What is the Difference Between UCaaS and CCaaS?

Cloud-based call center software-as-a-service offerings are extremely popular, and for good reason. Cloud-based software solutions help businesses of all sizes streamline their communications. This includes tools for internal collaboration and tools for enhancing their customer experience.These tools are easily accessible by businesses do to the scalability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility of a CCaaS solution. 

There are so many effective communication systems that it can be overwhelming trying to figure out the right one for your business. To make things more complicated, each tool is designated by its acronym. For example, you’re probably wondering which is better when it comes to looking at UCaaS vs. CCaaS. Both can have an immediate positive impact on your business, just in different ways. Knowing these differences will help you answer the question, “What are UCaaS and CCaaS?” and choose one for your organization.

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS stands for unified communications as a service. The “as a service” portion means it’s a software you pay for and use on a subscription basis. This means that you are provided the software based on the number of agents you have and the usage of the software. Unified communications integrate your communication channels (namely voice calling, messaging, and web conferencing) to improve internal communications and collaboration. A simple example is enabling your employees to answer their email from wherever they have internet. 

What is CCaaS? 

CCaaS stands for contact center as a service. Like UCaaS, the “as a service” portion indicates a subscription model that is based on how many agents you have the the usage of the software. The CC stands for Call Center. While UCaaS focuses on internal company communications, CCaaS focuses on communications between the organization and its customers. This means all channels, like voice, email, text messaging, SMS, video chat, web chat, messenger apps, and more. Integrating communication channels and call center tools, CCaaS offers organizations the ability to drive business sales through a seamless, personalized customer experience.

One important facet to note is the difference between a contact center and a call center. While many use the terms interchangeably, a contact center actually has the edge over a call center. The focus of call centers is ingoing and outgoing communications through mainly voice channels. Call centers technically don’t allow for communication over other channels beyond the voice call. Contact centers, on the other hand, are more evolved and include email, web chat, video calls, messenger apps, text messaging, and more. Contact centers allow agents and customers to have touchpoints on multiple different digital channels. 

UCaaS vs. CCaaS: What Are the Similarities?

Both UCaaS and CCaaS make your communications more efficient by streamlining activity. Their goal is to put various communication channels into one interface. They both also gained popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic when organizations went remote very quickly. The shift to a remote workforce emphasized the usefulness of a subscription-based, cloud-based model. Being able to communicate effectively through all means became essential, and managing those systems also needed to be simple. 

As mentioned, both are subscription offerings. This means they offer key benefits such as: 

  • Immediate Impact: Installation is fast and easy, making an immediate impact.
  • Hybrid Friendly: Now the norm, working remotely as well as in the office is more productive with no performance gap between them.
  • Cloud Scalability: Use what features you need, adding on more features as you grow.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Pay-as-you-go pricing model fits all budgets and sizes.
  • Easy Integration: Designed for seamless experiences.

Because they’re hosted in the cloud, both UCaaS and CCaaS maintain an edge over on-premise operations. As a result, your organization saves money on costly expenses like building space, in-house servers, and IT personnel. You also save time in set-up, training, and hardware maintenance. When done correctly, your return on investment is fast, high, and continual.

In comparing CCaaS vs. UCaaS, you’ll see they offer some of the same capabilities. For example, systems allow you to quickly route calls and integrate with various business apps you already use, such as customer relationship management (CRM) programs. 

Finally, businesses of all sizes can take advantage of both UCaaS and CCaaS. With the right vendor, smaller businesses can leverage technology previously only available at enterprise levels.

UCaaS vs. CCaaS: What Are the Differences?

There are three significant differences when comparing UCaaS vs. CCaaS: their purpose, the features they offer, and potential integrations. Understanding these differences will help you determine which one is best for your organization.

UCaaS vs. CCaaS: Purpose

When comparing UCaaS vs. CCaaS, the key differentiator is their purpose. They were simply designed to do two different things. UCaaS facilitates employee-to-employee communication and collaboration. UCaaS systems promote internal business communication, the sharing of tribal knowledge, and make workforce efficiency and management smoother. Remote work can only happen effectively when team members can talk, message, and collaborate with other team members through the internet. Your employee satisfaction increases when they can conduct business easily. 

CCaaS is designed to strengthen communication between your organization’s customer service and sales agents and your customers. It gives you the ability to implement a remote contact center, and the technological advances enable frustration-free customer service interactions and insightful, proactive sales conversations. CCaaS solutions focus on communication with customers on many different channels and providing a seamless customer experience on all customer interactions. Your customer satisfaction increases, which increases their loyalty to your brand. 

UCaaS vs. CCaaS: Features

While both UCaaS and CCaaS feature call routing capabilities, they differ in most other features. This makes sense given their differing purposes. CCaaS solutions offer a wide variety of additional features to level up your customer service experience. You’ll want to ensure your customer service experience leverages today’s technology and preferences with tomorrow’s potential evolutions. CCaaS features are vast and include:

  • Seamless call routing
  • Powerful analytics
  • Easy-to-use interface
  •  Security and privacy compliance
  •  Interactive voice response (IVR)
  •  Artificial intelligence-powered automation
  • Chatbots

UCaaS vs. CCaaS: Integrations

Again, because of their intended purposes, each system integrates with what’s most pertinent to the people communicating. The integrations a CCaaS solution offers are substantial because agents need to not only receive inbound phone calls but also receive customer messages via text, emails, web chats and video. Customers expect the ability to reach a customer service representative in whatever means they find most comfortable. They also want a seamless experience when doing so. Some integrations that help with this include best-of-breed AI integrations, CRM integrations, workforce management software integrations, and Microsoft Teams integrations. For this reason, a cloud-based omnichannel contact center as a service solution is paramount.

What is the Cost Difference Between UCaaS and CCaaS?

Because both are in the cloud, UCaaS and CCaaS are both less expensive than traditional on-premise solutions. Both of these solutions eliminates the need for expensive installation fees, hardware and software upgrades, the need for professional IT teams, and more. They also both support paying only for what you use. Generally, you’ll expect to pay slightly more for a CCaaS system because it offers more value in its capabilities and requires more capabilities to ensure a smooth customer experience. When looking for a solution, look for one with lower deployment and license costs.

Is UCaaS or CCaaS right for your Call Center?

Now that you understand the differences when looking at CCaaS vs. UCaaS, choosing which system is right for your business becomes easier. Are you looking to streamline communications between your team members or with your customers? If you’re looking to improve your customer service, CCaaS is likely the choice for your organization.

At Bright Pattern, we exist to provide an omnichannel contact center as a service experience that leverages artificial intelligence, Microsoft Teams integration and more. Let’s talk about taking your customer service experience to a higher level.

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