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VoIP vs UCaaS: Which is Better for My Business?

Communication is an essential pillar for any business, and new technologies are constantly being developed to make it easier. Two prominent options right now are Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). But what is VoIP? What is UCaaS? And which is best for your business? The answer will depend on your unique needs.

What is VoIP?

VoIP is a technology that allows voice communication over the internet, instead of traditional phone lines. It works by converting voice signals into digital data packets, then transmitting them over the internet to allow phone calls. This is useful for facilitating seamless call transitions between offices and users, connecting remote staff through apps, diverting calls to mobiles or colleagues, and delivering voicemails as playable email attachments.

  • Lower costs: Eliminates the need for separate phone lines, reducing overall communication expenses. Costs are reduced even further for long-distance and international calls.

  • Scalability: Businesses can easily add or remove lines as needed, without significant infrastructure changes.

  • Flexibility: Users can make and receive calls from any location with an internet connection, and on various devices. 
  • Internet Dependence: VoIP requires a reliable internet connection in order to work. Poor connectivity can affect call quality.
  • Limited Functionality: As it is primarily focused on phone calls, it lacks some advanced communication tools that businesses may find desirable.

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS integrates various communication tools and applications into a single cloud-based platform. Beyond just voice calls, it also includes messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, and collaboration tools.

  • Improved Collaboration: UCaaS facilitates easy teamwork with its integrated platform. 
  • Scalability: The business may add or remove users and features as needed, making it highly scalable. 
  • Cost efficiency: Consolidates many communication tools into one service, significantly lowering costs for businesses who would otherwise need to purchase each individually. 
  • Cloud-based: Hosted in the cloud, allowing for seamless updates. Its functionality is accessible from any location, and consistent across devices.  
  • Complexity: UCaaS is more difficult to set up and manage compared to VoIP, due to the sheer range of tools available.
  • Up front costs: The initial cost of setup may be higher, although these may be offset by long-term savings. 

VoIP vs UCaaS: Key Differences

Scope of Services:

VoIP primarily offers voice communication, while UCaaS offers a wide range of communication tools including voice, video, messaging, and additional collaboration tools.

Scalability and Flexibility:

VoIP and UCaaS are both highly scalable, growing or shrinking with your business. However, businesses with complex collaboration and communication needs may find UCaaS to be more scalable, due to VoIP’s limited scope.

Associated Costs:

VoIP has lower costs, and is especially beneficial for its ability to significantly reduce phone bills. UCaaS often has much higher initial costs, but may result in long-term savings depending on the business’ needs.

Choosing the Right Tool for Your Business

Only you can ultimately decide which is the more appropriate tool for your business. However, there are some considerations while making this decision that may be useful to you.

Your Business Needs

Which communication tools does your business require? It can be tempting to choose the path that will offer more choice, simply for the sake of more choice. But this may not be the right move, if your business does not require the additional features that UCaaS provides.

Your IT Infrastructure

You must ensure that your internet connection and IT infrastructure are capable of supporting your chosen tool. This is especially true for UCaaS, which demands a higher bandwidth due to its cloud-based nature and the variety of integrated services it provides.

Budget Considerations

Before making a decision, you must fully assess the costs involved with each tool, and the potential savings. Can you afford the higher set-up costs of UCaaS, compared to VoIP? How many of your current communication solutions could be replaced, and how much money would that save the business? These are all factors that should be taken into consideration.

Scalability Requirements

How fast and far do you anticipate the business continuing to grow? If you don’t require UCaaS at this moment in time, do you foresee potentially needing it later? If so, how soon do you think you will need it? Could it be more worthwhile to invest in UCaaS early, in anticipation of its usefulness in the future?

Unify Your Communications with Ease

Making a decision between VoIP and UCaaS may feel complex at first. But with a good understanding of your business’ current and future needs, as well as the services each is capable of offering, you will find that the question is easily answered.

If you’re considering UCaaS solutions for your business, ION247 can help. Our UCaaS platform makes sure your business can be reached 24/7/365, allowing you to serve your customers better than ever before. And our solutions can be tailored to your business’ unique needs, preventing you from paying for tools you’re not using. 

Explore our unified communications to learn more about what UCaaS can do for you.