CCaaS vs UCaaS: what's the difference?


Communication and collaboration are the keys to teamwork. That’s why it’s been a major focus of digital transformations across companies. How do we work better together? How do we talk to colleagues and customers around the world? How do we improve productivity and efficiency as the workforce evolves around us? A pandemic catapulted us into a remote-friendly future of work. Now, with a growing number of companies embracing flexible or hybrid models, staying connected remains essential to business. And with distributed workforces and outdated on-premise systems collecting dust, many of these companies are seeking solutions in the cloud.

For small to midsize businesses, investing in cloud-based software can seem expensive and resource-intensive. But, SaaS companies, or Software as a Service, operate on a licensing model that’s affordable, accessible, and flexible for growing companies. Users just need Internet-access. The provider does the heavy lifting of buying hardware and keeping software up-to-date. So with UCaaS and CCaaS terms floating around the space — what’s the difference?

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service, allows organizations to combine all of their communication channels into a single streamlined platform. Instead of having multiple applications and tools for live chat, calling, and video conferencing, UCaaS brings it all together in one application.


In a rapidly evolving business ecosystem, UCaaS offers valuable business benefits such as:

  • Lower costs: UCaaS platforms don’t require extensive equipment or complicated installations and are paid by monthly or annual subscription.
  • Flexibility: UCaaS platforms can be used on any device that is connected to the internet, making it perfect for hybrid office settings. There is no on-premises systems to purchase and maintain. This is all handled by the provider.
  • Communication Hub: Instead of going back and forth between different applications, all communication channels are combined into one platform.
  • Improved Collaboration: In addition to calls, team members can also move between digital communication methods such as chats and video conferencing quickly and easily.
  • Higher Security: It’s important that small businesses continue to prioritize security through their communication channels. UCaaS platforms offer multiple protections such as end-to-end encryption, data segregation, malware protection, and more.

What is CCaaS?

While UCaaS is mostly used for internal communication, CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) is used to enhance inbound and outbound business channels including customer service and sales.

An omnichannel approach has become the norm with companies providing more options for customers to engage with them. In addition to handling inbound and outbound calls, CCaaS also handles other digital channels.


CCaaS provides organizations with benefits that include:

  • Improved customer experience: Technology can ease the strain of common customer pain points, like hold times and missed calls. With CCaaS features such as IVR, call routing, ring groups, and queue call-backs, customers will report higher satisfaction.
  • Analytics: Every call is a chance to nurture repeat sales or drive customers away. CCaaS gives data-backed insight into how agents are performing, talk-time, customers in queue and more.
  • More productive agents: With the auto dialer and pre-recorded voicemail feature, sales agents spend more time on the phone and less time with tedious, manual tasks.
  • Easy Integration: Enterprise-level contact centers were formerly out of financial reach for SMBs, but CCaaS changes the game. With one-day deployment and seamless integration with UCaaS and CRM platforms, CCaaS solutions are affordable and accessible. CCaaS platforms can be accessed from a single application on any device with no need for IT infrastructure or maintenance.

With businesses undergoing digital transformations, it is no surprise that platforms that streamline communications and integrate multiple applications like UCaaS and CCaaS have grown in popularity. In fact, the market for unified cloud communications is expected to grow from its current value of $47.64 billion to $210.07 billion by the year 2028.

UCaaS and CCaaS offer different capabilities to your business even though many of their features and benefits overlap. UCaaS connects your internal communications and enhances collaborative capabilities and CCaaS systems take customer support and sales to the next level. Understanding the difference between them can help you decide which cloud-based platform meets the needs of your organization.