UCaaS vs. CCaaS or Both: Choosing what's best for your enterprise

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The battle between on-premise and cloud services had already been won, and the cloud came up on top. Now, it's no longer a question of choosing between on-premises vs. cloud, but rather, which cloud communications platform is better for your enterprise.

That goes for communications and collaboration solutions as well. With the rise of "as a Service" technologies in the market that leverage cloud technology, more choices are available for solving your business communication problems.

It leads us to one of the dilemmas many organizations face today. Which is better, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) vs. Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?

What are UCaaS and CCaaS?

Before we get to pitting these two world-changing technologies, let's try to understand what each is.

So, let's find out.  What is UCaaS, and what is CCaaS?

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a service, is a type of cloud-hosted solution that unifies different communication channels into one platform.

RingCentral RingEX is one of the best examples of UCaaS solutions. It integrates telephony, video conferencing, and team messaging into one platform.

End-users access it via the RingCentral App for desktop or mobile.

RingCentral RingEX includes the following communication tools in its UCaaS platform:

  • Telephony (VoIP, cloud PBX phone system)
  • Instant messaging
  • Video call and online meetings
  • Business SMS
  • Internet Fax
  • File sharing
  • Task management
  • Events
  • APIs and App integrations with customer relationship management apps (CRM), storage, and other productivity tools
The product team is able to meet on a video call while messaging each other on the RingCentral App

This unified communications platform solves the problem of shifting from one solution to another whenever the user wants to use another channel. Plus, it removes the feeling of having a disjointed communications system.

Instead, you have a seamless experience from calling and online meetings to group chats and private messaging.

What is CCaaS?

Like UCaaS, CCaaS or Contact Center as a Service is also a cloud-hosted service. It provides your business with the advanced capabilities to interact with your customers via inbound or outbound telephone campaigns.

In recent years, there has already been advancement in customer interaction management via digital channels like chat, social media, and email.

Agent is able to talk to customers on multiple digital channels on one platform.

RingCentral offers several contact center solutions depending on the needs of your business, including:

  • RingCentral Engage Digital – provides an omni-digital customer communication software that allows your business to interact with customers on different digital platforms like email, social media, and chat from one unified platform.
  • RingCentral Engage – provides an outbound or blended (inbound-outbound) call center solution that features auto-dialers that can improve your outbound calling campaigns' efficiency and productivity.
  • RingCentral Contact Center – provides an inbound omnichannel contact center that provides intelligent features like interactive voice response (IVR) and skills-based routing to ensure that calls are directed to the right agent equipped to handle the customer concern. These are usually focused on customer support campaigns.

UCaaS vs. CCaaS - What are the similarities and differences?

On the surface, you may find that UCaaS and CCaaS platforms have many similarities. Both are cloud-hosted and help businesses enjoy the benefits of cloud-based solutions like reducing operational and maintenance costs, easy scalability, flexibility and mobility, and streamlining of processes and workflows.

However, the main difference is their functionalities. UCaaS mainly streamlines internal communication and collaboration, while CCaaS providers are more focused on streamlining and improving customer interactions for better customer experiences.

To go deeper, let's see the advantage of one over the other.

What are the benefits of UCaaS vs. CCaaS?

an employee is starting a video call with her team

Let's look at the advantages of UCaaS over its CCaaS counterpart.

1. Lower costs

UCaaS is mainly an internal communications solution with inbound and outbound calling activities and some call routing capabilities. It is typically priced lower than CCaaS solutions handling a more significant number of callers due to constant customer interactions.

2. Single platform for phone, video, and messaging

No more need to shift from one app to another when going from phone to video to messaging, or any other order.  Everything is in one easy-to-use interface like the RingCentral App.

3. Better collaboration between colleagues

Aside from making it easier to shift from phone to video and messaging, UCaaS providers have other features that make collaborations easier. RingCentral App includes features like:

  • Task management – Create and assign tasks. Set deadlines, and when done, mark it complete individually or as a group.
  • File sharing – Share files directly to anybody within your organization or groups or teams.
  • Events – Set event reminders that are visible to all people involved.
  • Presence – Know the current status of your colleagues. Are they available, in a meeting, busy, or offline?

These are just some of the advantages of UCaaS over CCaaS; now, let's go the other way around.

What are the benefits of CCaaS vs. UCaaS?

Let's look at the advantages of CCaaS over CCaaS.

1. Better customer experience

While UCaaS has auto-attendant and some great routing capabilities, it doesn't compare to what CCaaS can do. What sets it apart are these two features:

  • Interactive voice response (IVR) – Like the auto-attendant feature, it automatically answers all calls and directs them to the right agent or department. But it is more than that; it can also facilitate self-service functions that can help customers help themselves, which frees up agents for more complex customer concerns.
  • Skills-based routing – It works with the IVR feature where the CCaaS solution directs the call to the contact center agent equipped to handle their concern. It improves first contact resolution and reduces the need for more call transfers and customer callbacks.

2. Better employee engagement

CcaaS solutions also have features that analyze performance and possible pain points and areas of improvement that can make agents' lives easier. The two elements that aim to improve workforce engagement are:

  • Workforce management (WFM) – These are strategies, processes, and tools organizations can use to improve performance and productivity. Some of the tools used include demand forecasting, scheduling, and shift management.
  • Workforce optimization (WFO) – On the other hand, these are strategies aimed at the long-term development of the workforce. It includes talent development and quality assurance.

These are just some of the advantages of CCaaS over UCaaS.

Now, the question is, which one is better for your enterprise?

Best of both worlds: Why not UCaaS and CCaaS?

Why choose when you can have both? RingCentral offers both UCaaS and CCaaS solutions to improve your internal and external communications.

As an enterprise, UCaaS and CCaaS together make an excellent combination for empowering your employees and improving customer experiences.

An agent answering a customer concern via phone call

Benefits of integrated UCaaS and CCaaS

1. Improve backend collaboration

Having both UCaaS and CCaaS can connect everyone in a shared platform. It removes silos and encourages communication and collaboration between different departments and employees.

For example, a call center agent can use messaging to consult with the product department about clarifications. They can also share a potential lead with the sales team via file share.

In cases where the agent needs a specialist, they can access the directory to find an expert and start a chat while keeping the conversation with the customer.

In short, you can have your CCaaS as your customer-facing solution while you use UCaaS to communicate and collaborate in the background.

2. Better customer experiences

By improving backend collaboration through integrated UCaaS and CCaaS, you are also improving customer experiences.

Customers are all about how fast you can solve their problems. Having the ability to communicate and collaborate is another tool that contact center agents can use to achieve that.

Imagine if agents can communicate with onboarding staff to clarify customer claims about installation issues or chat with in-house experts on complex matters while on-call; it will significantly improve first contact resolution (FCR) and avoid more callbacks.

3. Better data analytics and reporting

Data is the backbone of every business decision. The more information you have based on data, the more accurate those decisions can be.

Having data from your UCaaS and CCaaS solutions gives you more insights into how your business operates.

Your contact center data can show you how your organization interacts with customers and give you more information on their behavior.

Your UCaaS data, on the other hand, provides you with information on how your employees operate, including how they communicate and collaborate.

By combining these data stacks, you can bring all the information you need into a shared platform and leverage them into valuable insights.

4. More flexible and mobile business

Since both UCaaS and CCaaS are cloud-based technology, it supports the new way businesses and the workforce work.

With many businesses, enterprise or small and medium-scaled, going for hybrid and remote work setups, having an internal communication system and a contact center solution that can be accessed from anywhere makes the transition and management much easier.

With UCaaS and CCaaS employed, your employees can serve your customers from anywhere while collaborating within or outside the office.

If you are interested in combining both UCaaS and CCaaS for your organization, you can request a demo about how RingCentral RingEX can work with RingCentral's customer engagement and contact center solutions.