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VoIP versus UCaaS: Understanding the Difference

What is the difference between VoIP and UCaaS?

More and more SMBs are switching to cloud communication solutions and moving away from landline systems. But why?

Companies adopting hybrid and fully remote workforces need communication solutions that stretch across geographic locations.

This opens up the space for more advanced communication technology such as VoIP, UCaaS, CCaaS, CPaaS, and more. So, how do you decide what solution is best for your business?

This article will look specifically at VoIP versus UCaaS, so you can better decide what phone system will improve your team’s productivity.

Building a Business Phone System: VoIP versus UCaaS

As a network professional, you’ve certainly heard about VoIP before. Voice over internet protocol and IP telephony solutions replace traditional PSTN by using the internet to route calls.

On the other hand, unified communications as a service (also known as UCaaS or UC) groups together various communications technologies into one centralized platform.

You’ll notice in the comparison below that both VoIP and UCaaS have very similar benefits. However, the main difference lies in how they are built and how you can use them.

One way to understand the difference between these services is that VoIP makes UCaaS solutions possible.

VoIP, for example, refers to one specific communication technology, whereas UC is an umbrella term for many different types of communication technologies. Therefore, it is not an easy, 1-1 comparison.

VoIP is typically a voice service that handles inbound and outbound calls. UCaaS, in comparison, brings all communication channels (voice, video, messaging, chats, etc.) into one platform and enables them using IP.

Because of this key difference, VoIP is less encompassing than Unified Communications.

Let’s look at these solutions more closely.

A comparison of VoIP versus UCaaS.

What is VoIP and How Does it Work?

VoIP was designed to provide a landline’s functionality along with cloud-based service’s flexibility and capability. This enables phone calls through an internet connection, removing location-related restrictions.

And since VoIP is software-based, you can easily integrate it with other similar cloud communication software and build a wholesome phone system.

What can you do with VoIP?

  • Place and receive calls online
  • Forward calls from a desk phone to a mobile phone
  • Access call recordings and logs
  • Utilize voicemail to email forwarding
  • Access advanced calling features such as IVR, caller ID management, and more
  • Automate call routing based on various rules
  • Easily manage dial-in conference calls.

Benefits of VoIP:

  • More affordable and helps many businesses drastically reduce costs
  • Easier to scale, both locally and globally
  • Supports local, remote, and global teams through one phone system
  • Provides uninterrupted, high voice quality.

What is UCaaS and How Does it Work?

UCaaS solutions go a step further than VoIP by bringing more than voice to your phone system. As mentioned above, it gives you access to multiple communication channels and apps under one cloud-based roof.

This way, your teams can communicate with each other and customers through the channels they prefer.

And by streamlining communication through one platform, your teams can be more productive as everything they need is located in one place.

What can you do with UCaaS?

  • Integrate email, SMS, video conferencing, chat apps, etc., into your phone system
  • Access various communication features and apps
  • Centralize call management from one platform.

Benefits of UCaaS:

  • Cost-efficient and scalable solution
  • Use and manage from anywhere in the world
  • Supportive of global and distributed workforces
  • No hardware or maintenance required.

Related: 5 Unified Communications Trends You Need to Know in 2022

Which Communication Solution Should I Choose?

As you can see, there are benefits to both VoIP and UCaaS solutions.

However, which solution you need depends on your requirements and resources.

For instance, enterprise-level businesses might find more use in a UC solution that supports their teams and provides more communication and collaboration options. However, if you’re an SMB that needs only voice support across local and remote teams, then a VoIP solution will meet your needs.

One important thing to note is that both solutions will allow you to centralize and scale your solutions as needed. VoIP lets you consolidate different local, regional, and global voice carriers under one carrier (i.e. your VoIP provider). And UCaaS lets you consolidate different communication channels and apps under one service provider.

In fact, you can even add a VoIP service to your UC stack for voice support. By consolidating, you reduce your overall total cost of ownership (TCO) across different channels or providers.

So, whether you start with VoIP or UCaaS, you can grow your communication stack at your own pace via integrations and APIs. The real question is — what do you need right now, and what can support your plans for the future?

Learn how to scale with VoIP by speaking with one of our telecom experts today! Call us at +1 (561) 276-7156 or chat with us online!

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