UC, UCaaS, CPaaS, CCaaS – What’s the Difference?


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Mike Palmer of Spearline explains that, like many things linked to technology, the communications landscape is constantly evolving.

Like many things linked to technology, the communications landscape is constantly evolving. Once upon a time, the major modes of communication were generally bundled into a state institution providing postal, telegraph, and telephone services.

Internationally, these were often simply the PTT, while in North America, the private monopoly Bell Systems provided telecoms and government agencies covered other modes.

Now, we are in the era of UC, UCaaS, CPaaS, CCaaS and more, and life is getting confusing.

Communications service options available to businesses are more flexible and feature-rich than ever, but selecting services can be a challenge.

Unified communications (UC) takes telephony further. We have experienced a transition from plain old telephone systems (POTS) to voice over internet protocol (VoIP), and now that the journey is largely complete, we can see that voice is simply an application in the internet protocol world.

UC will continue to evolve, but essentially it aims to integrate enterprise communication services such as instant messaging, presence information, voice, audio/web conferencing, and desktop sharing.

UC is not necessarily a single product; it can be a set of products unified via a consistent user interface and user experience.

UC as a Service

It is possible for a business to select a range of communication tools and build their own unifying interface, or to license an application suite and host that within their own secure IT environment.

However, many IT departments are warming to the “as a Service” (aaS) concept, so UCaaS providers are experiencing impressive growth.

And Then There Is CPaaS

Communications Platform as a Service, CPaaS, is another emerging model which differs from UCaaS, yet shares many features.

CPaaS provides many of the same communication tools that UCaaS does but offers these as building blocks that can be integrated into a business’s core applications through application programming interfaces (APIs).

So, while a UC interface sits alongside primary applications, CPaaS can put communications tools into primary applications.

Both solutions are cloud-based communication models that deliver flexibility and cost benefits. CPaaS can be said to have a bit more of a DIY feel to it.

And When You Put It in the Contact Centre…

As cloud services have grown to support the Software as a Service (SaaS) revolution, the contact centre has also migrated to the cloud. Contact Centre as a Service, CCaaS, solutions can enable businesses to build contact centre capabilities with a gradual ramp of agents and without costly capital investment in infrastructure.

At the heart of CCaaS is the desire to communicate with a customer, and so again the communication technologies found in UCaaS and CPaaS offerings overlap significantly with CCaaS. CCaaS uniquely has inclusion or integration with customer relationship management tech.

Communicating – It Is About Talking

Whatever the label, communications technology has changed and will continue to change. Although today’s solution set provides for multiple modes of communication, voice conversation continues to dominate.

Technology is supporting businesses as they have conversations that help them grow.

The technology change is impressive, but ultimately it is about talking, and talking is made easier with a high-quality audio channel.

Telecoms specialists and audiophiles think in terms of “listener effort” while contact centres consider “customer effort”.

Mike Palmer

Mike Palmer

High-quality audio provides for a comfortable, and therefore productive, conversation. Poor-quality audio can frustrate users and have a damaging impact.

Providers who focus on quality will excel and will lead to further advances in the way we interact.

For more information visit: www.spearline.com

Published On: 6th Nov 2019
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