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VoIP vs UCaaS: Which One Is Best for My Business?

A business can not survive without communication – be it executing client conversations or communicating a task among remote employees, communication is pivotal for success.

With the advancement in technology, many reliable communication technologies have entered into the market – VoIP and UCaaS are two of them.

This article on VoIP vs UCaaS will discuss the similarities, differences and use cases of each. And you’ll see which of them is better for your business.

What is VoIP & its features?

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a communication technology that uses the internet to make and receive calls.

The analogue signals of the speaker are converted into digital signals and transferred to the VoIP service provider via the internet. They are then converted into digital packets before being sent to the receiver. At the receiver end, these packets are converted back into analogue signals and he can hear your voice.

There are 3 types of VoIP numbers – toll-free, vanity and local. While each is partially different from one another, they are the same in the sense that they allow employees the flexibility to manage calls from multiple devices and any location (provided there is internet access). Moreover, VoIP calls are cheaper than traditional landline calls.

VoIP system has become quite popular in the UK because of the following features:

  • Call forwarding: Redirecting incoming calls to another number or device, ensuring that your staff never miss an essential call while away from the office.
  • Call parking: Temporarily placing a call on hold and retrieving it from any phone within the system, enhancing flexibility in handling multiple calls.
  • Interactive voice response (IVR): Automating your call routing with a customisable menu system, allowing callers to self-direct to the appropriate department or service, hence saving time.
  • Number sharing: Using a single business number across multiple devices, enabling your team to stay connected and accessible on the go without revealing personal numbers.
  • Voicemail-to-email: Receiving voicemails directly in the email inbox as audio files, allowing your team members to listen to messages at their convenience.
  • Mobile and desktop accessibility: Accessing your VoIP phone system from both mobile devices and desktops, giving your team the flexibility to manage calls and communications from anywhere.

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What is UCaaS and its top features?

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a comprehensive cloud-based solution that merges various communication channels – voice, video, messaging, and collaboration into a unified platform. It enhances business productivity by enabling seamless communication across different devices and locations.

The features that have made UCaaS a preferred communication technology for businesses include:

  • Screen sharing: Collaborating effortlessly by sharing the screen during calls or meetings, allowing team members to view presentations, documents, and applications in real time.

  • Video meetings: Conducting high-definition video conferences that facilitate face-to-face interactions, enhancing communication and teamwork.

  • Virtual whiteboarding: Brainstorming and visualising ideas together with interactive virtual whiteboards.

  • Task management: Streamlining workflows with integrated task management tools, enabling you to assign, track, and manage tasks within your team.

  • Real-time analytics: A dashboard for the purpose of providing valuable insights with real-time analytics on call performance, usage patterns, and team productivity.

  • Single number reach: Using one business number across multiple devices, ensuring you are reachable on your office phone, mobile, or any other device, anytime and anywhere.

  • In-meet chat messaging: Enhancing the meetings with instant messaging, allowing participants to share notes, links, and feedback without interrupting the flow of

VoIP vs UCaaS

Now that both technologies have been explained, it’s time to look into their similarities and differences.

Differences

The key distinction between VoIP and UCaaS is that VoIP specialises in internet-based calling, while UCaaS offers a comprehensive suite of voice, video, messaging, and collaboration tools, all in one cloud-based service. In a nutshell, VoIP is a subset of UCaaS.

Here are a few more differences:

  • VoIP is cheaper than UCaaS because its price only involves the call charges while UCaaS charges involve an extensive range of features (video, messaging, etc.)

  • UCaaS is more scalable than a VoIP system because it can be accommodated according to the growth of the business across various verticals like voice calls, video meetings, analytics dashboards, etc. The scalability of a VoIP system is limited to the addition and removal of phone lines (or features related to voice only).

  • VoIP generally requires only a few devices to function i.e. VoIP phones, softphones and routers. Whereas UCaaS needs additional devices and software to support messaging, video conferencing and collaborations such as apps, webcams and headsets.
Characteristic VoIP PBX

Functionality

Supports voice communication generally.
Integrates multiple communication methods like video, messaging and collaboration.

Cost

Costs less because it involves only the charges for voice calls (& a few other features).
Costs more because the scope of features is comprehensive.

Scalability

Limited to the addition and removal of phone lines generally.
Involves scalability across a range of channels such as voice, collaboration and video.

Requirement of tools

Needs VoIP phones, routers, softphones & ATAs generally.
Requires additional equipment to support video and collaboration like webcams, headsets, interactive tablets and web applications.

Similarities

VoIP and UCaaS are similar in many ways:

  • Both rely on the internet to facilitate communication, hence eliminating the need for traditional landline phone lines.

  • Both technologies offer cost-effective communication solutions compared to landline phone systems (low call rates and reduced infrastructure expenses).

  • Both are highly scalable which allows your business to easily add or remove users and features as needed.

  • Both provide a range of advanced features. VoIP provides features such as voicemail-to-email, conferencing and call analytics while UCaas provides features like screen sharing, video conferencing and in-meet chat messaging.
Characteristic VoIP

Functionality

Both use the internet to function.

Cost

Both offer cost-effective solutions as compared to landlines.

Scalability

Both are easily scalable for business growth.

Advanced features

Both provide advanced features for better collaboration and productivity.

VoIP or UCaaS: Which is better for your business?

Now that you understand the differences and functionality of each communication technology, let’s see which is better for your business. The use cases for both VoIP and UCaaS will depend on some factors.

Use cases for VoIP

  1. Small businesses with limited budgets: Small businesses that can sustain customer support through voice call support alone are ideal for VoIP. When compared with landlines, it provides cost-effective call packages with high audio quality.

  2. Remote teams: VoIP enables seamless voice communication over the internet, allowing remote teams to stay connected without geographical constraints. One of the biggest advantages of VoIP for them is that they don’t need to have physical desk phones necessarily; softphones or mobile apps can be used to manage calls.

  3. Customer service centres: VoIP systems provide advanced features like call parking, ring groups, call routing and IVR, which are essential for efficient customer service operations. These features enhance call handling and improve customer satisfaction.

Use cases for UCaaS:

  1. Medium-large enterprises with complex communication needs: UCaaS integrates various communication tools including voice, video, collaboration and messaging into a single platform. This solution meets the diverse needs of large
    enterprises who have to handle hundreds of clients and customers every day.

  2. Businesses with high demand for collaboration: For businesses that rely heavily on collaboration, UCaaS provides tools like video conferencing, virtual whiteboarding and task management, making it easier for teams to get their work done in real time.

  3. Businesses prioritising mobility and flexibility: UCaaS offers mobile and desktop accessibility, allowing employees to access collaboration and communication tools from any device. This flexibility enables remote and in-house workers to stay productive, whether they are in the office, at home or on the go.

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Written by:

Isabella Robinson
Isabella Robinson
Isabella Robinson is a seasoned business content writer, leveraging several years of experience to craft impactful narratives that seamlessly blend business insights with engaging storytelling across diverse industries. Her expertise lies in delivering compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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