What’s the difference between VoIP and UCaaS? How to determine which is right for your business

Close up photo of a desk phone in an office.A marketing agency in the Chicago suburbs with about 125 employees started out determined to stick with their on-premises phone system. However, the company was spending a significant amount on usage and dial tone, and their system was several releases behind and needed a costly upgrade.

Then the pandemic hit, and the old system fell short in the realm of remote work capabilities. The agency knew it was time to replace the old system.

Maybe you’re in a similar situation, faced with an outdated phone system that no longer meets the needs of your workforce. If so, you might have come across the terms Voice over IP (VoIP) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) when researching potential new solutions.

While both options provide advantages compared to a traditional PBX, it’s vital to understand how they differ and the pros and cons of each solution for your business. Here’s everything you should know about the distinction between VoIP and UCaaS and how to decide which one makes more sense for your organization.

What is VoIP and how does it work?

VoIP involves phone service delivered over IP networks instead of traditional phone lines, according to Vonage. It typically offers all the capabilities of a traditional PBX such as making and taking calls along with additional features such as the following:

  • Voicemail recordings sent to your email
  • Option to make calls from an app or computer
  • Simultaneous ring for forwarding calls from desk to mobile phones
  • Simple dial-in conferencing
  • Auto-attendant
  • Call logs
  • Call recording
  • Easy scalability

Overall, VoIP is usually less expensive and more flexible than traditional telecom service, making it appealing to modern businesses.

What is UCaaS and how does it work?

UCaaS, also called a cloud phone system, includes VoIP and bundles it with other communication channels such as video conferencing and instant messaging, according to RingCentral. Cloud phone system software goes beyond voice service to consolidate collaboration capabilities in a single platform. Many companies have switched from an on-prem PBX to UCaaS for the following advantages:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Accessibility from any location and device (including mobile phones and tablets)
  • Easier internal collaboration
  • Integration with other line-of-business applications
  • Cost savings (since there’s no hardware involved and UCaaS is billed as an operating expense)

Particularly for organizations that have made remote work the norm rather than the exception, UCaaS software allows staff members to do their jobs effectively from anywhere and meet virtually with coworkers.

Evaluating UCaaS versus VoIP for your company

If you’re deciding between VoIP and UCaaS, you should carefully consider your current needs as well as your plans. Here are a few questions to ask yourself, based on recommendations from RingCentral and Vonage.

  • Is your staff mostly on-site, or could you benefit from the robust remote work features of UCaaS?
  • Do you carry out most communications over the phone? Or do you need video conferencing capabilities?
  • Would access to instant messaging and SMS help your team?

As for the marketing agency mentioned at the beginning of this blog entry, they switched to UCaaS for increased accessibility, flexibility and remote work features. You can read the full case study here: B2B Marketing Agency Finds the Ideal UCaaS Platform

If you’d like help deciding or simply want to learn more about UCaaS, VoIP and other solutions that could benefit your business, our trusted technology advisors are available to assist you. We can leverage our extensive experience working with various voice solutions, our vast partner network, and cutting-edge tools to produce objective comparison matrices and rapidly identify offerings that align with your objectives and requirements.

Take the first step toward more efficient communications today by connecting with our advisors. Just call 877-599-3999 or email sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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