Have you ever wondered about the importance of unified communications software for your organization?
After the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more companies are accepting hybrid or remote approaches to working, fueling the need for secure and reliable unified communications software to increase team productivity.
How teams interact with each other and communicate with customers has become more complex. This article outlines the best unified communications software for your organization.
What are unified communications systems?
A unified communications software system combines instant messaging, voice calling, video conferencing, file sharing, nd moreetc., thus promoting efficiency. Their main trait — interoperability – lets users switch seamlessly between multiple channels integrated within a system.
Besides, these unified communications (UC) software also lets users switch between multiple devices using a single login.
The best unified communications software lets you share project-related reports and files with your teammates while simultaneously discussing them over a call. This feature enables efficient multi-tasking.
Such communication platforms enable greater team productivity and improved customer satisfaction by allowing an all-in-one space for several processes. They were traditionally hosted on the cloud, but companies increasingly relying on on-premise hosting due to security reasons.
5 best unified communications software leading the industry
Reliable unified communications software creates a secure and compliant online workspace. Amidst the plethora of online options, here’s a list of the best communication platforms that work well for large and small enterprises.
Rocket.Chat is a flexible open-source unified communications software. The robust communication platform lets developers customize everything (such as UIs, themes, and more) and integrate anything (such as custom apps and daily tools). It promotes safety measures through on-premise deployment and end-to-end encryption.
By enabling secure communication, Rocket.Chat helps teams align operations with external partners and increase productivity through one platform. Organizations in technology, education, finance, healthcare, and the government sector can use Rocket.Chat to communicate without security concerns.
The user has complete control over their data and collaboration methods. More than 12 million users trust Rocket.Chat in 150+ countries.
Key features at a glance:
1. Open Application Programming Interfaces (API)
2. Iframe integration of Rocket.Chat in your app or website
3. Integration with powerful plugins and apps
4. Complete privacy and control over data
5. Omnichannel customer service
6. Cutting-edge security
7. Highly compliant with privacy laws
8. On-premise and cloud deployment
9. Matrix federation capabilities
10. End-to-end (E2E) encryption and ISO 27001 certification
Price: Get started for free and upgrade to the Enterprise plan as and when your business grows.
A leading unified communications software, RingCentral enables teams to collaborate and work productively from anywhere in the world on any device.
RingCentral paves the way for business communication and customer service efficiency. This platform is known for providing excellent customer support and affordable pricing options. It brings together instant messaging, voice calls, and video conferencing.
An engaging user interface has created a large user base for this platform around the globe.
RingCentral has more than 50 features to create a solid cloud workspace. Some of them are:
1. Business numbers for individual users with 200+ area codes
2. HD voice and video calls
3. Real-time group conversations via chat
4. File sharing and collaboration
5. Tasks and reminders
6. 99.999% uptime Service-Level Agreement (SLA)
7. Cloud Private Branch eXchange (PBX) services in over 40 nations worldwide
8. Online fax
9. Voicemail transcription
10. Unlimited audio conferencing
11. Integration with tools including Microsoft 365, ZenDesk, Salesforce, and G-Suite
12. Advanced analytics to measure performance
13. Standard security across all devices
Although people have complained about the absence of on-premise support, inconsistent UI, and software bugs, RingCentral provides 24-hour customer support via phone, chat, or email.
Price: Starts from $32.99 per user/month for a basic package that offers essential services.
Ranking high as a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service provider, 8x8 lets businesses manage calls, review analytics, and perform administrative functions easily.
This communication platform provides cloud-based services for audio calls, video conferencing, real-time chat & online collaboration in teams, and a contact center to more than 2 million users.
8x8 is a great choice for businesses looking for unified communications software on a budget with basic services. People can also opt for premium packages with additional features to make their virtual workspace more efficient.
Its prominent features include:
1. Dozens of CRM and business tools integrations
2. Global connectivity through local numbers for businesses
3. AI-powered workflows
4. HD video conferencing with screen sharing
5. Communication APIs
6. Secure and compliant with E2E encryption
7. 99.999% uptime SLA
8. Unified analytics for every customer interaction
9. Visual voicemails
Virtual agents and AI-driven speech analytics are some key features that make 8x8 stand out. As per reviews, multiple call drops, complicated adoption, and misleading UI are potential downsides.
Price: Starts from $15 per user/month.
Dialpad is an AI-powered unified communications software that delivers quality services to businesses that use VoIP calls, video conferences, and real-time chat. One of the biggest advantages of using Dialpad is the automatic voicemail and call transcription.
Global teams appreciate this unified software’s ease of use and simple installation process. In addition, Dialpad can be easily integrated with 74+ collaborative tools, including Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and Zendesk.
Dialpad offers dedicated business solutions for different industries – education, health care, real estate, and technology – suitable for small and large enterprises.
Other features of Dialpad are:
1. File sharing with real-time chat
2. Video conferencing and screen sharing
3. Advanced call controls (transfer, block, or mute)
4. Global reach across 70+ countries with local and toll-free numbers
5. Internal group chat
6. Application Programming Interface
7. Easy integration with tools and plugins
8. Efficient AI tools (such as AI CSAT)
9. Enterprise-grade security
Dialpad provides a 14-day free trial to help you make an informed decision.
Price: Starts from $23 per user/month or $15 per user/month if billed annually.
An easy-to-use communication platform, many prefer Vonage for its advanced customization and multi-tier pricing model.
This unified communications software has more than 40 critical business features, built-in collaboration tools, and mobile integration. It is a reliable platform for unified communication across the board, backed by a solid team of professionals for business and technical support.
Vonage’s key features include:
1. Real-time chat with unlimited calls
2. Multi-user collaboration and file sharing
3. Up to 15 hours of call recording
4. Call routing
5. IP desk phones availability
6. Video conferences for up to 100 users and screen sharing
7. Auto attendant and visual voicemails
8. Multi-channel communication
9. Mobile integration
While it is comparatively more expensive than its counterparts, Vintage does provide excellent customer support. Users often complain about connectivity issues that force them to end calls and reschedule.
Price: Starts from $19.99 per user/month.
How to choose the right unified communications software?
The following criteria can help in the decision-making process of selecting the right communication platform for your team:
1. Needs of your organization
No matter how great a unified communications software is, investing in it wastes resources if it does not meet your organization’s needs.
Some communication platforms offer the most elementary features, such as phone, instant messaging, and basic video conferencing, which may be suitable for small businesses that don’t require advanced functions.
High security and compliance, multi-channel communication, screen sharing, and integrations with business tools are features that are more suitable for larger enterprises.
2. Ease of use
Considering a communication platform’s user experience is crucial since the entire team will be spending a major chunk of their workday navigating the software. Of course, needs will vary from team to team. For example, a developer may prefer software with room for customization, while a customer support executive does not use such a feature and might want omnichannel access.
A good unified communications software will enhance team productivity and increase efficiency.
2. Work from anywhere
Effective team collaboration demands a good unified communication platform. A major factor that influences this choice is interoperability.
Whichever UC software you choose, ensure it aids remote teams in performing daily tasks.
3. Integrations with other apps
A unified communications software that integrates everything is ideal, as many businesses work with multiple apps simultaneously. Choose an open-source communication software that allows you to integrate multiple applications.
4. Data security
Remote work comes with data security challenges for the organization. Users can log in to their workspace on any device anywhere in the world as long as they have a working internet connection. This vast reach automatically increases the risk of data theft and system breach.
Look for UC platforms with E2E encryption and two-step authentication at the time of login, along with additional security features (such as certification from reputed organizations) to maintain privacy and ensure data security.
Unified communications for privacy-conscious organizations
Cyber attacks on businesses are on the rise, especially with more and more people working remote. Also, security and compliance breaches are more often than not a product of unintentional human error. That's why a secure communication platform is the best choice for your team.
Rocket.Chat is a unified communications platform that takes the privacy concerns of an organization very seriously. Apart from standard security measures (such as E2E encryption and ISO 27001 certification), it is also compliant with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), all of which are considered as gold standards for security.
Rocket.Chat also gives you complete ownership of your own data through on-premise hosting. Contact us today to see how collaboration in your organization can be improved.