UCaaS vs. CCaaS: What’s the Difference, and Which Do You Need?


Every business needs a solid approach to multi-faceted communication: communication with the public, customers, internal employees, investors, and other stakeholders. Different communication functions require many channels and options that allow everyone to communicate clearly and stay engaged. However, most organizations have work to do regarding all aspects of their business communications, whether internal or external.

33% of surveyed HR professionals cite lack of communication as the most significant negative factor impacting employee morale; simultaneously, 69% of employees don’t have the tools or training to communicate comfortably with other employees. This means communication challenges weigh heavily on your clients’ minds. Communication is good for business, and the right tools are essential in resolving those issues. Clients require guidance on what to choose, which starts by clearly understanding whether the client needs Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), or both.

In this guide, we break down the core difference between the two services and give you a clear understanding of each one so you can provide your clients with the insights they need.

What’s the Most Important Difference Between UCaaS vs. CCaaS?

UCaaS and CCaaS are part of the “-as a service” array of cloud-based or software-based business solutions that allow organizations to subscribe month after month without investing in hardware, personnel, or permanent licenses. Managed communications services like UCaaS and CCaaS are popular because organizations get the benefits of the software without having to manage it and host it themselves. While both services offer enterprise-level communication solutions to businesses of any size or niche, they are oriented toward particular functions.

  • If businesses need to upgrade how teams and individual employees communicate and get work done, they’re looking for UCaaS options. Unified Communications as a Service offers comprehensive business communications and prioritizes internal communications. That is, all of the internal instant messaging, video conferencing, workflow processes, and mobile communications. Contact Center as a Service is more customer-facing. Today’s customer communications often use the same tools as internal operations — live chat, instant messaging, mobile tools, video conferencing, and telephony — but organizations need a different setup to manage and optimize these processes. When businesses want to update how they reach prospects and customers, they’re looking for CCaaS.

When you, new employees in your organization, or even prospective customers risk getting lost in the weeds, focus on the core purpose: does a client need to improve internal communications, or are they focusing on contact with clients?

Why Does This Matter to Your Buyers?

Organizations are constantly on the lookout for clever ways to reduce overhead. A cumbersome tech stack full of software that doesn’t make sense and bloats their monthly expenses is terrible news for organizations trying to stay lean, be competitive, or become more flexible as markets change. This means your buyers are looking for personalized solutions that deliver the correct answers to their pain points, not generic packs of software or universal solutions that they can try and force into fitting their operations. 

More than just the choice between UCaaS and CCaaS options, your buyers will want customizable solutions within those categories. For example, a field service organization will need suitable internal communications options to connect reps with the central office. A small software organization, on the other hand, needs instant messaging and workflow tools that facilitate collaborative communication. 

Your buyers must know that you can deliver (i) the most suitable family of solutions and (ii) precisely the right curated solution. You build authority and trust by quickly articulating critical differences in different options. So let’s dive deeper into the two other service models of UCaas vs. CCaaS.

Related: Why Today’s Business Communication Resellers Need the Best Contact Center Solutions

What Is UCaaS?

Internal communications are a bigger priority than in past decades. The switch to remote and hybrid work and the fast-paced way modern businesses transform means every organization needs a complete toolbox of options for text-based, telephonic, mobile, and video communications. However, 60% of organizations need to take the time to plan their long-term internal communications approach.

UCaaS is a centralized suite of communication options, ranging from VoIP and telephony to instant messengers to internal video call options. It’s broader than VoIP alone, more cohesive than a disparate stack of popular tools like Slack and Zoom, and more secure than in-house or ad hoc attempts to make tools and data talk to each. As a reseller, this can be your moment to shine. 

UCaaS is a cloud-based suite of tools, too, making it a superior option to traditional business communication software options that require employees to be in the office. Organizations can select a UCaaS service provider, have the third party install, manage, and support the tools, and immediately integrate all communication tools into their existing workflows. When evaluating UCaaS vs. CCaaS, companies prefer the holistic communication solutions the former option can provide.

Advantages of UCaaS vs. CCaaS and Manual Solutions

UCaaS is usually compared to two alternative solutions: other “-as a service” options or internally installed and managed systems. Discuss these critical advantages of UCaaS with each of your clients based on the alternatives they’re considering:

  • Simplicity: UCaaS removes the burden of setup, hardware, and internal management, which can be vital for small or growing organizations that can’t afford a large IT workload.
  • Integrated communication tools: While businesses can make do with separate communication channels across different software, it’s a subpar solution. Small details, project insights, and legacy knowledge can quickly get lost across other channels without a centralized system.
  • Scalability: UCaaS’s ‘as a service’ structure means providers can scale channels up or down depending on the company’s growth using the service. This allows companies to grow without investing in additional hardware or completely redoing their tech stacks.
  • Function: Manual implementation and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) options only allow non-experts to use expert tools. These options are too limited. But UCaaS service providers give organizations tools they otherwise would need more staffing or expertise to manage.

Related: What is Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS)?

What Is CCaaS?

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions can be just as vital to a small organization as UCaaS, but they serve a different purpose. This service is designed to help organizations provide in-house customer outreach and engagement communications, customer support, and robust analytics that revenue teams can use to optimize every step of the customer’s journey with the organization. 

Organizations may need CCaaS if:

  • They’re a small retail company that needs to prioritize outreach and customer service
  • They don’t have much insight into customer journeys because of previously outsourced services or disparate platforms
  • They decide they don’t want the more unified and robust approach of UCaaS

Choose the Right Product Offerings for Your Clients

UCaaS and CCaaS communication solutions are ideal for any organization that wants to develop a centralized, multi-faceted communication system for their workflows. The right solution will manage telephony, mobile communications, video, and more. SkySwitch offers robust communication solutions to curate, repackage, and resell to your clients. We handle the software while you focus on your business. Contact us today to learn more about how SkySwitch can become the ideal white-label communications solution offering you’ve been looking for.