Demand for UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) has skyrocketed recently. Currently, UCaaS is one of the fastest-growing technology markets globally with a projected value of $69.93 billion by 2028.
During the pandemic, a wider number of companies (large and small) began shifting into the UCaaS environment as a way of ensuring business continuity. With lockdowns and restrictions creating challenges across the globe, UCaaS was the only reliable way of ensuring teams could continue to collaborate and communicate from anywhere.
As adoption of UCaaS increased, interest in other “as a service” solutions began to emerge too. Companies began to consider the potential cost-savings and opportunities afforded by bringing the contact centre into the cloud too.
With more people investing in UCaaS and CCaaS than ever before, vendors saw an opportunity to bring the two environments together and generate exceptional results in the process.
What are UCaaS and CCaaS?
To understand the advantages of combining UC with the contact centre, we first need a clear understanding of what UCaaS and CCaaS has to offer. Both solutions are “as a service” offerings, which means they can be delivered over the cloud, on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Unified Communications as a Service, or “UCaaS” is a tool for business communication and collaboration. The ecosystem combines multiple channels, such as video, voice, messaging, and presence in a single platform. By aligning various forms of communication, teams can keep all kinds of employees (including hybrid and remote workers) synchronised.
Contact Centre as a service, or “CCaaS” is a tool for external communications. The technology supports companies in serving customers through a cloud-based contact centre environment. Omnichannel CCaaS systems allow businesses to engage with their customers through multiple channels, from SMS to online chat.
Both tools are inherently flexible and scalable systems, perfectly suited to an age of flexible and often unpredictable work strategies. When paired together, both solutions can join to provide a more comprehensive end-to-end view of the communication stack.
The Benefits of UCaaS and CCaaS integration
In the past, unified communications and the contact centre might have seemed like two entirely separate spheres for connectivity. Now, UCaaS and CCaaS are naturally aligned for integration. With both ends of the communication journey now making their way into the cloud, it only makes sense to align your technology in the same ecosystem.
Some of the biggest benefits associated with UCaaS and CCaaS integration are:
- Improved Backend Collaboration
Lately, companies from every industry have discovered how crucial it is to have different aspects of the business aligned as extensively as possible. When collaboration can’t happen between various members of your team, you’re more likely to struggle with information silos, disjointed employees, and disengaged staff members.
Combining UCaaS and CCaaS brings your entire team together in a shared digital environment. Agents in the contact centre can easily connect with internal departments. This means when an agent has an issue, they need extra help with, they can easily access the guidance of a behind-the-scenes professional. Contact centre agents can even pass leads to sales team professionals.
With an aligned UCaaS and CCaaS ecosystem, there’s a more consistent flow of knowledge between all employees and team members. No-one is left out of the loop, and the company culture thrives.
- Improved customer experiences
Customer experience is the most significant differentiating factor any business can invest in today. To thrive in a modern, competitive world, companies need to be able to deliver meaningful, relevant, and consistent experience to their audience. However, when contact centre agents and backend employees aren’t connected, the experience for the customer is damaged.
For instance, if a customer contacts the team in need of technical support with an issue they’re having in their software, they might reach out to the person who sold them the tech. If the UCaaS and CCaaS environment is connected, the salesperson can search through the UCaaS contact list to find a support agent to help with customer service.
Aligning UCaaS and CCaaS also means everyone is working on the same information, and a consistent view of the customer. Agents can send information about a customer to new agents, so the customer doesn’t have to explain everything again.
- Improved technology alignment
In a digitally-transforming ecosystem, companies are more reliant on technology innovations than ever before. With UCaaS and CCaaS aligned over the same ecosystem, staff can spend less time jumping between apps, and more time getting crucial tasks done.
Many of the leading vendors offering UCaaS and CCaaS integration will also allow companies to tie in additional pieces of technology. For instance, you might be able to integrate insights from the CRM or add helpdesk technology into the mix to provide your employees with a more comprehensive view of each customer.
Because everything is aligned within a cloud environment, it’s also much easier to implement new and disruptive technology which can support various levels of the communications tack. For instance, you might install AI assistants into your technology to support both office workers and contact centre staff trying to serve customers.
- Improved data insights
The amount of data we create on a regular basis is growing to around 2.5 quintillion bytes per day. Being able to leverage the right data from the correct environments is a great way for businesses to learn more about their audience and deliver better customer experiences. We can even use insightful data to make stronger and more valuable business decisions.
Unfortunately, when UCaaS and CCaaS environments are disconnected, this creates several different data “stores” for companies to sort through when trying to collect useful insights. On the other hand, when both tools are connected, we can get more comprehensive views of the complete communication journey, without any gaps.
The more companies integrate new tools into their ecosystem, like CRM solutions and helpdesk environments, the easier it is to create a single point of truth for data analytics. Some UCaaS and CCaaS solutions even come with access to AI tools which help to highlight connections and patterns on your behalf.
- Improved cost management
One of the most significant benefits of transitioning into the cloud with both UCaaS and CCaaS, is the cost savings it can offer. Cloud-based tools give business leaders more freedom to pay as they go in terms of functionality and feature sets. This means you’re not tied into anything you don’t need.
Cloud-based solutions also rarely require a lot of on-site maintenance, and come with fewer initial investments, so you can save money both in the initial implementation, and long-term. Combining your UCaaS and CCaaS landscape means you can collect on the cost advantages for cloud-based solutions across both areas of your communication environment.
Often, you’ll find that investing in UCaaS and CCaaS solutions with the same vendor will also allow you to tap into cost savings in the form of special discounts and deals. Plus, you only have a single bill to plan for, which can be ideal for financial planning.
- Better Business Agility
Finally, and perhaps most critically for companies recovering post-pandemic, a combined CCaaS and UCaaS environment supports business continuity. Whatever might be happening in the world around your business, from pandemics to natural disasters, you can keep your staff aligned and working effectively from any environment.
As many companies to continue to make the transition into the world of remote and hybrid work, it seems likely that most will continue to invest in cloud-based tools to empower their staff. Buying both UCaaS and CCaaS solutions together should make it easier to create the single-pane-of-glass landscape staff need to stay at their most productive.
A combined UCaaS and CCaaS space will give your employees complete access to a state-of-the-art ecosystem for communication for both internal conversations and discussions with customers. What’s more, you’ll have a combined environment which is much easier for your technology team to track for the sake of compliance and security.
It’s easier to implement policies for privacy and track access options for each of your employees when everyone is accessing technology from the same cloud-based environment.
Should You Combine CCaaS and UCaaS?
In today’s digital age, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that cloud is the way forward for many organisations. The world is changing at a rapid pace, and the cloud is the only landscape with the agility and flexibility to adapt to suit any company’s needs. If your brand is invested in both unified communication and contact centre technology, it makes sense to move them into the cloud.
Combining UCaaS and CCaaS will help you to reduce costs, create synergy between your teams, and develop deeper insights into your business processes. Of course, like any major transition, success will require a careful planning process. You’ll need to make sure you’re considering the needs of your employees both now, and in the future when choosing your UCaaS vendor.