Unless you’ve been living off the grid recently, you’ve probably seen a huge shift in business communication with the rise in cloud communication platforms. Called Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), companies are turning to the cloud to gain access to advanced office phone and mobile phone features, while also lowering the total cost of ownership and reducing IT costs. UCaaS is also playing a big role in helping businesses optimize efficiencies, improve workflows, and increase collaboration between all team members, including those working inside the office and remotely. 

So with the new year approaching, how can companies find the right UCaaS package for them? Are all UCaaS systems and components the same? Let’s dig deeper to find out what to consider when it comes to cloud communications and the year ahead. 

Remember – not all IP desktop phones are created equal 

For those new to the UCaaS conversation, you may assume that all IP desk phones are generic at this point. And, not only that, why should you care about the actual IP phones anyway? Doesn’t everyone use mobile devices to conduct business? The truth is, most people still view the desktop phone as the most reliable and secure way to have productive business conversations. And, while attitudes and behaviors are shifting around mobile, research shows desktop phones are still the primary source used for business calls – used by 92% of the world’s business users. (Frost and Sullivan). Going forward, many see next-gen IP devices or endpoints as a big differentiator for customers looking to get the most out of UCaaS. 

Leading UC phones include touch screen capabilities and features like voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding, hold, mute, redial, conference, transfer and speaker options, etc. What else should next-gen SIP handsets include? Crexendo offers a complete line of advanced SIP phones that have all the basic and advanced features. Plus, all phones come with a lifetime warranty and we design, manufacture, and support phones with our in-house engineering and support teams. Other leading Crexendo phone features include: 

  • ‘Talk ready’ phones that are pre-configured 
  • A web portal interface allows for simple setup, including assignment of extensions, call-routing rules, auto-attendant, etc.
  • Touch-screen and color displays
  • Full HD audio, integrated headset support
  • Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Integrated Bluetooth, wireless, and USB connectivity
  • Advanced software interfaces 

Delivering a unified and customized communication experience 

Beyond the phones themselves, today’s UCaaS solutions should also provide a cohesive, one-stop communication hub where users can access multiple applications and platforms seamlessly. The interface should encompass simplified options for audio, web, and video conferencing, team chat, presence, mobile options, file sharing, and collaboration. UCaaS platforms should also enhance the flow of communication across the office, supporting ease of use, similar to features individuals expect from consumer-oriented communication apps. 

Intelligent SIP phones combined with advanced UCaaS software and customization options can also extend ROI. An example might include APIs and interfaces that dovetail into apps used in various verticals, such as professional, government, healthcare, retail, and others. For instance, consider a multi-media SIP phone where a user can seamlessly transfer to a cell phone, or text a message, or record a conversation.

Finding the right balance – desktop phones plus mobile

While desktop phones and features are one side of the equation when it comes to a UCaaS, mobile UC features are the other. The best UCaaS platforms come with advanced SIP handsets and a robust mobile UC app that empowers teams to talk and collaborate from anywhere. Crexendo’s mobile smartphone application CrexMo, for instance, brings the full capabilities of UC and the desktop phone to mobile devices, including making calls over 4G LTE or Wi-Fi, team chat, and collaboration. Want to learn more? At Crexendo, we offer advanced IP phones and accessories and a super user-friendly mobile app that keeps users productive and connected. Email us to get moving on a breakthrough UC phone system for the new year!

So with the new year approaching, how can companies find the right UCaaS package for them? Are all UCaaS systems and components the same? Let’s dig deeper to find out what to consider when it comes to UCaaS and the year ahead.