VoIP vs Unified Communications: What’s the difference and which is better?

Samuel Howieson
Samuel Howieson
VoIP vs Unified Communications: What’s the difference and which is better?

You’ve probably heard of VoIP and Unified Communications and have mistaken one for the other. While they might appear to be similar, these two are incredibly different. So, what exactly is the difference between VoIP vs Unified Communications? Plus, is one better over the other?

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Rather than receive and make calls over a copper-based phone network, VoIP allows you to do these tasks over the internet. As to why you should consider voice over IP, these are its benefits.

  • Affordable and Flexible Voice Solution
    An enterprise-grade phone system costs a fortune, especially for small and medium-sized business owners. But with a VoIP, the cost for added hardware or construction is avoided. With voice services hosted on the cloud, it’s all plug and play. Plus, it boosts availability over the phone, improves customer engagement, and increases customer service effort.
  • Ensures Business Continuity
    Premise-based phones are likely to get disconnected because of a major disaster, inclement weather, or a power outage. Luckily, VoIPs are hosted on the cloud and some service providers have more than one data centre. So, even if one location fails, the service isn’t interrupted. Plus, a team of specialists are readily available online to address immediate concerns.
  • Breaks Geographical Barriers
    Since VoIP services are hosted on the cloud, you can connect to customers wherever you are. Customers can also contact you with their calls charged on a local rate. As long as you’ve got a stable internet connection, you can take calls whenever, wherever.

What is Unified Communications?

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) or Unified Cloud Communications is not a different kind of technology. Instead, it streamlines all channels of communication under one platform. These include but are not limited to voice and video calling, instant messaging, conferencing, texting, file sharing, and sending a fax, email, or integrated voicemail. Tools or apps streamlined under a UC vary depending on an organization. Regarding its benefits, it includes the following.

  • Improves Productivity, Efficiency, and Mobility
    Using UC boosts productivity by saving time on the simplest of tasks. Apart from boosting productivity, it improves efficiency because clients can work from wherever without the need for technical and complicated setups. Users can switch comms between a range of devices such as a laptop, desktop, mobile phone, or other smart devices.
  • Reduces Costs and Maintains Business Continuity
    Since the tech is launched on the cloud and under one platform, operational and IT costs are significantly reduced. Plus, there’s no need to worry over natural disasters or power outages disrupting your operations since providers of this service use more than one data centre.

The difference between UC vs VoIP

While both services are hosted on the cloud, there are differences between VoIP and UC in terms of implementation, expenses, and scope.

  1. Implementation
    VoIP is easier to implement than UC as the latter is more complex since it integrates multiple channels into one interface. Chances are there could be obstacles or issues during implementation.
  2. Expense
    Upgrades to an existing system or to a new tech always come with a cost. With a VoIP, there’s not much to shell out. In fact, some vendors give away the service for 30 days free until you decide to continue with their service and pay for it monthly. On the other hand, UC costs vary depending on the number of tools needed, your business size, upgrades, or required features.
  3. Scope
    The biggest difference between UC and VoIP is scope. While UC emphasizes on enterprise-wide communication, VoIP focuses only on the Internet or cloud-based voice calls.

Questions to ask when choosing between VoIP vs Unified Communications?

So, between the two services, what is best? Well, the answer ultimately depends on your organization, your communication needs, and your technology roadmap. Small businesses that do only little remote work and collaboration may find that VoIP is the right fit. But if you need help in optimizing the decision-making process, streamlining workflows, and facilitating collaboration, then UC is the answer.

If you’re still unsure what service fits for your business, here are the questions you need to answer.

  1. Do you need an integrated and smarter means of collaboration?
  2. Do you rely on voice calls alone? Or do you need video?
  3. Is a flexible and multi-media communication something you hope to use for business processes?
  4. Do you require smarter means of troubleshooting?
  5. Do you require tougher security?

Benefits of UC and VoIP combined

While both services can be used separately, combining both have a lot of benefits which include the following.

  • Reduces training and travel expenses thanks to the web, voice, and video conferencing.
  • Reduces phone charges since it uses a single network for data and voice.
  • Simplifies management and helps each user stay connected whenever, wherever.

Why choose between VoIP vs Unified Communications when Alltel can provide both? We offer solutions that support your business’s technology roadmap and goals from Alltel OneConnect to Alltel SmartConnect. Contact us at 1300 ALLTEL or visit www.alltel.com.au for more information.

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