With the effects of the global pandemic and other disruptive forces continuing to be felt, organizations are looking to a future of hybrid working patterns combining in-office and remote employees, a geographically diverse workforce, and the continuing migration from traditional on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. As a consequence, organizations seeking reliable and cost-effective solutions for voice, messaging, video, and conferencing are turning their attention towards Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platforms – the market for which is growing rapidly.
Valued at USD 28.96 billion in 2021, Fortune Business Insights forecasts the global UCaaS providers market to reach USD 69.93 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 13.4% over the forecast period.
Image source: fortunebusinessinsights.com
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud-hosted deployment model that combines multiple communication channels into a single interface. The software unifies and streamlines all business communication streams and third-party software integrations within a cloud-based platform whose infrastructure is managed and maintained by a remote host.
Today, for organizations that are still using on-premises infrastructure, shifting to the cloud is a matter of “when”, not “if”. Indeed, UCaaS is becoming so pervasive that those organizations still relying on on-premises infrastructure are wary that their legacy systems will become obsolete in the coming years – driving the demand for cloud-based Unified Comms solutions even further.
Figures from leading strategic consulting firm Metrigy reveal that UCaas is now used by 47.3% of businesses globally – the highest since 2016, according to the report, with adoption expected to exceed 70% by 2023.
“There’s still a growth opportunity for the UCaaS market,” said Irwin Lazar, President and Principal Analyst at Metrigy. “UCaaS is probably going to top out at somewhere north of 70% of the market in the next two years. I think that’s where we’ll get to. There will always be cases where companies find the value of running on-prem, or are slow to move, or need a custom hosted solution, but I think, by and large, UCaaS has won the war.”
UCaaS simplifies communications management and can provide businesses with valuable insights into the presence and performance of their employees, the effectiveness of customer support, and the quality of the customer experience that they are offering to consumers.
Standard UCaaS offerings provide a baseline of communications tools including voice calls, video conferencing, messaging via SMS and social media, live chat, email, and online faxing. In this article, we look at seven of the best UCaaS providers in 2022, and the services they offer to business users of various kinds.
List of Top UCaaS Providers in 2022
1. 8×8 UCaaS
With Mcdonald’s, Farmers Insurance, and Regus among its customer base, 8×8 UCaaS is an eight-time Leader of the Gartner Magic Quadrant of top UCaaS providers. It offers a range of communication channel options and opportunities for collaboration through voice, telephony, audio and video conferencing, SMS, chat, and messaging.
The platform is provided in four distinct service tiers, dubbed the 8×8 X Series. The series starts with the 8×8 Express option, which includes basic features like secure HD audio, call handling, auto-attendant (electronic receptionist), voicemail, team messaging, video meetings, and screen sharing. Integrations are provided for Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
Each service tier offers additional functionality for enterprise users, with improving levels of administration, number of available calling minutes, and options to call different countries. Prices range from $15 per user per month to $115/user per month.
8×8 UCaaS is most suitable for high-level corporations that require 24/7 omni-channel communication, such as federal government agencies, medical professionals, and retailers. Notably, the 8×8 X Series is fully compliant with HIPAA (the regulatory data framework for the healthcare industry) and GDPR data privacy standards.
Counting Uber, HubSpot, and Motorola among its clients, Dialpad is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) UCaaS provider that connects teams through voice calls, web conferences, online meetings, chat, and messaging tools. Dialpad’s Voice Intelligence features use natural language processing (NLP) and voice recognition to improve real-time customer service.
The basic Standard tier offers unlimited calling across the US and Canada, with international calling to over 50 countries, in addition to integration with Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. Subscribers to the Pro tier get real-time call transcriptions, more advanced analytics, and integrations with a wider range of platforms, including SalesForce, Zendesk, Slack, and Hubspot.
Prices range from $25/user per month to $75/user per month and above. Due to its high-level web conferencing and robust communications features at a competitive price point, Dialpad is ideal for startups and newer businesses – especially in the retail, real estate, and legal professions.
3. GoTo Connect
With its combination of VoIP calls, messaging, audio and video conferencing, GoTo Connect is a UCaaS solution designed with remote teams in mind. Screen sharing and personal meeting rooms are a standard part of the GoTo Connect package, which also includes custom call routing, team-based call distribution, and routing based on time and geolocation.
Pricing starts at $19.95 for 50 or more users per month. With less than 50 users, prices range from $29.95 to $21.95. This per user billing plus its range of features make GoTo Connect the most suitable UCaaS provider for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and organizations that rely heavily on business telephony and video conferencing.
net2phone delivers a cost-effective, reliable, and feature-filled Unified Communications solution. Key features include web and international calling, video conferencing, call recording, call queues, ring groups, business text messaging, and analytics. All features are fully integrated and built to scale with the enterprise business in mind. net2phone also offers its own proprietary video conferencing platform, known as Huddle.
The platform provides up to 99.9% uptime reliability, keeping subscribers online so they can focus on growing their business. It’s highly customizable, so that users can easily differentiate their communications platform from the competition.
net2phone integrates with Salesforce and Microsoft Teams, enabling subscribers to improve the efficiency of their sales and customer support teams, and to use net2phone’s voice Cloud PBX to give Microsoft Teams Users the power to make and answer calls. net2phone also provides API integrations, which help to keep teams connected in platforms where they spend the most time.
Prices start from around $19.99 / user / month, with users having the option to select customization options to create an office phone system that fits their organization perfectly.
Nextiva Business Suite is a UCaaS platform that combines Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony with phone number porting and a multi-level auto-attendant, chat, SMS messaging, video conferencing, online faxing, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Up to 200 participants can attend a video conference, and enjoy features such as screen sharing, remote desktop control, dial-in access, and meeting recording. Integrations are available with popular business platforms including Slack, Salesforce, Outlook, Dropbox, G Suite, Hubspot, and Zendesk.
There are three plans available, ranging in price from $19.95/user per month to $27.95/user per month, and beyond.
With its in-built CRM system, Nextiva Business Suite is a suitable UCaaS provider for small to enterprise-level businesses that rely primarily on customer feedback and data for key business decision-making.
RingCentral Office combines High-Definition HD VoIP telephony (Voice over Internet Protocol), conferencing, messaging, fax, and contact center, in a single application. The platform counts the Salvation Army, Del Monte, Canal+ France, and the Detroit Pistons among its client base, and made Gartner’s list of UCaaS leaders for five consecutive years making it one of the top UCaaS providers in the market currently.
RingCentral allows for an unlimited number of users, and unlimited calling in the US and Canada. Subscribers also get an unlimited amount of business SMS text messages, and up to 10,000 toll-free minutes per month. Prices range from $19.99/user per month to $49.99/user per month, and annual billing is available across four plans.
With its ease of use, intuitive user interface, and high-level team collaboration features, RingCentral Office is ideal for medium-sized to enterprise-level businesses that have a high number of remote employees who frequently need to collaborate with each other.
7. Zoom United
Due to the movement restrictions of the pandemic, the video conferencing platform Zoom has grown massively. The company now has a UCaaS offering, in the form of Zoom United, which features Zoom Phone voice calling, SMS text messaging, social media streaming, instant chat messaging, unlimited auto-attendants, live transcription, and transcriptions of recordings and voicemail. Integrations with Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft, and Google are available.
There are three pricing plans, which range from $25.00/user per month to $30.00+/user per month.
Although it offers limited call routing options when compared to other UCaaS providers, Zoom United already has a loyal customer base of Zoom Meetings users who need to add the capabilities of Zoom Phone to the video calling platform.
Expanding Your UCaaS Options with IDT BYOC
IDT’s Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC) provides the opportunity for users of a UCaaS platform to select any Session Initiation Protocol or SIP Trunking provider and use that UCaaS provider to receive and transmit their phone calls.
At IDT, our BYOC program provides direct integrations with your Contact Center, UCaaS, and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) provider. This gives you greater control over call routing, increased global coverage, and the highest Quality of Service.
Get in touch with us today for a quick, no obligation demo on using IDT BYOC with your choice of UCaaS Provider.