From Communication to Productivity to Revenue Generation
UCaaS, CCaaS, XCaaS is the delivery of communications, contact center, and collaboration applications and services through a third-party provider over an IP network, usually the public Internet. In the beginning, UCaaS & CCaaS was synonymous with voice services and was seen almost exclusively as a replacement for traditional phone services. XaaS is the melding of both UC and CC into a single platform that fulfill the needs of the traditional workforce all the way through complicated omni-channel contact center platforms.
However, UCaaS, CCaaS, and XCaaS has since become an umbrella term for a suite of business communication solutions: phone, email, voicemail, and messaging.
Gartner Considers UC & CC as Encompassing Six Functions:
- Voice and telephony, including mobility
- Meeting solutions: audio conferencing, video conferencing, and web conferencing
- Messaging: email with voicemail and unified messaging
- Presence and Instant Messaging
- Clients, including desktop clients and thin browser clients
- Communications-enabled applications, like integrated contact centers, communications platform as a service, and workstream collaboration
UCaaS has developed from strictly communications into a broader collaboration and productivity tool in a relatively short period of time, adding significant value for companies.
While UCaaS includes a wide variety of solutions, its evolution has created more ways for companies to improve their user experiences and increase organizational efficiencies. The growing number of integrations provides companies with new ways to move to the cloud and allows for expansion upon the services of those who have already made the move.
And, with most companies now employing or outsourcing some sort of contact center that works closely in conjunction with a our client’s workforce, ERP, and CRM platforms, XaaS has become even more integral to the Customer Experience (Cx)
From SMB Solution to Universal Business Tool
Some numbers to thing about…
- 82% of North American decision-makers report having moved or are planning to move part or all of their enterprise telephony and contact center solutions to the cloud.
- Contact Centers are no longer for only for enterprises. Mid-market businesses (100 to 2,500 users) are projected to reach 54% of the total UCaaS users by 2024.
- Even before the pandemic, 90% of employees with access to cloud collaboration tools reported using desktop video, web conferencing, and messaging tools at least on a weekly basis.
From Communication to Productivity to Revenue Generation: How UCaaS, CCaaS, and XaaS Increased Its Value
Once seen as a technology for improved communication, UCaas and CCaaS is now viewed as a platform that helps increase productivity and bottom-line revenues. And, more than anything, the promise of increased productivity (and the resulting increase in revenue) is what has accelerated UCaaS growth in mid-market and enterprise businesses. Clinet’s that install new XaaS tools see revenues increase >8% as well as experience a dramatic increase in customer satisfaction during their first year after implementation.
But which platform is best for my business? There’s a lot of noise and hundreds of vendors out there. Which tools should I care about, and which can I ignore? Telmac has decades of experience covering all aspects of Cloud PBX and Contact Center design and delivery.
A major SIP vendor survey found enterprise IT decision-makers have three key demands of cloud-based UC solutions:
- Feature sets and bundled offerings
- A solid user experience
Now those expectations are somewhat general and true demand comes from specific business drivers forcing out older, on-premise solutions. The right XaaS service and providers will depend on your individual business challenges. Our proven decision methodology helps business leaders choose exactly what features and vendors can best align with your User and Customer experience. Below is a brief list of the areas in which we focus.
From FaceTime to Google Drive, people have gotten used to technologies in their everyday lives that make it easy to communicate, collaborate and share work. These consumer experiences have played a significant role in shaping expectations in the workplace, where employees are demanding similar features to make their jobs easier.
Unlike on-premises solutions, UCaaS is flexible and scalable, giving businesses the option of adding or subtracting users and expanding or cutting options and capabilities as needed. And because it’s an OpEx model, scaling or upgrading services doesn’t require a huge investment of money or resources.
The leading UCaaS providers use world-class data centers with multiple layers of security and the required redundancy to make businesses feel confident their data is safe. Additional security features have become attractive for various verticals where there are HIPAA and PCI-compliant voicemail solutions.
More than ever, companies of all sizes are employing mobile and remote workforces, which have made real-time collaboration a must-have. With easy out-of-the-box collaboration tools as well as the ability to integrate a variety of other collaboration services, UCaaS offers a compelling and affordable solution.
Business today isn’t defined by the nine-to-five office. People want to be able to work wherever and whenever they need to, meaning mobile integration is essential. UCaaS-native mobile integration provides advanced business calling features across multiple devices, such as softphones as well as the ability for desk and mobile phones to ring, simultaneously.
UCaaS doesn’t have to be a standalone product. The open API environment allows companies to integrate other software solutions, such as Office 365, Dropbox, and Skype for Business into their UCaaS platform.
ERP & CRM Integration
Businesses invest heavily in robust enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management software to better organize, manage and track customer information, inventory, logistics, project activities, and conversations. Today, the better UCaaS & CCaaS platforms offer CRM integration for a streamlined experience and the ability to pull real-time analytics.
UCaaS & CCaaS doesn’t have to be a standalone product. The open API environment allows companies to integrate other software solutions, such as Office 365, Dropbox, and Skype for Business into their UCaaS platform.
Modern customers expect 24/7/365 support and the ability to reach out in the manner they choose, not the manner you choose. On the other hand, businesses want increased visibility and insight within their contact centers, to better handle inquiries and improve the customer experience. UCaaS gives companies call center functionality in the cloud through contact center solutions called CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service).
Contact center solutions offer features that businesses of all sizes, not just those with call centers, can benefit from. These include the ability to:
- Route calls based on location and availability, cutting down on wait times and putting customers in contact with the right department
- Provide agents with immediate access to information and resources relevant to the caller
- Advanced Analytics can record and collect data on calls, which can then be used to improve the customer experience.
- Call back customers, letting them get back to their life rather than wait on hold
- Survey customers in real-time to better understand their interactions with your business
- Integrate multiple channels, including chatbots for websites and social media
Pricing has long been a barrier for midmarket and enterprise businesses that had previously made a significant investment in infrastructure and personnel. It’s difficult to justify migrating to the cloud with significant capital already tied up in IT resources.
Demand from SMBs and a boom of competing cloud solutions have pushed providers to create XaaS pricing structures that bundle services in ways that now offer value and savings for mid-market and enterprise businesses alike.
A good decision needs to be justified by a good business case. Aside for the deep qualitative analysis that we provide Telmac business cases also include complex ROIs that include transformation costs, efficiencies gained, and anticipated revenue/margin increases.
Other Solutions to Consider When Implementing UCaaS
UCaaS can be a powerful and effective solution when implemented correctly. However, its performance relies on the underlying network, and you need to be thinking of the overall system when launching UCaaS in order to take advantage of the solution’s full potential. Our methodology includes a full discovery to ensure any solution will work along with your other technological and ERP/CRM deployments.
When implementing CCaaS consider
Modern customers expect 24/7/365 support; businesses want increased visibility and insight within their contact centers. Contact center solutions offer features that businesses of all sizes, not just those with call centers, can benefit from. These include the ability to:
- Route calls more efficiently
- Provide agents with immediate access to information and resources relevant to the caller
- Record and collect data on calls, which can then be used to improve the customer experience
- Call back customers vs. waiting on hold
- Integrate multiple channels, including chatbots for websites
The Present and Future of UCaaS
Enterprise IT decision-makers have ranked and placed various technology as instrumental to business growth. When it comes to migrating and innovating respective departments within organizations to the cloud, executives look for:
>> Contextual intelligence A way to look back and see past documents and historical communications.
>> Advanced Analytics to increase performance and for better monitoring.
>> Artificial Intelligence to improve customer experience and drive innovation and growth.
It’s not surprising then, that UCaaS is moving in the direction of smart technology, incorporating data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented reality (AR) and connectivity with other products via IoT (internet of things).
Some of this technology is already being employed in a limited capacity and will be fully realized in the years to come. Examples below:
AI and ML are used to aggregate and analyze data to help businesses better manage, track and improve the customer journey, as well as identify internal inefficiencies and training opportunities. In this way, data helps businesses apply the same metrics-driven approach to UCaaS that they employ on websites.
Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR)
IVR is an automated system that interacts with callers, gathers information via a combination of voice telephone input and touch-tone keypad selections, and routes calls to the appropriate person/department.
Amazon has already integrated voice assistants into its Chime service, allowing users to start and end meetings via voice control. During a video conference, Alexa can be told to dial in a coworker or call up specific documents or emails related to a client.
The Cisco Spark Board serves as both a video conferencing platform and a digital whiteboard. It works in both the physical and virtual environments – draw on it in the meeting room and your team can see it on their devices in real-time. Whiteboards can be saved, shared and annotated.
Mitel has partnered with Charles de Gaulle airport in France to outfit key airport functions with sensors that alert the appropriate staff when triggered. For instance, when a cabinet holding the automated external defibrillator is opened, the medical staff receives a message, or when the airport temperature exceeds a threshold, maintenance is informed.
While many of these technologies are here now, they are in their infancy. Carriers are just starting to explore the ways in which AI, IoT, and AR can transform communication and productivity. As they continue to mature within UCaaS, they will create added value for organizations of all sizes.