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The Top 9 Unified Communications Solutions

Explore the top 9 unified communications solutions with features like video conferencing, encrypted messaging, speech analysis, and transcription.

The Top 9 Unified Communication Solutions Include:
  • 1. 8x8 eXperience Platform
  • 2. Avaya Enterprise Cloud
  • 3. Cisco Unified Communications Manager Cloud
  • 4. Gamma Horizon Platform
  • 5. Microsoft Direct Routing
  • 6. Microsoft Teams
  • 7. MiVoice MX-One
  • 8. RingCentral MVP
  • 9. Vonage Business Communications

Unified communications solutions allow organizations to integrate multiple communications methods into a single interface. Rather than having separate video conferencing, voice calling, messaging, and image or file sharing applications, these tasks can be completed from a single application. 

This type of technology is widely used across business settings today, but this has not always been the case. The technology is still relatively new: Zoom was founded a little over 10 years ago, Microsoft Teams was launched in 2017, and WhatsApp is not yet 15 years old. These technologies are relatively recent but have revolutionized the way that we work. 

It is important that you find the right unified communications solution for your organization to increase productivity and streamline the user experience. The ideal unified communications solution is one that you don’t notice is there. You should be able to connect with other users without hassle or delay, and you should be able to communicate in a range of ways – using text, audio, or visually – to make your communication as effective as possible.

In this guide, we’ll explore the top unified communications solutions for business. We’ll highlight the key features of each solution and give you some background information on their providers, as well as a recommendation on who they’re best suited for. 

8x8 Logo

8×8 is a communications and collaboration company based in Campbell, CA. Since 1987, 8×8 has developed a wealth of hardware and software solutions to improve enterprise collaboration and communication. Their Unified Communication-as-a-Service (UCaaS) suite combines voice, video, and chat features to streamline collaboration.

8×8 eXperience Platform Features:

  • Speech analytics provides rapid understanding of user and customer sentiment using NLU
  • Readily integrate 8×8 with CRM, support, and productivity applications such as Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, and Google Workspace
  • One governance, security, and data privacy model across the entire platform
  • Platform has VoIP capabilities that allow you to make phone calls via the internet

Pricing And Plans: 8×8 offers three different pricing options. The Express plan is ideal for small businesses. It costs £10/user/month, works for up to 5 users, and allows unlimited UK calling. The X2 plan costs £19/user/month, permits unlimited users, allows HD video and audio conferencing, and integrates with common applications like Microsoft Teams. The X4 plan costs £36/user/month and extends the coverage of X2with advanced analytics, Frontdesk for receptionists, and unlimited calling to 48 countries.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Users find the 8×8 eXperience Platform efficient and easy to use. Call management is streamlined, allowing users and customers to speak to the people they need to with ease. The solution can route calls to personal devices, provided that they are logged in. This makes it easy for remote or nomadic employees to stay connected. We would recommend the 8×8 eXperience Platform to organizations that receive a high volume of customer calls and need to manage these appropriately.

Avaya Logo

Avaya is a cloud communications company based in New Jersey. The company has developed a series of solutions for internal collaboration, as well as customer facing communications. Their unified communications platform – Avaya Enterprise Cloud – empowers your employees to collaborate and work with ease. With this solution, it is easier for employees to work flexibly, either in the office or remotely.

Avaya Enterprise Cloud Features:

  • HIPAA and GDPR compliant, which allows you to share confidential (e.g., medical) information on the platform
  • Effective integration with business applications like Microsoft 365, Google, Slack, and Salesforce
  • Comprehensive video conferencing capabilities
  • Meeting analytics allow you to understand key metrics such as meeting duration and frequency
  • VoIP calling is made possible with one-touch dialling and directory integration

Pricing And Plans: Contact Avaya directly for more information on pricing and plans.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Avaya is a comprehensive and effective solution for organizations that need to reduce communication friction; be it when speaking to customers, or to different departments within the same organization. This solution requires a dedicated IT team to ensure that settings are correctly configured. As such, we would recommend this solution for larger organizations that have the resource to effectively implement and manage the solution.

Cisco Logo

Cisco is a well-established technology and communications provider that has developed a significant array of cybersecurity tools. Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) Cloud allows you to streamline communication channels and devices, to reduce friction between users. Cisco was founded in 1984 and is based in San Jose, CA.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager Cloud Features:

  • Highly customizable, scalable, reliable, and secure HD video conferencing
  • AES-256, RTP, and TLS encryption of calls
  • Unified messaging platform
  • Suitable for small, regional organizations, right up to large, multi-nationals with 80,000+ users
  • Unify messaging channels with access from email, web browser, Webex App, Cisco Jabber, smartphone, and tablet devices
  • IP telephony capabilities

Pricing And Plans: Cisco CUCM Cloud can be licensed as a cloud, on-premises, and hosted solution, on a per user basis. For information on pricing, contact Cisco directly.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Cisco has been a leader in enterprise communication and collaboration for many years now. Their unified communication solution allows diverse teams to collaborate with ease and improve productivity. The solution uses several security protocols to ensure that your data and communication is secure; these include AES-256 encryption, secure RTP (real-time transport protocol), and TLS (transport layer security). We would recommend Cisco Unified Communications Manager Cloud for organizations of all sizes who require a robust and effective communication solution.

Gamma Logo

Gamma is a leading provider of UCaaS technologies to the European market. Their solutions span security, communication, and compliance, as well as offering managed services. The Horizon Platform allows you to unify various communications streams such as messaging, voice, and video.

Gamma Horizon Platform Features:

  • Desktop and mobile apps allow you to manage communication from a range of devices
  • “My Room” feature creates a fully managed video conferencing space for quick collaboration
  • Hosted PBX service means that you can use an internet-based phone service
  • Effective integration with Microsoft Teams and Outlook, as well as third party CRM applications
  • As the admin portal is web based, settings can be reconfigured from any device

Pricing And Plans: For more information on pricing, contact Gamma directly.

Expert Insights’ Comments: The Horizon platform is a comprehensive solution that allows you to collaborate without worrying about the logistics of communicating. The platform is fully integrated with Gamma’s Horizon cloud telephony service, meaning that you can make business calls, alongside the platform’s chat and video functionality. The solution takes a mobile-first stance, which means that it is ideal for organizations with remote, or mobile, employees who may not always have access to their laptop or desktop.

Elite Group Logo

Elite Group is a communications, IT, and technology company that provides solutions that increase secure collaboration and connectivity. Their Microsoft Direct Routing solution connects Microsoft Teams accounts to your organization’s Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) to unite your main communication methods. By integrating Microsoft with telephone communications methods, you can improve productivity and increase flexibility.

Microsoft Direct Routing Features:

  • Business continuity with network/number level resilience
  • Monitor call handling data such as productivity, call patterns, and behavior
  • Reduce necessary investment in hardware infrastructure
  • Full PSTN breakout

Pricing And Plans: Microsoft Direct Routing is available in three packages: Teams Talk, Teams Talk Pro, and Teams Talk Premium. For more information on what each of these plans includes and the pricing, contact Elite Group directly.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Microsoft Direct Routing is a helpful solution for simplifying business processes and streamlining communication. By unifying communication into a single platform, employees can be more productive and carry out their tasks with fewer obstacles. We would recommend this solution for organizations that want to extend the capabilities of their Microsoft ecosystem and improve their call management capabilities.

Microsoft Teams Logo

Microsoft Teams was launched in 2017 and has over 280 million monthly users. Microsoft Teams is one of the most widely used solutions globally, with a rich feature set that enables users to chat, call, or video call fellow users. Microsoft Teams can be accessed via a desktop, tablet, or mobile device, meaning that it is easy to integrate into your way of working.

Microsoft Teams Features:

  • Integrates with Microsoft ecosystem and apps
  • Data encryption for meetings, calls, chats, and file sharing
  • Ability to record meetings and calls, with transcripts added automatically
  • Live video captioning in over 30 languages

Pricing And Plans: Microsoft offers three plans to choose from. Microsoft Teams Essentials is $4.00/user/month and allows 30 hours of group meetings, up to 300 participants per meeting, and 10GB of cloud storage. Business Basic ($6.00/user/month) adds Microsoft Whiteboard, increases the number of collaborative app integrations, and offers live captioning in over 30 languages. Business Standard($12.50/user/month) allows webinar hosting, attendee registration, and analytics tools, as well as all the features of the previous two plans.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Microsoft Teams is a reliable solution that prioritizes user experience. For organizations working within the Microsoft ecosystem, Teams makes it easy to share documents, Outlook Calendar invites, and connect to OneDrive. This solution is ideal for organizations that need a solution that slots in with their existing applications and ways of working. We would recommend Microsoft Teams for organizations who need a reliable, but low maintenance communications solution.

Mitel Logo

Mitel is a Canadian telecommunications company that has produced a series of collaboration, communication, and hardware phone devices. MiVoice MX-One is a feature-rich communications platform that allows users to collaborate seamlessly. The solution offers granular customization and flexibility, with on-premises, private, or public cloud deployments all possible.

MiVoice MX-One Features:

  • Completely session initiation protocol (SIP) based, making direct connection easy and secure
  • Extensive reporting functionality gives admins extended visibility and accurate insights
  • Effective integrations with 3rd party applications like Microsoft Teams
  • Enhanced call screening

Pricing And Plans: Mitel allows for CapEx perpetual licences or OpEx subscription payments – this flexibility allows you to find the right solution for the way that you work. Contact MiVoice directly for more information on plans and pricing.

Expert Insights’ Comments: MiVoice MX-One is a user-friendly solution that reduces barriers to collaboration and allows for effective call management. The solution has a reliable uptime – if the uptime drops below 99.99%, customers are eligible for account credit. Due to the licensing structure, we would recommend MiVoice MX-One for large enterprise organizations (between 500 and 500,000+ users) that need a reliable and effective solution.

RingCentral Logo

RingCentral is a communication and messaging organization. The company has been based in Belmont, CA since 1999. RingCentral MVP (a handy acronym for Message, Video, and Phone) is their cloud-based communications platform. You can easily add any of 45+ PSTN countries to your MVP plan to further streamline collaboration.

RingCentral MVP Features:

  • Readily integrates with over 300+ apps such as Box, Zendeask, and Hubspot
  • Seven layers of security protection
  • Resilient and robust hosting – less than 6 minutes of annual downtime
  • Granular analytics to empower teams and optimize workflows
  • Multi-site management
  • Team messaging and document sharing
  • Unlimited calls within the US and Canada

Pricing And Plans: RingCentral offers four pricing plans to cover several use cases. Core costs $20/user/month for up to 20 users and offers the above features. Advanced ($25/user/month) adds multi-site management, more app integrations, and business analytics. Ultimate ($35/user/month) adds SSO, automatic call recording, hot desking, and video calls for up to 200 participants.

Expert Insights’ Comments: RingCentral MVP is a powerful and streamlined application that improves user communication experience. This solution is particularly effective for large, multinational organizations that need to make frequent calls and have a large number of users. The solution has extensive management capabilities – multi-site management, for instance, allows accounts to be managed individually or as groups. This can be done geographically to manage offices or call centers with ease, thereby allowing the organization to grow and scale.

Vonage Logo

Vonage is a technology communications company that was founded in 2001 and is based in New Jersey. They offer a range of communications-based APIs, contact center handling, and unified communications solutions. Vonage Business Communications is a UCaaS solution that offers a host of features to streamline and ease friction within your work environment.

Vonage Business Communications Features:

  • Intuitive admin portal
  • Business inbox that unifies SMS, MMS, and Facebook Messenger feeds
  • Automated call routing to ensure customers are transferred to the correct people
  • Busy lamp field (BLF) allows you to understand which phones are currently in use
  • Easily transfer calls from your mobile to your desktop mid-call

Pricing And Plans: There are three pricing plans available. Mobile costs $19.99/month/line and features both mobile and desktop apps, allows for unlimited calls, SMS, and messaging. Premium ($29.99) gives you CRM integration, IP desk phone capability, and an unlimited number of meetings for up to 100 users. Advanced($39.99) adds on-demand call recording, call groups, and visual voicemail features.

Expert Insights’ Comments:  The VBC platform is remarkably reliable with an uptime of 99.999%, and the ability to switch between mobile and desktop calling makes this solution versatile. This solution is most suitable for SMEs that have a lot of customer interaction and need to ensure this is managed effectively.

The Top 9 Unified Communications Solutions