Successful organizations know that the more interconnected their communication channels are, the better they can perform overall.
With UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) platforms, businesses can take advantage of cloud-based services that are setting new standards for how to connect and collaborate in the workplace.
Generally speaking, UCaaS platforms offer a way to consolidate various communication tools like VoIP services, video, messaging, and conferencing into a single, accessible solution.
Meanwhile, because they’re cloud-based, UCaaS systems also eliminate the need for any on-location hardware, thus allowing users to access communication tools anywhere they have an internet connection.
This can be particularly useful for businesses that need a scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solution to handle all of their communication needs in one place.
Finally, most of today’s best UCaaS platforms come with a handful of standard features, but you should also be on the lookout for some of the more advanced superpowers.
10 Fundamental UCaaS Features
1. Audio and Video Conferencing
Audio and video conferencing is a core feature of UCaaS platforms. It lets users host virtual meetings with clear audio and high-quality video.
The best UCaaS platforms deliver seamless, high-definition audio and video. They usually support conference room-specific devices, which improve collaboration for meetings in larger venues.
Typical conferencing features include screen sharing, chat, and recording meetings. These UCaaS features ensure efficient and inclusive team discussions by allowing real-time communication.
For more, check out our guide for setting up conference calls.
2. Voicemail and Unified Messaging
This UCaaS feature combines various types of messaging like voicemail, email, and other communications into a single, easily accessible interface.
Within this interface, users have a unified inbox for all messages, including support for conference room devices. This ensures essential messages are readily available for viewing during meetings.
By bringing voicemail and other messaging together under one roof, this feature is good for preventing missed messages, and it speeds up the time it takes to pull up conversation records. This can increase overall responsiveness and help foster more cohesive communication throughout your organization.
3. Call Routing and Forwarding
Efficient call routing and forwarding are critical for getting callers to the right people for handling their queries.
UCaaS platforms offer customizable call routing options that can automatically send calls to specific people, departments, and even voicemail boxes based on predefined rules.
These features can be essential for optimizing communication responsiveness and increasing efficiency. With more seamless call routing, organizations can raise their standards of customer service and vastly improve their overall operating efficiency.
4. Presence Management
Presence management is a feature that shows other team members a colleague’s availability status, such as if they’re available, busy, or away.
The ability to see the live status of colleagues in real time can minimize communication delays and enable teams to coordinate more effectively. This can also lead to more successful collaboration efforts in the case that certain agents have patterns of availability.
5. Call Analytics and Reporting
Call analytics and reporting tools give insights into performance outliers and trends regarding things like call volume, durations, and response times.
UCaaS platforms generally provide robust call analytics and reporting tools for these metrics, along with customizable features that allow you to understand more about user activity and service quality. With this data at your disposal, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions and optimize your communication strategies.
6. Mobile Integration
Mobile integration lets your remote team members stay connected with seamless access to UCaaS communication tools for smartphones and tablets.
This comes in the form of a user-friendly app interface that synchronizes communication channels in real time, plus the ability to transition between desktop and mobile applications when providing support.
Altogether, mobile integration makes flexible working arrangements possible by letting team members stay connected from any location—which is great for increasing accessibility and improving the overall adaptability of your communications platform.
7. File and Screen Sharing
File and screen-sharing features are critical for collaboration, as they let users share documents, presentations, and anything else on their screens during meetings.
UCaaS screen sharing is generally a secure and seamless experience, and teams using these real-time collaboration features can expect high-resolution screen sharing and the ability to share a variety of file formats on all kinds of devices.
The ability to share visuals and files can make projects run smoother by keeping team members aligned—especially in virtual environments.
8. Integration with Business Applications
UCaaS platforms can integrate with business applications like customer resource management (CRM) and project management systems. These integrations increase the functionality of UCaaS systems by providing real-time synchronization of communication data to create a simpler workflow.
Additionally, UCaaS integrations with other systems can enable features like click-to-call, automatic call logging, and unified access to project management tools.
These integrations can enhance productivity and the quality of interactions by consolidating communication data into one accessible platform.
9. Security and Compliance Features
Security and compliance features are critical for protecting your customer data and other sensitive information. They also keep you in line with industry regulations intended to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of your communications systems.
UCaaS platforms come with a comprehensive set of security and compliance tools. They include end-to-end communication encryption, secure user authentication, and specs that align with industry-specific compliance standards like HIPAA and GDPR.
By combining advanced threat protection with regular security updates, UCaaS platforms will take care of a huge burden—ensuring data integrity and regulatory compliance.
10. Customizable User Interfaces
People work in different ways, so having business systems that can adapt to personal preferences is a big win.
Most UCaaS systems let you customize user interfaces to suit individual user needs. This includes personalizing dashboards and prioritizing certain features to optimize employee workflows. In the end, this kind of customization can have a significant impact on your bottom line by creating a more user-friendly experience that ultimately increases productivity.
7 Cutting-Edge UCaaS Features
While you’ll probably see the standard features on every UCaaS system, some of the more advanced bells and whistles can only be found in the souped-up models.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Speech-To-Text
AI-powered speech-to-text technology is setting new standards for business communications due to its developing transcription accuracy and speed.
UCaaS platforms with this feature can automatically transcribe meetings, voicemails, and other audio content into text format, allowing for far more efficient information and documentation processing.
Automation also makes it easier for team members to review and reference previous discussions with little manual input. This saves time, reduces costs, and reduces the risk of clerical errors.
2. Intelligent Virtual Assistants
Advanced UCaaS platforms are also leveraging AI to power intelligent virtual assistants.
These robot helpers can perform many repetitive tasks, from scheduling meetings and initiating calls to answering basic questions and gathering customer information.
By automating routine tasks, intelligent virtual assistance can increase efficiency and let your employees focus on more complex aspects of their work. If the mundane tasks are very time-consuming, these assistants can also lead to increased employee engagement and morale.
3. Predictive Analytics for Communication Patterns
By employing advanced analytics and learning algorithms, UCaaS platforms can provide predictive analytics for communication patterns.
Software with this feature will analyze historical data to predict things like peak communication times, the preferred communication channels of your customers, and other useful information or trends.
This information can help you optimize your communication strategies for maximum efficiency and effective collaboration.
4. Blockchain Integration
Yes, blockchain technology has even made its way into UCaaS platforms—where it’s used to increase communication security and privacy.
By leveraging the blockchain’s decentralized and tamper-resistant nature, UCaaS providers can offer your organization maximum security and encryption. That means your sensitive data will have industry-leading protection to avoid unauthorized access—which can be particularly important for businesses operating in highly regulated industries with stringent security requirements.
5. Biometric Authentication
For maximum security, some UCaaS providers even offer biometric authentication methods like fingerprint and voice recognition.
This can immediately add an extra layer of protection to ensure that only authorized people can access the sensitive communication channels and data associated with your business.
6. Emotional Intelligence Analysis
Emotional intelligence is an in-demand soft skill these days, and some advanced UCaaS solutions are now offering emotional intelligence analysis during communications. This feature will analyze a caller’s tone of voice and pick up on certain language patterns to estimate their emotional state.
With this information, your agents will be more prepared for the kinds of calls that require empathy, ultimately leading to a better level of service if executed well enough.
7. Dynamic Bandwidth Optimization
In busy organizations, audio and video applications can consume a lot of bandwidth.
This is why advanced UCaaS providers often include features that dynamically optimize bandwidth during communication sessions. By having the system adapt to different network conditions in real time, you’ll be sure to have the best call quality with minimal disruptions—even when available bandwidth is limited.