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The UCaaS or communications world can get confusing with all of the acronyms and jargon. It may come easy to IT vets, but to the average employee, it seems like they need an entirely new dictionary. CallHarbor is all about making things easy for the customer. To help you understand the basics and the most important terms, we’ve put together this easy to digest introductory list.

Popular UCaaS terms you should know:

1. VoIP

VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, enables an organization to connect a phone service over the internet. It connects over the internet as opposed to over a wired or traditional phone line. VoIP affords organizations greater flexibility, because users can make calls on any internet-connected device. This includes their work desk phone, a mobile device utilizing mobile app, and any computer utilizing web softphone. This is a scalable solution that offers from flexibility, mobility, and reliability. It also helps companies stay connected in the face of power outages or emergencies.

VoIP offers a lot of amazing additional features than POTS lines. Voicemail to email sends voicemails directly to a user’s inbox. Simultaneous ring rings a user’s desk phone and mobile phone/outside number. Call logs give organizations a better understanding of how their system is used.

2. PBX

PBX stands for private branch exchange. It’s a telephone network that provides organizations with local lines and a certain number of external phone lines. PBX allows organizations to communicate internally and externally with clients. A PBX uses different communication channels, including VoIP, ISDN, and analog. 

PBXs are available as “on-premises” systems or “hosted software.” An on-premises PBX means that an organization is responsible for the deployment and maintenance of the system. These organizations have a data hardware room and a dedicated IT infrastructure to manage the system. A hosted PBX system is managed by a provider over the internet. An on-premises PBX is sometimes preferred for organizations that need control and customization abilities, while a hosted PBX is more affordable up front and easier to maintain.

3. UC vs UCaaS

UC, or unified communications, represents a unified workplace communication and collaboration app or service. Unified communications combines team messaging, video conferencing, and cloud phones. They’re put into a single platform to streamline communications and reduce app overload. 

The “aaS,” or as a service, refers to the cloud delivery model of the unified communications tools. UCaaS is hosted by a provider and delivered to an organization over an IP network. This offers greater flexibility, scalability, and cost savings as opposed to an on-premises software tool. CallHarbor is the perfect example of a reliable and affordable UCaaS provider. 😉

4. Presence

Presence refers to the status of a coworker, such as available, busy, or away/offline. It can be indicated as a color-filled dot that presents as green, red, or gray/blank. On the CallHarbor system, you can see presence in the web softphone, on physical desk phones, and on the mobile app. Seeing presence helps employees make smarter decisions about when and with whom they communicate. It can come in handy for employees that transfer a lot of calls, so they don’t blindly transfer to someone that is busy or away from their desk.

5. BYOD & DaaS

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and DaaS stands for Device as a Service. This acronym refers to employees using their personal devices to connect to organizational networks and applications. Personal devices include smartphones, personal computers, tablets, and even IP hardware. BYOD is on the rise, and many companies buy IP phones, and are able to keep them when switching providers. This helps cut costs even more, without having to buy brand new phones whenever they switch. Some providers still charge to reconfigure old phones, but CallHarbor does not.

DaaS is a great option for companies that want to stay updated with their hardware without spending a big chunk of change. CallHarbor’s DaaS option is easy and flat rate. You have so many options from Poly and Yealink, and never have to worry about using outdated or broken hardware. Our DaaS plan also comes with a warranty for the life of the hardware.

6. Integrations

Many cloud platforms integrate with others to create a more seamless experience for users. It also reduces the need to bounce between applications in day-to-day workflows. CallHarbor integrates with dozens of CRMs, with many being added every year. You can get screen pops and call logging right on your laptop to stay organized. We even have our very own CallHarbor Chrome extension to make things simple. If you’re using Google Chrome, click here to download it! Our extension offers great features, such as screen pops and click to call. It includes over a dozen pre-built CRM integrations such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and Insightly, to keep all of your communications organized.

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7. Call Analytics

Call analytics give teams a look at how their phone system is being used. These analytics can be used to look at things such as call volume, calls to voicemail, abandoned calls, and more. Employers can use call analytics to make sure they are staffed correctly for high volume calls. They can look into why certain agents are sending more calls to voicemail. Also, they can keep an eye on their marketing campaigns and allocate budget correctly to the channels that bring in more calls. There are so many great ways to utilize call analytics that can make a big difference for companies of any size and industry.

8. SLA (Service Level Agreement)

A service level agreement defines the level of service that a provider guarantees their customers. This agreement is a big deal for customers because they can look at how reliable the product/service they will be using is. It’s s good way for customers to hold their provider to a certain standard.

Uptime is the most important element and it denotes the percentage of time the provider promises to be functioning. For example, most providers have 99%, 99.99%, and 99.999% uptime SLAs for their customers. CallHarbor guarantees a 99.99% service availability.