6 Signs to Upgrade Your Communication System

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful business. As technology advances, the importance of having a reliable and up-to-date communication system becomes increasingly evident. An outdated communication infrastructure can hinder productivity, collaboration, and customer satisfaction. The move to an online presence and remote working make effective and efficient internal and external cloud communications essential.

Recognising the signs that indicate it’s time for an upgrade to cloud communications is crucial for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. Here are six key signs that suggest your organisation should consider upgrading its communication system:Continue reading

UCaaS vs. CPaaS: What Are They and How are They Different?

In the last decade or so, using the cloud as a storage and communications medium has grown in popularity. Cloud communications refer to the use of cloud computing technology to deliver various communication services and tools over the internet. Instead of relying on on-premises hardware and infrastructure, cloud communication solutions leverage remote servers and resources hosted by third-party service providers. This approach offers several advantages, including scalability, flexibility, cost-efficiency, and accessibility. Here are some key aspects of cloud-based communications:

As a result, cloud communications has become integral to modern business operations, enabling organisations to stay connected, collaborate effectively, and adapt to changing work environments. Businesses can choose from various providers and solutions based on their specific communication needs and priorities.

Obviously, interoperability needs common standards. As a result, two standards have emerged, UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service).  They are two distinct cloud-based communication solutions, each with its own set of features and purposes.

Here’s an overview of what they are and how they differ:

Cloud-based Communications Summary

Communications

  • Cloud-based communication encompasses a wide range of services and tools, including:
    • Voice Communication: Voice over IP (VoIP) services, such as cloud-based phone systems, enable voice calls over the internet.
    • Video Communication: Cloud-based video conferencing platforms allow users to conduct video meetings, webinars, and virtual collaboration sessions.
    • Messaging: Instant messaging and team collaboration tools, like Slack and Microsoft Teams, are hosted in the cloud, enabling real-time text-based communication and file sharing.
  • Cloud-based contact centre platforms provide features for customer support, including call routing, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), and analytics.

Benefits

  • Scalability: Cloud-based communication solutions can easily scale up or down based on user demand, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes.
  • Cost-Efficiency: By eliminating the need for on-premises infrastructure, businesses can reduce capital expenditures and only pay for the resources they use on a subscription basis.
  • Flexibility: Users can access cloud-based communication tools from anywhere with an internet connection, making remote work and mobile communication more accessible.
  • Reliability: Reputable cloud providers offer high levels of uptime and redundancy, ensuring reliable communication services.
  • Integration: Many cloud communication solutions can integrate with other cloud-based business applications, enhancing productivity and data sharing.

Security and Compliance

Compliance

Cloud-based communication providers typically invest in robust security measures and compliance certifications to protect user data and maintain regulatory compliance.

Challenges

  • Internet Dependency: Cloud-based communication relies on internet connectivity, which can be a limitation in areas with unreliable or slow internet connections.
  • Data Privacy: Businesses must carefully consider data privacy and security when choosing cloud providers, especially when handling sensitive information.
  • Cost Management: While cloud services can be cost-effective, monitoring and managing usage to control costs is essential.

UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)

UCaaS

UCaaS solutions are designed to enhance internal communication and collaboration within organisations.  It is a comprehensive cloud-based communication and collaboration solution that integrates various communication tools and services into a single platform.  It typically includes services such as voice calling, video conferencing, instant messaging, presence management, voicemail, and other requirements.

They are ideal for businesses looking to streamline communication, improve productivity, and reduce communication costs.

UCaaS providers often offer features like unified messaging, mobility support, and integration with other business applications (e.g., email, CRM).

CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service)

CPaaS

CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that provides developers with the tools and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to embed real-time communication capabilities into their own applications and services.

It allows developers to build custom communication solutions, such as integrating voice calling, SMS, video chat, or other communication features directly into their applications.

CPaaS is highly customisable and flexible, making it suitable for businesses that want to create unique communication experiences for their customers or employees.

It can be used to develop applications like customer support chatbots, two-factor authentication systems, or video conferencing apps.

CPaaS providers often offer a range of APIs, SDKs (Software Development Kits), and developer-friendly tools to facilitate integration.

In Summary

Summary

While basically similar, there are key differences between the two:

  • UCaaS is primarily focused on providing a pre-built, all-in-one communication and collaboration solution for businesses, while CPaaS is a platform for developers to build their own communication solutions.
  • UCaaS is designed for internal communication and collaboration within organisations, while CPaaS is often used for external communication with customers, clients, or users.
  • UCaaS users typically do not need extensive programming or development skills, whereas CPaaS is used by developers who build custom communication features into their applications.
  • UCaaS is a turnkey solution with a fixed feature set, while CPaaS offers greater flexibility for creating custom communication experiences.
  • UCaaS often includes features like team messaging, file sharing, and conferencing tools, while CPaaS focuses on providing APIs and tools for building communication functionality.

In conclusion, UCaaS is suited for businesses looking to improve internal communication and collaboration, while CPaaS is ideal for developers and businesses seeking to integrate communication features into their own applications or services. The choice between UCaaS and CPaaS depends on your specific communication needs and development capabilities.

A Beginner’s Guide to VoIP Terminology: Top 10 Words You Should Know

Over the last decade or so, digitally based communications has become the dominant communications medium. It started with Voice over IP (“VoIP”) replacing the terrestrial fixed-line PSTN networks, and latterly with instant messaging over the Internet the default means of inter-personal communications. VoIP is now a mature technology, routinely deployed in business to gain benefits in costs and functionality.Continue reading

How to Secure Your VoIP Calls Using VoIP Encryption

Voice over IP (“VoIP”) has become an attractive option for individuals and organisations to leverage cost savings from their networks.  By transferring from the PSTN landline environment to an environment based on your network and an Internet connection, you can make toll-free local, national and even international calls. However, moving to an Internet-based service has a sting in the tail, that of increased security risks.Continue reading

HD Voice Call: What is It and How does It Work?

VoIP has become a fixture in the business world.  Since its inception, it has become commonplace in both business and domestic environments and VoIP service suppliers have multiplied in number and reach.  VoIP calls are now used to connect individuals and groups locally, regionally and internationally. The benefits of VoIP are well-known, the major being that it lowers operational costs by transferring communications from analogue lines supplied by a PSTN to digital calls over the Internet, thereby bypassing the toll charges levied by the PSTN operators.

Ealy complaints around VoIP calls were usually about quality end connectivity.  Calls could drop unexpectedly because of networking problems.  Calls could be difficult to set up and of poor quality. Over time these issues have been addressed and resolved, and HD Quality voice and video is being rolled out to new and existing installations.

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5 Top Tools for Call Centre Business

As the move to online and remote computing grows, the need for actual and potential customers with high-quality support services grows in tandem with it.  Call Centres are often the answer.

What is a Call Centre?

Call Centre

A call centre is a centralized office or facility used for receiving and transmitting a large volume of telephone calls from customers or clients of a business or organization. Call centres are typically staffed with customer service representatives (CSRs) who are trained to handle customer inquiries, complaints, and requests.

Modern call centres use advanced technology such as VoIP,  interactive voice response (IVR) systems, automatic call distribution (ACD), and customer relationship management (CRM) software to efficiently manage and route calls, track customer interactions, and provide a seamless customer experience.Continue reading

Migrating to UCaaS? Should you keep your SIP Trunk Carrier?

Back in the day, most businesses had an in-house PBX system connected to the public switched telephone network (“PSTN”), operated by a manual or automatic switching system.  Then came the Internet and digital communications.  The in-house PBX was connected to the PSTN and the Internet using a SIP Trunk.

Strictly speaking, SIP Trunks were not necessary since a PBX could connect using standard landlines. However, a SIP Trunk could provide additional functionality such as call forwarding. Then came VoIP, connecting a digital phone system running on an internal corporate network to the Internet, again often over a SIP Trunk.

Over the last few years, businesses have been steadily embracing remote access to their systems, either supporting working from home or remote access to eCommerce systems.  This is often in addition to implementing VoIP systems to accrue their costs and operational benefits.

Other remote access systems used increasingly over the last few years have been collaborative communications systems, both free-standing and supporting integrated voice and videoconferencing,  like Messenger, Zoom, and NetMeeting.

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What is Contact Centre as a Service and Why Businesses Need One?

The “as a Service” concept has become common as Cloud usage expands. We now see SaaS, “Software as a Service” and PaaS, “Platform as a Service” for example. There are other implementations of the concept, generically known as XaaS In terms of customer service, CCaaS, “Contact Centre as a Service” has begun to gain some traction.

What is XAAS?

XAAS

In its simplest terms, XaaS is where an IT service is delivered to the end-user remotely using Cloud Technologies. VoIP, including VoIP Phones, is an example where the configuration of the handset, user profiles and perhaps phonebooks and contact lists are delivered from a central repository in the Cloud held on a hosted server.Continue reading

Addressing the Top 5 VoIP Security Vulnerabilities and How to Mitigate Them

VoIP is the go-to application for businesses looking at reducing communications costs and improving customer service. Because many businesses are improving their general network security, VoIP Systems are increasingly being seen as an easier target and an easier inroad to the theft of data and disruption of business processes.

To be sure, VoIP Security is still an evolving area, but there are steps that will mitigate the threats to a business. Here are five top VoIP Security vulnerabilities and how to prepare defences against them.Continue reading

7 Most Common VoIP Issues and How to Fix Them

Many organisations have implemented VoIP Solutions as part of their move to an Integrated  Communications Strategy. Usually, the rationale includes the financial benefits of toll-free long-distance and International calling, improved customer relations, and better performance and productivity in the workplace.

However, if the VoIP Solution is not properly implemented and managed, problems can arise over time. Without becoming too technical, here are some of the more common

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