UCaaS vs CCaaS – what is the difference?
By Natália Mrázová
| 19. January 2021 |
Call Center
By N. MrázováNatália Mrázová
| 19 Jan 2021 |
Call Center
    By N. MrázováNatália Mrázová
    | 19 Jan 2021
    Call Center

    UCaaS vs CCaaS – what is the difference?

    UCaaS vs. CCaaS

    In an era of various types of “…aaS” being available, selecting the right service for your business might be a challenge. Are you confused about what is the difference between UCaaS and CCaaS? We are here to help!

    Learn more about call center software in our buyer’s guide

    On-premise systems are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Besides being much easier to implement and use, virtual cloud centers can offer much more features than any other on-premise system. Not to mention, virtual cloud center platforms are also much cheaper than traditional systems. No wonder that so many businesses are deciding to abandon their inflexible and expensive on-premise systems for cloud platforms. 

    And here businesses have many options – maybe even too many. On the one hand, it’s nice having so many options – you should be able to find a platform that will be a perfect fit for your company while not hurting your budget. But on the other hand, looking at all those different names can get confusing. Previously, there was only one version of the system – an on-premises one. But now, there’s also UCaaS and CCaaS systems.

    And so the questions start: Are they the same thing? What are the differences? Who should use which system? 

    If that’s also what you are wondering about, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll explain what is the difference between UCaaS vs. CCaaS to help you make the right decision when choosing a solution for your business. 

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    What are the main similarities between UCaaS and CCaaS?

    UCaaS and CCaaS systems are quite similar in several ways, so no wonder plenty of people treat them as similar systems. Before we get to what makes each system different, let’s mention first what benefits both of these systems share: 

    • Quick and easy installation as they are both cloud services
    • Lower costs when compared to traditional on-premises systems (both are subscription-based)
    • Access to multiple communication channels that can be used at the same time
    • Improved employee productivity thanks to automation 
    • Much higher flexibility when compared to typical systems
    • Scalability and ease of upgrading (or downgrading)
    • High reliability and security
    • Advanced reporting and analytic tools
    • Possibility to integrate the platforms with several business solutions

    While both UCaaS and CCaaS are designed in a similar way, they have a different purpose. The main difference between UCaaS and CCaaS is that UCaaS improves and streamlines internal communication and collaboration, while CCaaS focuses on refining the customer experience and boosting customer satisfaction.

    Both platforms also offer slightly different features. Which one should you pick for your business? Let’s dive into the topic!

    What is UCaaS?

    For modern companies, finding ways to streamline and unify their internal communication channels is becoming increasingly important as customer expectations of exceptional customer support grow. UcaaS (Unified-Communications-as-a-Service, also known as Unified Cloud Communications) is one way in which companies can combine all of their communication channels (such as VoIP, video conferencing, and messaging) into a single, streamlined platform working in the cloud. By 2024, the UCaaS industry is expected to have a value of $79.3 billion. 19.1% of companies are using UCaaS already, and according to Synergy research the UcaaS market growth rate is estimated to be around 29%.

    The idea is simple – rather than using several different tools and services from multiple providers, companies can now have one platform that will integrate all of their communication channels and data coming into one platform. According to Frost and Sullivan, 68% of UCaaS buyers say that the main reason they chose a UcaaS system is because of the variety of in-built tools.

    What exactly does a UcaaS platform usually have inside?

    • Live chat and social media messaging
    • Audio and video conferencing
    • VoIP technology
    • Various collaboration features such as screen sharing
    • Email and SMS messaging
    • Mobile application
    • Easy integration with business tools such as CRM and helpdesks

    One of the biggest advantages of a UcaaS cloud service is its flexibility. In the rapidly changing business world, companies need a solution that they can quickly adapt to their needs, and Ucaas (as opposed to traditional on-premises systems) can be easily modified – whether you need more users or different features. But UcaaS can give far more to businesses:

    #1 Lower costs

    Since UCaaS platforms don’t require complicated installations, dedicated equipment, or hardware and regular maintenance, they cost much less than traditional systems. The only costs involved in UCaaS are monthly or yearly subscription fees for the platform. It also simplifies your accounting team’s work, as they have only one monthly price to pay for rather than scheduling payments for several different licenses. 

    #2 Flexibility

    Compared to on-premises solutions, which can only be used in the buildings they were installed in, UCaaS (as cloud services) can be used on any device with a connection to the internet. These systems are also suited to home-office and remote work, as employees can use their own devices to access the platform or have one phone number through which callers can reach them both in the office and outside of it. UcaaS solutions are also easily scalable since you can quickly add or remove users or introduce new features to your stack.

    #3 One place for all communication tools and information

    With UcaaS, your employees no longer have to go back and forth between different applications or spend time looking for data related to a customer or an issue. All communication channels used in the company are integrated into one system, and all customer information and call histories are stored in one database. That saves a lot of your team members’ time and also massively helps with improving customer support.

    #4 Improved collaboration between team members

    A huge benefit of unified communication platforms is that, besides typical calls, team members can use all available digital communication methods (emails, chats, video conferences, and messengers, etc.) and easily switch between them. What’s even more important is that all of your employees have access to the database with all information and resources, so they are fully informed about what is going on in the company and can quickly jump to help another team member with a task.  

    #5 Higher functionality

    UCaaS allows your team members to interact through new channels and use features that are not available in typical on-premises platforms, such as switching from voice to video and starting a video conference. UCaaS tools also have a mobile version with similar capabilities as the desktop one, so employees can use the platform even if they are away from the office. 

    #6 High reliability and security

    One of the most prevalent benefits of UCaaS is its reliability. No company nowadays can afford a lengthy downtime, which would mean lost opportunities and low customer satisfaction. UCaaS providers prevent costly downtime in that, rather than having all their servers in one place, they use “geo-redundancy,” meaning separating their data centers into multiple locations. That way, if one server is malfunctioning, another can be used to ensure the service will keep working. Furthermore, cloud data centers have additional power systems in case of outages, as well as disaster prevention and recovery measures. UCaaS providers also offer very high security for their services. Their systems have multiple protection measures, such as data encryption, HIPAA-compliance, VOIP call security protocols, two-factor user authentication, and fraud prevention.

    What is CCaaS?

    While CCaaS sounds very similar to UCaaS, and is also a subscription-based cloud service, it has a different role in the company than UcaaS platforms. CCaaS stands for Contact Center as a Service, and it is used by companies to streamline and enhance customer support. UCaaS, on the other hand, is used mostly for internal communication

    If companies want to offer top-notch customer support in today’s digital times, they cannot rely solely on phone support – not when customers have far more channels to choose from.

    To help companies build omnichannel customer support, Cloud contact center platforms were created. As those platforms are much more flexible and easy to maintain than regular on-premises call centers, 61% of companies say that they’re planning on switching their contact centre into the cloud. 

    CCaaS solutions, besides handling inbound and outbound calls, also allow companies to use other digital channels like live chats, social media messages, and emails.

    But CcaaS have far more to offer: 

    One of the biggest benefits of CCaaS platforms is that they allow your support team to save plenty of time and energy that was previously spent on several daily tasks or juggling several different apps like spreadsheets, schedulers, analytics, and call recorders. With CcaaS, several daily tasks can be quickly automated to let your support team focus on helping customers. But that’s not all CcaaS can do:

    #1 Improve the customer experience

    While phone calls are still popular as a customer support channel, customers now expect to be able to contact a company through email, chat, or social media. With CcaaS, agents can respond similarly to a customer question or issue, no matter what support channel the customer uses and how many times the customer switches between them. The agent can also solve a problem much faster, thanks to having all the data they need right on their dashboard. And the quicker they can solve the issue, the happier the customer will be.

    #2 Make agents more productive (and less stressed)

    CcaaS platforms have all the tools needed for quick call center work built-in, so agents don’t have to spend time juggling with different applications. Agents can also automate several tasks that were previously taking up their valuable time, and focus instead on their customers. Not only does that make them more productive, but it also takes a lot of stress off their shoulders.

    #3 Multiple features for a low cost

    Contact Center platforms offer all standard call center capabilities like call tagging, recording and routing, IVR, voicemail, advanced analytic tools, and call whispering for a much lower price than typical call center systems. What’s more, CCaaS providers are continually working on adding new features and improving existing ones to make the system work seamlessly.

    #4 Numerous integrations

    All CCaaS offer multiple direct and indirect (for example, via Zapier) integrations with the most popular business apps, such as CRM, helpdesk, and automation systems. For example, you can integrate a CCaaS system with your current CRM to have all customer data shared and updated automatically between both platforms, or to quickly call your customers straight from the CRM. Many providers also share an API that allows companies to connect any tool they need to their CCaaS  platform.

    #5 Allows for quick and easy set-up of a contact center

    With CCaaS, you can forget about expensive equipment and call center installation. As a cloud service, CCaaS can be used on any device, as long as there’s access to a stable internet connection. There’s no need for regular maintenance, troubleshooting, or updates either, as the provider takes care of those. This means that you don’t need to hire an IT team to take care of the call center infrastructure.


    Both UCaaS and CCaaS systems can bring multiple benefits to your business, thanks to their flexibility and versatility. But even though some of their advantages and features overlap, they shouldn’t be treated as the same thing. UCaaS is supposed to connect your whole business toolbox into one system and enhance the communication between your team members. Meanwhile, a CCaaS system can bring your customer support to an entirely new level, thanks to integrating multiple support channels into one system and offering several handy tools to save your agents time and energy. Understanding the differences between these two cloud services will help your business pick the one platform that is exactly what it needs.

    If you want to have a bit more help in deciding, why not ask the CloudTalk support team? They are here to help you pick the right system for your business.