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Navigating Unified Communications as a Service: Your Path to Efficient Communication and Collaboration

Reviewed and Updated 05/13/2024

It’s normal for organizations today to have a wide array of communications solutions managed by numerous providers, covering everything from phone systems to fiber internet, video conferencing, Wi-Fi and much more. These systems can become complex and expensive to manage individually, which highlights the appeal of an alternative — bringing those methods together via unified communications as a service (UCaaS).

At first glance, it can seem intimidating to adopt UCaaS, specifically because it touches so many areas of the business and replaces so many existing systems. However, it’s this ability to streamline a company’s communications and roll multiple contracts into one that makes UCaaS so powerful.

When you approach UCaaS with all the information, and with an expert partner organization at your side, you don’t have to worry. You can adopt this unified methodology with minimal disruption to your operations and start reaping the benefits of simplified contracts and reliable, complementary service offerings that enhance your operations.

Unified Communications as a Service: What Is It?

UCaaS is a multi-channel communications solution based in the cloud. That means it’s not just many types of digital communication systems, but a truly united set of tools that work together seamlessly. A UCaaS suite is presented by one vendor and is controlled by one dashboard.

This one-vendor, one-dashboard approach enables companies to spend less time wrangling multiple technologies and more time on their core business processes, knowing their communication systems are handled. Simplifying the billing, management and technological integration processes changes the math for organizations, promoting easy collaboration among employees while lessening complexity.

UCaaS often replaces a disparate array of systems from multiple vendors. These can come with their own billing portals, along with multiple points of contact for support, making it tougher to simply keep up with them daily. Furthermore, these disparate solutions may not integrate smoothly with one another, creating an internal disconnect

A high-quality UCaaS deployment is the answer to that complexity, bringing new internal communication capabilities along with a new level of management simplicity.

Components of a Robust UCaaS Solution

What solutions come as part of a comprehensive UCaaS suite? While the exact communication channel lineup your people use from day to day will come down to your company’s needs, there are a few standbys that comprise fully featured and modern UCaaS platforms.

These include:

  • Integrated voice and video: Voice calling and video chat are both key communication tools for a modern business. A good UCaaS suite shouldn’t just have both, they should be connected seamlessly for ease of use.
  • Cross-platform apps: A UCaaS platform is most useful when its key applications are accessible on users’ platforms of choice — this means Windows and macOS desktops, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices, and potentially more.
  • Instant messaging and presence capabilities: To stay productive, employees need a way to reach one another with instant messaging. This capacity should be matched with availability indicators so colleagues can stay constantly aware of who else is online.
  • Browser-based video conferencing: Especially since 2020, video conferencing has become a linchpin of effective business communication and collaboration. When this feature is browser-based rather than requiring downloadable software, it’s easier to connect via this communication channel, especially with parties outside the organization.
  • Collaboration solutions: Teams working together need effective, reliable and secure ways to share information and files. When these collaboration solutions are built into UCaaS suites, it provides a consistent boost to productivity and helps colleagues stay aligned on key processes.

With access to these tools from day to day, your people will face fewer barriers preventing them from staying effective and efficient in their tasks. Duties requiring collaborative work and coordination between teams can especially benefit from an infusion of UCaaS technology.

Two colleagues smiling and collaborating on a project using a laptop, highlighting WiLine's UCaaS solutions for business productivity.

The Crux of UCaaS: Solid, Reliable Internet Connectivity

While the individual tools that make up a UCaaS system are vital organs of a modern business, there needs to be a solid backbone holding them all together. Namely, your organization needs to have a solid internet connection at its core, or else you could suffer from unreliable everyday communications and collaboration bottlenecks.

A suitable internet connection includes:

  • Symmetric uploads and downloads: Your system of choice should be capable of providing symmetric connectivity. This means both download and upload speeds should be synchronous. Why is this an important consideration? It matters because reliable communications via solutions like video conferencing and file sharing call for both uploading and downloading. Business broadband that only emphasizes download speed may not deliver the performance your company needs around uploads.
  • Strong SLAs: In addition to strong, synchronous upload and download capabilities, your chosen solution should also be bound by stringent service level agreements (SLAs). These agreements dictate minimum uptime levels your service provider is contract-bound to provide, delivering a higher level of assurance regarding your performance.
  • Redundancy: What happens if there’s an internet outage or a dip in service quality? If you have a high-quality, reliable internet connection with redundancy built in, your internet access, and the unified communications solutions relying on it, can stay active. SD-WAN with dynamic path selection is a key tool in this regard, delivering optimal performance at all times, not just an emergency failover option.

Learn more about our suite of UCaaS offerings.

What Are the Benefits of UCaaS?

When looking for specific advantages to help you make the official call to use a unified communications solution, you don’t have to search hard. There’s one specific advantage of UCaaS that will become clear almost immediately: having a single, simplified contract structure is superior to managing numerous vendors.

When there’s only one point of contact, all your interactions with the vendor are smooth and self-explanatory, taking less time and excess effort. Your team can get on with their work, rather than tracking down representatives for multiple third parties that may provide varying levels of responsiveness.

The unified communications solutions offered by a single vendor are also chosen to function together smoothly. Integration between systems is an important consideration when dealing with communications technology. It saves time and worry to have all the compatibility issues solved before you integrate a single solution, allowing you to move forward with seamless communication and reliable technology.

Everyday Advantages of Working with a Single Provider


A simplified contract and a strong vendor relationship are just the beginning when it comes to functional changes. Some of the specific positive effects of UCaaS, ones with the potential to save time, money and effort for your business, include:

  • Cost efficiency: There tend to be pricing advantages to purchasing your communications and collaboration systems as part of a contiguous bundle rather than buying them piecemeal from multiple vendors.
  • Integrated features: Since the solutions that make up a UCaaS system have specifically been selected to work together, there’s less need to struggle with integration efforts. The tools can seamlessly share data, creating a simple user experience for your users.
  • Simplified support: What happens when you need to troubleshoot an issue with your communications solutions? In a UCaaS relationship, you can turn to your single trusted contact and drive a quick resolution to the issue.Unified training: Communications technology can have its maximum impact when users are skilled at working with the specific systems involved. When you use a single, contiguous UCaaS platform, you can train your team once, helping them master the technology quickly.
  • Central dashboard: Using a single dashboard helps with numerous day-to-day duties around communications, including reporting on system usage and onboarding new users. This one-stop digital location saves time and effort for system administrators and everyday users.

Communications technology should be a reliable part of your company’s overall equipment, something that simply works and allows your team to get their work done. When you choose UCaaS from a reliable provider, you can cut through the complexities and headaches that can afflict multi-vendor solutions.

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UCaaS Best Practices: How Do You Make It Work for You?

Your use of unified communications technology is dependent on two elements — your adoption of their solutions and the reliability of your chosen vendor.

Your Duties: UCaaS Usage Best Practices

When it comes to internal practices, you must ensure you don’t take your technology tools for granted. Training every employee on the feature set and correct usage of the system will help them take full advantage of the tools and their capabilities.

Having clearly stated best practices and guidelines around using the technology is also a good idea. Fortunately, when you’ve chosen a powerful suite of UCaaS tools, your employees will naturally find it easier to use these systems correctly instead of resorting to rogue IT, as might occur when officially sanctioned solutions don’t meet users’ needs.

You should also make sure your UCaaS capabilities are advancing over time, to keep up with the state of the art. This means reviewing the state of the technology and performing updates as needed.

Your Partner: Signs of a High-Quality UCaaS Provider

On the other side of the equation, selecting the right UCaaS provider means looking for a few specific traits and offerings. These include:

  • Track record: What has the service provider accomplished in the past, what is its customer experience like and what types of businesses has it helped with communication needs? These questions often show which companies are trustworthy. For instance, WiLine has spent 20 years getting results as a connectivity provider.
  • Support: Customer service is essential because difficult times are when your company will need its UCaaS provider to be most responsive and available. You should ensure your chosen partner has a deep knowledge base and offers 24/7/365 customer service, through channels such as live chat and phone.
  • Flexibility: Will your UCaaS provider be able to keep supporting your needs as your organization expands and grows over the years? You need to find a flexible partner to avoid the future challenges that would come with changing suppliers during a time of intense expansion for your business.
  • Security: Data threats are everywhere in today’s enterprise environment. How prepared is your chosen UCaaS partner to deal with these risks? You should go with a vendor that can offer end-to-end encryption and one that adheres to industry security standards to minimize your risk in a potential cyber incident.

Pairing a high-quality partner with effective technology usage is a recipe for success in the complex but necessary world of business communications.

How Do You Get Started with UCaaS?

A smooth transition into UCaaS begins with vendor evaluation and assessment. Once you’ve picked a partner that meets your high standards, it’s time to set up the new solution carefully and intentionally. 

This process will lock in your system’s future potential. Step by step, it consists of:

  • Pilot program: A small group should test the new system to start, pointing out issues and discovering best practices before expanding to the whole user base.
  • Training sessions: High-quality employee education at an early stage is a way to make sure your team understands the capabilities of the platform and adopts it at high rates.
  • Parallel running: Rather than cutting over immediately to the new system, you should run both in parallel for some time. This method avoids communication disruption.
  • Feedback loop: Your employees should be free to share their feedback on the system. This will help you address real concerns and make effective, necessary adjustments.
  • Complete switch: The final transition to the new UCaaS solution can take place once your team is comfortable with the unified communications platform and confident in their ability to use it.

How Can You Keep Your UCaaS Usage Evolving?

Your UCaaS solution is too integral to your everyday operations to be a set-and-forget solution. You and your vendor can stay closely engaged and collaborative over time to keep leveling up in the way you harness the platform’s capabilities.

Important processes for continuous improvement include:

  • Checking in regularly: Employee feedback shouldn’t just be a part of the implementation process. By continually and consistently soliciting input, you can ensure the solution is still meeting users’ needs.
  • Staying current with updates: UCaaS platforms from leading vendors aren’t static. The cloud solutions receive updates frequently, adding impactful new features. Making sure your users are familiar with these changes helps them stay effective.
  • Conducting annual reviews: By reevaluating the UCaaS solution annually, you can be sure you’re getting the most out of the unified communications platform. This prevents complacency from setting in, as you can constantly realign the technology with your needs.

Ready to Delve into UCaaS?

Choosing to use UCaaS can be the beginning of an impactful process for your company. While it’s not an automatic switch, the end result can be a combination of cost savings, operational efficiency and future-proof, long-term value.

WiLine is the ideal partner for this process, providing true responsiveness to your company’s needs. Your scale and business model will shape your exact needs, and WiLine has a solution to match.

Our UCaaS offerings come in three tiers, so you can pick the version that most closely matches your needs. These tiers are:

  • SMB UCaaS.
  • Enterprise UCaaS.
  • Video Conferencing.

Ready to get started with UCaaS or learn more about your choices? Contact us.

UCaaS Can Transform Your Business

Learn How WiLine UCaaS Can Save You Money While Boosting Productivity