloud-based phone system.

Published on November 18, 2020.

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