Saturday, October 12, 2019

Best UCaaS: find the best Unified Communications as a Service - TechRadar

Best UCaaS: find the best Unified Communications as a Service - TechRadar


Best UCaaS: find the best Unified Communications as a Service - TechRadar

Posted: 11 Oct 2019 11:19 AM PDT

UCaaS is all about combining all the different communications channels available to a business in a single unified platform. While in the past businesses might have had to rely on a wide range of hardware, advances in digital technology mean that cloud computing services can now deliver this as a service.

In the past unified communications would mean making sure VoIP for internal and external calls could be combined into one system, but these days it also means adding other communication options such as chat/instant messaging, email, conferencing (audio and video), and even sometimes social media content.

While a number of companies are described as providing UCaaS, sometimes this has the practical experience of being more like many applications using a Single Sign On (SSO) to give the appearance of a unified platform. For this buying guide, we'll instead focus on those companies that deliver a true UCaaS experience by allowing all communications to be managed via a single application.

Here then are the featured providers we think deliver the best overall UCaaS experience.

Want your company or services to be added to this buyer's guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.

Best UCaaS providers - at a glance

  1. RingCentral
  2. Ooma Office
  3. MiCloud Connect
  4. 8x8 X Series
  5. Dialpad Talk

RingCentral Office

(Image credit: RingCentral)

1. RingCentral Office

The leading UCaaS provider

Very accessible

Comprehensive features

Integrations

RingCentral Office offers a complete unified communications solution that combines HD VoIP, messaging, conferencing, contact center, and fax, in a single application.

What's especially good about RingCentral Office is its total accessibility and scaleability, allowing anywhere from a single user to over a 1,000 employees to sign up for the service, meaning that it can truly serve anything from the smallest business to enterprises.

Different features are available according to different payment plans, but even the most basic Essentials plan offers a comprehensive range, including unlimited calls within the US and Canada, as well as unlimited SMS and MMS, and also mobile apps for use with iOS and Android for mobile use. Other features include visual voicemail, voicemail-to-email, as well as full call management and phone system administration which includes call recording on demand.

The Standard service plan adds reporting, a multi-level auto attendant, as well as internet fax features, along with unlimited audio and video conferencing for up to four people.

The Premium plan allows conferencing for up to 100 people, automatic call recording, as well as multi-site support, Single Sign On (SSO), and introduces integrations with SalesForce and Zendesk.

All plans also offer integrations with Microsoft, Google, and Box.

For single users, the Essentials plan costs $29.99 per month if paid yearly. For 2-99 users it's priced at $19.99 if paid yearly, rising to $24.99 for the Standard plan and $34.99 for the Premium plan. 

Ooma Office

(Image credit: Ooma Office)

2. Ooma Office

The small business UCaaS

Comprehensive features

Low price

No contract

No omnichannel 

Ooma Office aims to deliver to small businesses an enterprise-level unified communications experience at a fraction of the price. 

There are no differentiated plan levels - everything is available for $19.95 per month. However, you'll probably need to buy one of the starter business phone kits, though these tend to be quite inexpensive and subject to recurring special offers.

When you sign up for Ooma Office, you'll receive a toll-free number, and be able to make unlimited calls across all of North America as well as low international rates. However, it's the main calling features that are the biggest advantage that Ooma Office offers.

Over 35 features are listed, and these include such things as a virtual receptionist for automated call routing. There's also call forwarding, transfers and logs available, as well as ring groups, group callers, extension dialing, conferencing, and music on hold all included.

Another plus for small businesses is that there is no contract, so you don't need to fear being locked-in for the long-term with a single supplier for VoIP.

Overall, it delivers everything you'd expect from a full and professional telecoms system. If there's one area Ooma Office gets pulled short it's the lack of omnichannel routing, but there is an enterprise edition which can offer integration options on your CRM to cover this base anyway.

MiCloud Connect

(Image credit: Mitel)

3. MiCloud Connect

The established UCaaS provider

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