Cloud Unified Communications vs. VoIP

In today’s technology-driven world, companies have become increasingly aware of the advantages communication systems can provide by enabling direct communication channels between clients and customers.

Here in Atlanta, large and small businesses alike are demonstrating their consistent commitment to customers through strong communication strategies, and there are several ways companies are doing so.

VoIP and Cloud Unified Communications are both communication solutions powered by the internet, allowing faster and better quality communications at a lower rate. Still, most of the time, people confuse both terms and do not quite understand their differences.

As a matter of fact, VoIP and Cloud Unified Communications are two completely different services. In this article, we explain both technologies and the way they interact with businesses.

What’s VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP, for short) is a technological method that transforms analog audio signals, such as the ones created in a phone conversation, to digital data. These digital data clusters, known as data packets, are transmitted through the internet, allowing a faster and more secure connection than with traditional phone systems.

VoIP services allow businesses to receive and make phone calls (as well as other services such as conferences, video chats, etc.) through the internet, improving connectivity but also creating only one bill rather than separating data from the traditional phone bill.

Analog audio, like the one created when talking over traditional phone systems, can get transformed into digital data packets using three different methods, such as:

  1. Computer-to-ComputerA straightforward approach to communication that only requires a particular software, plus speakers, a microphone, and a good internet connection. This is the kind of transformation method used in a house on social aspects, not usually used for businesses.
  2. Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA)Analog Telephone Adaptor transforms all analog data and signals from your traditional phone to digital data packets that are then transmitted over the internet. This is usually done through a specific system and not through gadgets.
  3. IP PhonesAlso known as IP Telephony, this technology created a mix between analog telephones (handset, buttons, and cradle) and connected it directly to the internet. This innovation enabled the development of specialized phones that allow employees to have a direct connection to the internet while also maintaining the work use of phones.

What are Cloud Unified Communications?

Also known as UCs for short, Cloud Unified Communications refers to a set of communication and collaboration tools, services, and connections that are catered to businesses through different platforms and devices.

The most common UC services and tools include:

  • VoIP
  • Voicemail
  • Speech Recognition
  • Screen Sharing
  • Call Control
  • iSMS
  • Video Conferences
  • Instant Messages
  • Email

Is VoIP Part of Cloud Unified Communications?

VoIP services are usually part of the Cloud Unified Communications Services. The best way to explain the difference and how it works is that UCs gather all functions as one offering to companies, while VoIP refers to the Internet Telephony system.

The main difference between UCs and VoIP is the scope of each system. VoIP focuses on calling and enabling contact between different parties without any restriction, and Unified Communications focuses on offering communication services to enterprises and big companies.  VoIP powers the voice service provided in a UC.

What is The Best Option for my Business?

This is the typical question most business owners or communication managers ask. The answer is not that different from the definition of the services. In essence, it depends entirely on the status of your company and its current situation, as well as the next steps and possible future plans.

We do recommend that you review and take a look at your current business needs and assess its short and medium-term goals. Think about the way you and your colleagues communicate, both internally and externally. These first topics can help you decide to step into a more advanced communication system.

Second, think about the way the company works. Does the staff regularly work remotely? Does the company have several offices, buildings, or headquarters in different cities or countries? What’s the typical contact process between your company and its clients or customers? What communication services, aside from phones, does your company use?

These questions will allow you to come up with a complete answer to the question posed. Here in Atlanta, most companies also consider the amount of money that they are going to invest in communication services.

If your company is starting or slowly growing, VoIP might be the way to go, considering that it can help you adapt to a better and more reliable phone system, while also reducing your data and phone bill into just one big plan.

If your company is on an expansion plan and is ready to invest in a bigger platform, Cloud Unified Communications might be the solution. From VoIP to video chatting to instant messaging, just to name a few services, all of it is just a click away.