Top Unified Communication Tools and Providers For 2022
Millions of people worldwide work remotely at least some of the time. Within two years, over 70 percent of U.S. workers will use a combination of desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets to work across devices.
It’s no secret that the workplace has changed drastically alongside technology and because of the global pandemic.
Driving productivity with the right business communication tools in 2022 requires flexible, mobile, and unified technology. These factors have driven the rapid growth of Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), or hosted cloud communications tools for businesses.
By bringing all of your multimedia communications tools into a single platform, companies achieve new efficiency and transparency across business locations and industries.
UCaaS integrates all of your apps into a single, easy-to-use portal, including email, presence, video conferencing, text messages, file-sharing, and more. This all-in-one portal for client and coworker communications is cloud-based and accessible from any device.
Many organizations such as Montgomery College and TiVo have unlocked remarkable business benefits with UCaaS, thanks to new features supporting how people work in 2022. Read on to learn details about the best UCaaS features on the market today, and use cases for how they could transform the way you work.
5 Unified Communication Tools to Adopt in 2022
Thirty-two percent of today’s customers surveyed recently described the phone as the “most frustrating” channel for customer service. If you read between the lines, the vast majority (68 percent) still prefer the phone to other customer service methods like email, chat, or social media. Like it or not, voice messaging may not be the only way your employees or customers communicate in 2022, but it’s still likely the predominant business communications tool.
Voice as a UCaaS feature can significantly reduce the costs of your business voice calls, especially if your organization has a lot of long-distance or international calls to make. Today’s cloud PBX tools offer rich, high-quality voice features like trunking, messaging, conference calling, call queuing, and interactive voice recognition (IVR).
These cost savings can mount further for businesses with many inbound calls with UCaaS features for contact center environments. With integration with customer service apps and smarter call routing, real companies have shaved up to 10 seconds off their average call handling time.
If your call volume fluctuates seasonally, requiring you to scale your contact center lines up or down, these changes can be made instantaneously with minimal cost.
Benefits of Voice
- Reduce the cost of business voice calls
- Offer rich, high-quality voice features
- Employ IVR and call queuing
- Scale your contact center lines instantaneously
2. Mobility First
Fifty percent of today's professionals use smartphones or other mobile devices as their primary work "computer." We're officially at a mobile tipping point. Today's best UCaaS solutions don't just offer mobility as a feature. They offer mobile-first capabilities that support full business communications from mobile.
Leading UCaaS mobility solutions enable workers to continue responding to messages while participating in a voice or video call without switching apps. They also offer "deep integration," or the ability to plug-and-play with your existing business apps, like Excel and Salesforce.
The workforce is also increasingly adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solutions for some employees. UCaaS can make secure work from an employee's device possible by creating boundaries between personal calls, texts, and work communications. This includes using both the personal and work phone number from the same device while keeping corporate data under wraps.
Benefits of Mobility First
- Enable workers to respond in-app to messages while participating in a voice or video call
- “Deep integration” abilities for business apps like Excel and Salesforce
- Offer security features on an employee’s device so they can work from their personal device safely
3. Unified Messaging
Unified messaging is a UCaas feature that provides employees with easy, unified access to all their messages across channels from a single portal. This eliminates the possibility of missing information that can easily occur when you’re checking email, voicemail, chat messages, project management software comments, and more from separate platforms or apps.
Better yet, leading UCaaS platforms like our own atlantech|softphone are designed for the needs of today’s mobile workers, who can't always listen to the audio of a voicemail message. From any device, they can click to access voice, video, fax, and email from a single inbox that resembles popular messaging apps. Voice messages are even transcribed for easy review in meetings.
Yesterday’s cubicles and desk phones aren’t a part of how many of us work today. Instead, today’s workers may share open office space, collaborate with global teams, or maintain communications with coworkers while they’re traveling for work. Unified Messaging makes it easy to do everything you need, from click to return a client’s call or participate in group messages with a project team, from a single app.
Benefits of Unified Messaging
- Offer employees access to all of their messages across channels, from a single portal
- Transcribe voice messages for easy review
- Collaborate with global teams easily from a single application
- Eliminate the possibility of missed information between communication channels
UCaaS and other web conferencing technologies have significantly extended the idea of business meetings to include global teams. The total market for business conference solutions is expected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2021 to almost $10 billion by 2028. Today’s workers would much rather dial into a meeting than attend in person, especially given that researchers estimate people are 13 percent more productive at home than at the office.
Unified Communications supports your employees’ need to participate in conferences on-the-fly, and even switch between audio and multimedia communication modes like screen sharing or video chat. You can invite coworkers to join the call when you're already on the line in real-time. It’s just as easy to collaborate on a second’s notice with UCaaS conferencing as it is to stop by a coworker’s desk in the office.
Read more about how UCaaS can support collaboration at multi-location businesses in Unified Communication and Collaboration Tools: Make the Cloud Work For You.
Benefits of Conferencing
- Enable employees to participate in conferences on the fly
- Allows easy switching between audio and multimedia communication modes like screen-sharing
- Enables employees to easily invite colleagues to join an in-progress call
5. Video Chat
Eighty-two percent of workers admit they’re less likely to multi-task (and more likely to pay attention) on a video call. Eighty-nine percent think video chat makes it easier to get group projects done efficiently, while 90 percent think it’s easier to get their point across.
Video chat can offer serious advantages over voice calls for certain contexts, like collaboration and negotiation. It's easier to capture non-verbal communication through video and more natural to feel a connection when talking face-to-face. Adopting UCaaS video conferencing features could drastically reduce the amount of business travel needed and improve productivity.
UCaaS video chat can also transform the way you think about video, even if you're already using standalone apps for this purpose. Since video is transmitted as HD audio and unlimited calling is generally included, you may reduce the costs significantly. Integrations with document management and calendar apps make it easy to share information and schedule video talks.
Benefits of Video Chat
- Easily collaborate with colleagues in disparate locations
- Connect with colleagues, customers, and vendors by speaking face-to-face
- Reduce business travel costs
- Increase worker productivity
Top Unified Communication Tool Providers
Atlantech offers solutions for voice, fiber, and data. You can customize your solution with Atlantech to fit your business's exact needs and use-cases. In addition to all five tools listed above, some features available through Atlantech's UCaaS services include desktop and file sharing and seamless CRM integration. Atlantech also offers amazing customer support, featuring a US-based team available 365 days a year.
RingCentral is a popular choice for unified communications. They offer three solutions: RingCentral MVP, offering messaging, video, and phone integration; RingCentral Contact Center, offering customer support and engagement solutions; and RingCentral Video, offering unlimited video meetings to your team. RingCentral also offers add-on tools for webinars and standing meeting rooms.
Dialpad offers solutions for business communications and customer engagement. In addition to the tools listed in this post, Dialpad integrates artificial intelligence (AI) tools into its sales outreach and customer self-service offerings. Dialpad offers four different packages, business communications, meetings only, customer contact center, and sales dialer for outbound-only calling.
Vonage unified communications focuses on integrating communications related to the customer experience. You can utilize Vonage for communication APIs like messaging, voice, and video, unified communications that enable collaboration across channels, and contact centers, empowering sales and service agents to take control of customer-facing communication. Vonage focuses on businesses in industries like healthcare, education, finance, and retail.
8x8 is a cloud communications platform that links your business phone, video, chat, and contact center solutions. 8x8 integrates with CRM applications like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Freshdesk. You can choose between plans for all-in-one communications, and all-in-one communications plus a contact center solution.
Optimizing Your Efficiency with Unified Communication Tools
Some of the most beneficial UCaaS features are remarkably unsurprising. Chances are, your company is already using communication technologies like audio conferencing and mobile apps.
The difference between the standalone apps you're already using to chat and message and the leading UCaaS options is that Unified Communications is designed for today’s mobile-first workplace. It’s easy with UCaaS to work, collaborate and communicate productively from any device or anywhere.
While UCaaS features can drive productivity and collaboration for your company, they’re not the only angle to think about. It’s important to evaluate vendors on experience, platform, customer satisfaction, value, and more.
To learn more, instantly download the free eBook: 10 Questions To Ask Before You Buy Unified Communications as a Service.