When people are quarantined or working at home to collaborate on projects and communicate, they soon find ways to make things easier. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused some notable changes to occur in the virtual workplace. These changes will have a lasting impact on future workplace habits.
In turn, enterprises are grabbing on to as-a-service (aaS) models to conform to these new and fast-emerging realities. Therefore, unified communications (UC) is extending its reach as the result of the COVID-19 crisis. From a business perspective, it bodes better for companies to switch to different models of UC services – something definitely worth implementing in today’s work-at-home business environment.
The fast-track use of UC, or UCaaS, CPaaS, and CCaaS is not only amazing but proving to be highly necessary. While these acronyms may seem confusing to sort out, they make communications less complex and more flexible. Combining all the aforementioned models in today’s environment has fast become a requirement.
An Unprecedentedly Fast Emerging Technology
Gone are the days where plain old telephone systems (POTS) were once used. Unified communications (UC) takes telephony several steps further up the communications ladder. While UC evolves, its main purpose now is to integrate enterprise communication tools so they can easily be used. These tools include presence information, instant messaging, desktop sharing, and audio/web applications. With the use of UC, all these technologies can be combined into one neat little but major package.
As-a-Service (aaS) Products
The idea today is to unify a set of products by using a consistent user interface, thereby providing a consistent user experience.
United Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
When you use UCaaS in your business, you can choose from a range of communicative tools, each which contribute to a unifying and seamless-to-use interface. In essence, UCaaS provides both collaboration and communication by way of the cloud, thereby making it easy to access the service with any device.
Just like SaaS, UCaaS enables businesses to only pay for what they need and use. Again, the main advantage attached to UCaaS is that you can experience instant connections across several devices, all which results in streamlined and enhanced communications. This aaS model also offers security and dependability – producing performance redundancies and eliminating downtime.
Communications Platform as-a-Service (CPaaS)
Along with UCaaS, companies are now considering CPaaS, the Communications Platform as-a-Service model. While this new and emerging technology is not exactly like UCaaS, it does share some of the same amenities.
CPaaS offers many of the communicative tools as the UCaaS model but presents them as items that can be integrated via application programming interfaces (APIs) into the core applications of a business. While UCaaS places priorities on primary communicative solutions, CPaaS is used to support these solutions.
Contact Center as-a-Service (CCaaS)
At the foundation of the Contact Center model aaS, or CCaaS, is the goal to more effectively handle customer inquiries. Therefore, CCaaS can promote a better customer service experience. As a result, certain communication technologies featured in UCaaS and CPaaS naturally overlap with the features showcased by CCaaS. By using all three aaS models, the COVID-19 impact in the business world starts to gradually decline.
Talk and Be Heard
Whatever label you place on it UCaaS, CPaaS, or CCaaS, communicating with others is about talking and being heard. Each of the aforementioned aaS models makes it possible for companies to integrate and access multiple ways to communicate. However, with that being said, voice communication still dominates the marketplace. Therefore, the technological tools you use need to be geared toward “conservational growth.”
By combining all the aaS models in the current environment, you can make remote work and communications easier for workers as well as customers. While audiophiles are seeking technologies that make it easy to listen and reply, contact centers are looking for methods to make it simpler for customers to communicate.
Moving Away from Legacy Solutions
The current working environment created by COVID-19 has almost turned some businesses away from using their legacy systems, or old computers and software. When your customer demands are high and workers are communicating from disparate locations, it is time to try a whole new approach, or one that requires the latest in technologies.
To support this new working atmosphere, you need to be able to refer to one platform for all your communication needs. You also need to make sure the audio is of a high-quality and supports productive yet comfortable conversations. If you cannot speak to someone in person, you need to make sure the audio quality is first-rate. Otherwise, using the wrong tools can have a damaging and long-lasting effect. Improved communications result in today’s business climate by relying on one, if not more, aaS models to communicate.
As the workforce adjourns to working at home, it needs communication software programs to assist customers and coordinate with peers. This can only be done by integrating aaS models for a more effective user experience.
Also consider this – the need for more efficient ways to communicate also permits us to consider more ways to safeguard the population. For instance, the Internet of Things (IoT) supports aaS communications along with connected cameras, smart thermometers, and similar intuitive medical devices. Not only can people use smart tools to recuperate, they can communicate with health care providers remotely. In turn, both patients and the public are safer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to technological developments that are as insightful as they are critical to the business and scientific communities. That is why it is crucial to take a more in-depth look at UC services and how they can mitigate some of today’s remote communication demands.
Along with the pandemic, the use of technology has spread like a wildfire. According to one report featured on March 31, 2020 in eWeek, both UCaaS and CCaaS have been used prodigiously. In fact, the CEO of Cisco Systems, Chuck Robbins, stated that the company’s enterprise solution, WebEx, has already supported an astounding 5.5 billion business meetings during the COVID-19 quarantine. The product highlights the use of video conferencing and web conferencing for companies.
In addition, one recent survey revealed that one of the main concerns associated with deploying UCaaS and popular CCaaS services is data security. It is essential that UC and CC purchasers carefully review this kind of challenge.
Before the recent quarantine, security was frequently overlooked when working online. This created some problems for businesses regarding customer privacy. However, these problems can become even more pronounced when people are solely working and collaborating at home.
That is why it is important to consider home broadband usage when working with aaS models. The broadband that connects home computers does not feature the security of computers used in the workplace. Also, firewalls lose their effect when more and more people start to work remotely.
Integrating aaS models is needed today. So are enhancements in security and networking for the emerging virtual workforce. While the pandemic has forced workers to work at home, it has also led IT companies to rethink some of their strategies – strategies that need to be developed for aaS installations.