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UCaaS and Contact Center: Better When Bundled

As cloud services evolve, integration is the name of the game, and business buyers know it. Integrating applications means greater efficiency, integrating platforms means lower costs, and integrating data — well, that's the whole point of business in the cloud. It's also why unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) work best when bundled.

UCaaS and contact center agents with headsets taking customer calls at computer
Both channel partners and their customers benefit when they bundle UCaaS and contact center.

What happens when you merge key business technologies like unified communications and contact center? What are the benefits for the enterprises that buy them and the channel partners who sell them? Here's a deep dive into these two technologies and how you can position their combined benefits to customers.

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UCaaS vs. CCaaS

UCaaS and CCaaS have similar functionality, but they're typically purchased by different departments and used for different purposes.

UCaaS consolidates a company's enterprise communication applications (including voice, video, messaging, and conferencing) into a single cloud-based platform. These solutions are typically purchased by IT to modernize phone systems and streamline workflows. They're designed to support mobility and interoffice collaboration, with features like call routing and forwarding, conference bridging, virtual receptionist, and voicemail-to-email transcription.

CCaaS also enables multichannel communication via a single cloud-based platform, but where UCaaS is more about internal collaboration, CCaaS is all about customer communication. Purchasing decisions tend to be made (or heavily influenced) by sales and service leaders, and contact center solutions are designed to make it easy for agents to connect with customers, whether those agents are outbound salespeople or inbound service reps. Thus, CCaaS includes features such as split recording, skills-based routing, customer authentication, and AI-powered voice analytics.

Even though office employees and contact center agents might not interact often, their communications platforms should.

By bundling UCaaS and CCaaS, companies get the functionality of both platforms from one cloud-hosted vendor. That means no expensive hardware to install or manage, one bill to pay, and one platform for IT to manage.

5 Benefits of UCaaS and Contact Center Collaboration

When channel partners bundle UCaaS and CCaaS together, they not only forge a more lucrative sale, they also give businesses better benefits. The next time you're advising customers on cloud solutions, emphasize these five advantages of a bundle:

1. Stronger office/contact center collaboration

In some cases, contact centers might collaborate directly with internal departments — for example, outbound marketing callers who pass warm leads along to inside sales. Other contact centers are mostly self-sufficient, but they might occasionally need insights and information from office employees.

Say a customer calls into a contact center with a product question the agent can't answer. The agent can view a company directory in UCaaS, check employee statuses to see who's available in the manufacturing department, start a chat with that internal expert, and get instant answers. If the answers are complicated and require further discussion, the agent can route the customer directly to the expert's phone.

2. Better customer experience

Most people who reach out to a business don't know (or care) whether they're talking to someone in a corporate office or a contact center. They still expect fast service and a seamless customer experience. They don't want to be asked to identify themselves repeatedly or told to call a different number. Yet, that's what happens when office employees and contact center agents can't communicate in real time or route calls to one another.

Consider a client who needs tech support and calls the salesperson who sold them the product. Instead of giving the customer the tech support hotline number, the salesperson can reach out directly to the contact center team, tee up the conversation, ensure someone is ready to help, and then loop the customer into the call.

UCaaS/CCaaS integration is particularly useful in industries or functions where callers must be authenticated and interactions must be recorded and logged for compliance. When the two systems are integrated, callers only need to be authenticated once, even if they're routed from one location to another.

3. Optimized CRM integration

Leading unified communications platforms are designed to integrate with CRM applications like Salesforce, enabling features like click-to-dial and automatic call logging. While logged into UCaaS, users can see screen pops identifying incoming callers, complete with customer data from CRM. They can also be prompted to enter notes about each customer interaction, which also gets logged in CRM.

By integrating CCaaS and UCaaS, contact center agents get the same functionality. As a result, CRM stays up to date and teams across locations and functions can share data about customer interactions — no toggling or multiple logins required.

4. Integrated data

Business leaders have been hearing for years that they need to break down silos and consolidate data. Consolidating communications is a great start.

In the short term, integrated communications data means teams across departments and functions are on the same page. Long term, it means being able to leverage sophisticated data analytics tools, IoT automations, and AI algorithms.

5. Reduced cost of communications

Individually, UCaaS and CCaaS reduce communications costs by providing one-stop shops. Rather than piecing together phone service, conferencing solutions, and video applications, businesses get all these services from one platform. Or from two connected platforms, as many companies consider UCaaS and CCaaS separate solutions and buy them as such.

By bundling UCaaS and CCaaS, companies get the functionality of both platforms from one cloud-hosted vendor. That means no expensive hardware to install or manage, one bill to pay, and one platform for IT to manage.

What's in It for Channel Partners?

Many enterprises are still in the cloud migration process, but most are looking ahead to the next big step in digital transformation: integration. Yet, business buyers need guidance on how communications tools work together, which solutions work best together, and how to make integration as painless as possible.

Vonage channel partners are well positioned to be integration experts, and as a result, to drive sales, repeat business, and referrals. With Vonage Business, companies don't even need to integrate UCaaS and CCaaS; they can buy them bundled. That means a bigger sale for channel partners, and because UCaaS and CCaaS are often purchased by different business leaders, it could also mean access to new decision-makers and budgets. Channel partners close bigger deals, and their clients get communications solutions that keep them coming back for more.

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