UCaaS vs CCaaS  - Key Differences and How to Make the Right Choice For Your Business

Updated: December 13th, 2023

Exploring the Differences Between UCaaS and CCaaS

The key difference between UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) is that the former primarily focusses on internal communication between teams within a business, whereas the latter is specifically designed to connect your customers with your support and sales team members. That’s a simple answer to a simple question. The more important question, that is slightly more difficult to answer, is which is right for your business, your customers and your team? Both solutions provide a wealth of benefits and features that streamline communication; provide better experiences, both internally and externally, and allow your team to collaborate more effectively. We’re going to take you through the definitions, benefits and differences between UCaaS and CCaaS solutions, so you’re in a better position to decide which solution best suits the needs for your business.

If you’re looking to progress your business, stay ahead of competitors and enhance the experiences of both your team and your customers, keep on reading.

What is UCaaS?

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a communications solution that brings together multiple communication channels, including voice, video, instant messaging and conferencing, as well as a range of productivity and collaboration tools, such as file and screen sharing, all within one platform. UCaaS enables teams to utilise a range of tools and communication channels, without having to jump between multiple platforms. As they are hosted in the cloud, UCaaS solutions can be accessed from any location across a range of devices, including VoIP phones, PCs, laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

What is CCaaS?

Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) is a similar solution to UCaaS in that it provides access to multi-channel communication and applications within one cloud-hosted platform. However, with CCaaS there is more of a focus on customer experience, rather than the internal communication within your team, which is the intended use of UCaaS. It would be better to view CCaaS as a customer service software, as opposed to just a communications solution. It routes inbound customer interactions to the relevant customer service agents and provides access to technology and applications, tailored to the needs of your business, to provide enhanced customer experiences. With a range of software, applications and technology, wrapped up in a simple subscription, the pressure of managing your solution is placed on the shoulders of your provider, reducing the reliance on an in-house IT team.  

What is the Difference Between UCaaS and CCaaS?

The main difference between UCaaS and CCaaS is the feature set and intended use of the two solutions. The aim of most UCaaS solutions is to optimise internal communications and collaboration, therefore the solution focusses on providing features like video conferencing, file sharing and meeting capabilities. Streamlined communications, access to data and the ability to work between multiple communication channels and productivity applications improves operations, which in turn improves the experience you offer to your customers, but the experience of your customers isn’t the primary aim of a UCaaS solution.

CCaaS solutions are specifically designed to be used by contact centers (the clue is in the name), therefore its features and functions focus on improving external communication and bolstering customer experiences. Alongside multi-channel communications, CCaaS offers a range of features and functions that organise communications and enable your customers to access the specific support they need.

Are There Any Similarities Between UCaaS and CCaaS?

Although the two solutions are used for different purposes with UCaaS focussing on internal communications and CCaaS focussing on external communications, the two do share some common functionalities. Firstly, both unify multiple communication channels within a single platform. Both UCaaS and CCaaS will allow the integration of third-party programmes, applications and platforms. However, UCaaS platforms will tend to prioritise the integration of third-party tools and resources that promote improved productivity, task management and collaboration, whereas CCaaS will focus more on the integration of customer management (CRM) platforms. Both solutions tend to offer a per-user, per-month or similar subscription pricing model, which makes cost management simple and removes the hassle of having to manage the solution yourself.

What are the Benefits of UCaaS?

Improved Productivity

So, now you’ve gained an overview of the two solutions and the key differences and similarities, you should have a clearer idea of which may be more suitable for your business needs. If UCaaS is sounding like it could be the solution that meets your needs, let’s run through some key benefits it can provide for your business:

  • Cost-effective: no hardware costs required, you only pay for the features, applications and tools that you use and there’s no need to balance multiple subscriptions – everything you need is in one package.
  • Improved employee experience: teams can work from anywhere, whilst having access to a feature-rich communications solution.
  • Empowered teamwork: employees can securely access data, work together on documents and projects in real time and utilise multiple communication channels, effortlessly, within one easy-to-use platform.
  • Speedy support: troubleshooting is straightforward, and you have a dedicated provider on hand to sort any issues and answer your questions.

What are the Benefits of CCaaS?

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a solution with a focus to improve the experience of your customers and the efficiency of your customer support initiatives, then CCaaS could be a better option for your business. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key benefits CCaaS can provide:

  • Agent efficiency: omni-channel communications reduce bottlenecks as customers can engage with your business using a variety of communication channels, including voice, chat bot and email.
  • High quality service: integrating CRM applications and AI-powered tools, enables quicker problem solving and allows your agents to provide a more personalised service.
  • Self-service: enabling customers to self-serve reserves your agents’ time for more complex problems that require a deeper level of assistance.
  • In-depth customer insights: CCaaS solutions provide access to customer analytics that you can use to make improvements to your service, monitor trends for improved marketing strategies and predict customer behaviour to give your business a competitive edge.

Should You Choose UCaaS or CCaaS For Your Business?

Overcoming The Challenges Of Digital Transformation

To answer this question, you need to nail down the exact needs of your business. Knowing your precise requirements will help you to decide if a CCaaS or UCaaS solution will work the best for your business.  As a general rule of thumb, we’ll outline the best solution for some common business communication objectives, to give you an idea of the solution that may work best for your needs.

When to Choose UCaaS

UCaaS may be the best solution for your business if you’re looking to:

  • Provide access to a robust, feature-rich communications system that unites your team, wherever they’re working.
  • Unify internal communication channels, such as voice, messaging, email and video within one platform.
  • Provide secure access to business data and allow your team to collaborate on documents and projects in real time.
  • Connect third-party tools and platforms, such as project management software and Microsoft Office to boost productivity and empower teamwork.
  • Move away from an analogue phone system, to an internet-based solution before the PSTN switch-off.

When to Choose CCaaS

CCaaS may be the best solution for your business if you’re looking to:

  • Access to a communications system that was designed, specifically, to improve external communications and provide enhanced customer experiences.
  • Provide efficient support through advanced call handling, IVR and call queuing capabilities.
  • Integrating new technology, such as AI for smarter ways of working.
  • Enabling integration of your CRM platform to provide personalised experiences for customers.
  • Utilise your workforce more efficiently, through directing simple queries and issues through a self-service system and reserving agent time for more complex problems.

Streamline Your Communications Today with Elite Group

Whether you’re looking for UCaaS, CCaaS or need help discovering which solution will work best for your business, our experts are here to help. Our team our accredited by the biggest brands in the industry, including Mitel and 8×8 and have supported a range of businesses across many sectors to improve their communications with UCaaS and CCaaS solutions. Fill out our contact form today or call us on 0344 875 8880 for an in-depth consultation to explore which communication solution will best suit your business needs.

UCaaS vs CCaaS FAQs