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Many of our clients ask us about CCaaS vs. UCaaS; and when it’s appropriate to use one or the other.  Here, we seek to help answer these common questions.

First, if you have a customer service contact center with more than 25 Customer Service agents, you should be considering CCaaS vs. UCaaS. 25 Customer Service agents will cost you roughly $1M/year in Human Capital Cost. CCaaS will give you the data to deploy that $1M/year more effectively and may even help reduce your Human Capital needs. UCaaS will not be robust enough to make data-driven decisions on Human Capital or Customer Experiences.

Both CCaaS and UCaaS are multi-tenant cloud-based communication platforms. CCaaS will focus mostly on external communications with your customers to deliver excellent customer experiences. CCaaS can also be used to route calls to your internal or centralized group servicing internal stakeholders, like a HR Help-Desk or IT Help-Desk.  Meanwhile, a UCaaS platform will focus on internal communications between your employees for phone calls, instant messaging, and even meeting platforms.

The explicit callout of the as-a-Service signifies that these solutions are cloud-based alternatives to legacy on-premises platforms of old. The market saw increased adoption of as-a-Service telephony starting in early 2010’s. Adoption and platform capabilities recently sky-rocketed when organizations were forced to work remotely.

Organizations can and should, use both CCaaS and UCaaS solutions, but for distinct use-cases. When evaluating the two platforms, buyers should understand the features and use-cases each platform can satisfy. 

What is CCaaS?

Gartner, even though they forgot how to objectively rank CCaaS vendors, defines CCaaS quite well. Gartner defines CCaaS as “a software as a service (SaaS)-based application that enables customer service organizations to manage multichannel customer interactions holistically in terms of both customer experience (CX) and employee experience.”

CCaaS platforms have robust functionality and components of the platform are identified at length in our blog ranking CCaaS providers.

Organizations who invest in CCaaS typically place value in Customer Service, wish to improve Customer Experience KPI’s, and seek to deploy their contact center human capital efficiently based on real-time and historical data.

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS focuses on internal communications between your employees for phone calls, instant messaging, and even meeting platforms. These platforms deliver the ability to significantly improve how internal and external stakeholders interact and collaborate.

The investment in UCaaS is significantly less expensive than CCaaS solutions, but lack many of the important features that CCaaS solutions possess. Further, and most importantly, the use-cases of the two solutions are vastly different. Attempting to utilize a UCaaS solution for Customer Service is akin to putting a round peg in a square hole.

Understanding CCaaS vs. UCaaS

Many organizations simply view telephony platforms as solutions that allow them to make and take calls. However, both CCaaS and UCaaS serve different purposes. We can breakdown the differences between Door A and Door B.

CCaaS vs. UCaaS

Primary Purpose

CCaaS connects Customer Service and certain Sales teams to customers via a sophisticated omni-channel platform. Oftentimes, these platforms will integrate with a CRM or System of Record such as Salesforce. CCaaS platforms are designed to improve your Customer Experience and optimize performance of your Customer Service and/or Sales Team.

UCaaS: Connects your internal and external stakeholders for continuous or scheduled communication. UCaaS platforms optimize the communication between your internal stakeholders via phone, instant messaging, and scheduled video or voice meetings. Organizations will typically integrate Unified Communications platforms to communication and productivity tools such as Google Workspace.

Features

CCaaS has robust features covered in more detail in our blog ranking CCaaS platforms. To recap, CCaaS has features such as IVR, ACD, Dialer, Reporting, Dashboards, Workforce Engagement Management, CRM Integration, Omni-channel communication across phone, email, chat, social, and more. These features are purpose-built to deliver excellent customer experiences at scale.

UCaaS will feature messaging, video conferencing, fax, email, SMS, and of course phone calls and very basic hunt group routing. While UCaaS solutions have some reporting, these reports will not be sufficient to call centers.

Conclusion of CCaaS vs. UCaaS

If you are like most of the corporate population, you only have to think about CCaaS vs. UCaaS once every five years. There are over 30 different vendors that service The United States market for each type of platform. These vendors can quickly overwhelm and confuse buyers. Technology buyers should outline their specific goals and use-cases before deciding which platform to leverage for their stakeholder groups.  Shopping vendors is a waste of your time, Tech Stack Advising makes it easy. Reach out to us today for a free consultation to decide which platform is best for your use-cases.

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