The Complete Guide to Unified Communications as a Service

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a business communications system that integrates or unifies a spectrum of technologies and channels into a single platform.

I know… that’s basically just a big bowl of word soup telecom mumbo jumbo. So let’s get a little more specific.

Modern businesses communicate in a number of different ways: voice, text, video, email, etc. A UCaaS system brings most of them together to work seamlessly in one solution. If there are any communication channels not included in a UCaaS system, it should at least play nicely with them.

That’s the “Unified Communications” part of UCaaS covered, but what about the “as a Service” part?

Unlike traditional, on-premise systems, UCaaS is managed and delivered by your provider via the cloud. That means no PBX box or infrastructure to manage, little to no upfront costs, and the flexibility to work anywhere with an internet connection.

UCaaS harnesses the best of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and then stacks the other communications services you need on top. Rather than having one provider for phone calls, another for messaging, another for video, another for cross-channel notifications, a UCaaS system provides everything you need for a fraction of the maintenance and effort.


No UCaaS system is exactly the same. Some focus on scalability and advanced telephony, others on video, others on industry-specific needs like healthcare or insurance. Whatever the specifics, there are some essential components that you should be able to find in any UCaaS system worth its salt.

Voice: VoIP phone service that includes all the calling, voicemail, and routing features you need 

SMS Messaging: Texting service that allows your extensions to send and receive SMS messages

Video: Video conferencing for group meetings and screen sharing for one-on-one technical support

Reporting: Dashboards for you to review call data and statistics about your business communications

Fax: Electronic or physical machine solutions for those that still require a fax line

Mobility: Device and network support to use all the components of your system anywhere with an internet connection


Even though UCaaS seems more complicated than a traditional phone system, its benefits are actually pretty straightforward. Let’s dive right into the top five reasons why you should ditch your outdated PBX box and make the move to UCaaS.


By consolidating different communications channels into a single platform, most businesses can save up to 65% when they switch to UCaaS. 

There are a couple different sources for those savings, the core one being that VoIP phone systems come with very few setup costs, lower monthly bills, and virtually no onsite maintenance. 

Adding new devices, extensions, and even call routes also becomes noticeably cheaper since it can be done without ponying up for an on-site support fee.


Whether you have a few employees who work from home or your business is fully remote, UCaaS gives you all the mobility features you need to keep in touch with customers anywhere. 

With traditional phone systems, access to your extensions, voicemail, and everything else can be restricted to the office. Need to speak with a customer after-hours or while you’re working from home? Too bad, it can either wait until tomorrow or you’ll need to give out your personal cell number. 

Through cloud-hosting, a UCaaS system allows your employees to work from home without any special equipment or additional subscription costs. Softphone applications like FluentStream’s WebPhone make it easy to send work calls and texts from your laptop. Or, if you prefer that old-school feel, you can even take your desk phone home with you and connect it to your home network.

Check voicemails while your kids are getting ready for school. Update your main menu options at your favorite coffee shop. Send a fax while getting a cavity filled at the dentist. With a UCaaS system, your whole business goes with you everywhere.


An underrated advantage of UCaaS (besides all the money you’re saving) is how much easier it is to scale your business. 

On the micro level, this means new phone numbers, devices, extensions, emails, etc. can all be added in minutes. No more waiting for IT to come and update phones one at a time just because you hired someone new. 

On the macro level, this means you’ll never have to stress about growing too quickly for your contract, or how teams at different locations will communicate. UCaaS systems work seamlessly across as many locations as you need. Even if one team is in Denver, another in Boston, and multiple people are working from home, everyone can transfer calls or join meetings as though they’re at the same office. 

With FluentStream, you’ll never get locked into a plan or long-term contract. We work with you to make sure your phone system is always perfect for your current situation, no matter how often that situation changes.

You won't need to manage your own servers, PBX equipment, or physical phone lines.

Honestly, the only thing you have to consider with UCaaS is whether your internet is up to the job. 


Modern businesses have a wide assortment of tools they use to communicate with customers and each other. Far more than bells and whistles, these tools are integral to keeping your business running smoothly. 

Unfortunately, the more tools you add like messaging, reporting, video and advanced notifications, the more monthly costs that pile up, and the more complicated your communications become. Each new tool requires integration and training for your team. Worse yet, some of them may go almost completely unused, eating into your profits for no tangible benefit. 

UCaaS systems consolidate all those separate communication channels into one. Employees only need to be trained on one platform with one login. You only need to keep track of one invoice. You already know all your tools will work well together because they came together in one package. 

With FluentStream, all your workflows from making a call to checking on the long-term performance of your team become a whole lot simpler. That way, you can stay focused on what matters most — creating an amazing experience for your customers.


When all your communication channels are unified, it opens up many new doors to improving your customer experience. 

Calls can be easily transferred or forwarded to employees at other locations. Voicemails can be automatically sent to your email for easy listening (or even reading with voicemail transcription). If a customer had a problem with their experience, you can alert managers right away so they can listen to the call recording and see if additional training is needed.  

Even more importantly, UCaaS makes contacting your business more convenient than ever. Rather than calling your support line and waiting on hold, customers can opt for a call back when it's their turn, send you a text, or even use your automated phone menu to access information like your address or business hours. 

By giving your customers multiple ways to connect with you, you show how much you value their time as well as their business.

Still have questions about how switching to UCaaS simplifies and improves your entire communications experience? Want to learn more about how FluentStream helps you grow your business? Let us know at or by calling 303-GO-CLOUD and selecting Option 1.

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