The Differences Between UCaaS vs CCaaS vs CPaaS


Flexible voice, contact center and messaging services are transforming how companies stay connected to their customers and how their employees work. 

More convenient means of communication, coupled with the ease of accessibility over the internet for their hybrid and remote teams, have led organizations to adopt cloud-based platforms in response to modern working environments. 

You may have come across a lot of different acronyms out there for telephony and communications software - specifically UCaaS, CCaaS and CPaas. And while they sound similar, each technology offers a unique solution. Understanding their differences to determine which is best for your business operations can be a bit tricky. Let’s take a closer look.

What is UCaaS: Unified Communications as a Service?

If your team uses several channels to collaborate, a unified communications platform is one to explore. 

Hosted by a third-party provider, UCaaS platforms - such as Microsoft Teams - help streamline all of your employees’ workflows to improve productivity and security from a single web interface. 

Its main functions include: 

  • Voice
  • Video conferencing
  • Messaging and chat
  • Collaboration
  • Cloud-based business processes

Benefits of using UCaaS

Incorporating UCaaS into your business’s tech stack has several advantages for your hybrid and remote teams’ collaborative synergy. These benefits include: 

  • Integrated communications: Team members can easily track their workloads and collaborate on several channels within the platform using VoIP and SIP trunking technology. 
  • Flexibility: Ability to add new channels quickly. 
  • Cost-effective: No expensive hardware to purchase or on-premise phone systems to re-configure.
  • Speed to first call: Plug-and-play functionality. The IT department facilitates and completes updates to phone systems set up in the cloud.

What is CCaaS: Contact Center as a Service?

If your customer service and support teams operate through voice calls and digital channels, a CCaaS platform might be the right technology for your business. 

Hosted by a third-party provider, CCaaS is an integral part of the customer experience, helping representatives and agents deliver top-notch service and personalized communications across all of your customer-facing channels. 

Its main functions include:

  • Voice
  • Videotelephony
  • Messaging and chat
  • Social media
  • Analytics
  • Contact center tools

Benefits of using CCaaS

Implementing CCaaS into your business’s tech stack has several advantages to lift up your call management and customer experience (CX), including: 

  • Speed to first call: Plug-and-play functionality. IT can easily set up the platform, and agents can begin using it as soon as they access the software on their devices. 
  • Cost-effective: The cost of using CCaaS is significantly less than the investment in hardware, server space and specialized maintenance that an on-site contact center phone system requires.
  • Feature variety: Voice, text, video calls, app and channel integrations plus customer experience tools are all part of a CCaaS platform, so your customers can connect with your company in a variety of ways using SIP integrations.  
  • Analytics: CCaaS enables companies to track calls, review call content and monitor agent performance metrics and KPIs
  • Elevate CX: Customers can reach your business the way they want - social, mobile, email, live chat, phone - and agents don’t have to spend time toggling back and forth between tools to respond. 

What is CPaaS: Communications Platform as a Service?

If your team uses both collaborative and contact center platforms, using a communications platform as a service (CPaaS) system is the best of both worlds. 

Hosted by a third-party service provider, CPaaS platforms are essential to the entire company - customer support, customer service, sales, helpdesk, operations, engineering teams and more all can use this technology for internal and external capabilities. 

Its main functions include: 

  • Enterprise voice
  • Video
  • Chat and messaging
  • Analytics
  • Programmable APIs
  • SIP trunking
  • Business processes
  • Contact center tools

Benefits of using CPaaS

There are several advantages to incorporating a CPaaS system into your organization’s tech stack. Let’s look at them below. 

  • Integrated communications. Organizations can easily expand their communications from their preferred on-premise or hosted PBX using SIP and VoIP, without needing to replace infrastructure or extend technical expertise.
  • Scalability. Scale services anywhere in the world while managing users and team performance from a browser-based app
  • Customization. Organizations can integrate their own products and applications with CPaaS through programmable APIs. In some cases, they can choose additional integrations from a provider-curated library or user community. 
  • Speed to first call. Minimal time is required to be up and running on the platform compared to an on-premise solution. 
  • Minimized training needs: Employees learn to use a new software program, not an entirely new phone ecosystem. Low-code no-code features of CPaaS enable citizen developers to take on a bigger role in configuration and reduce strain on IT resources.
  • Affordable: CPaaS allows businesses to pay only for the services they need. Plus, the PAYG or volume-based subscriptions, competitive call rates and provider-based monitoring reduce developer-based expenses.

Cloud-Based Communications Are the Future of Telecom

UCaaS, CCaaS and CPaaS cloud-based communications are becoming viable, popular alternatives to on-site phone systems for good reason: They’re affordable, flexible and increasingly easy to use for those with and without technical experience. This translates into the ability for businesses of all sizes to be more adept at responding to customer needs while keeping their expenses within budget. 

Customer demands are on the rise— is your legacy system enough to handle the volume? Hosted communication technology can provide reliable call connectivity and better functionality to support your business goals. 

Purpose Internal collaboration Customer service/support Internal collaboration & customer service/support
Features Voice, video conferencing, messaging, chat, business processes (file sharing) Voice, videotelephony, messaging, chat, social media, analytics, IVR/ACD, queue callback, skills-based routing Voice, video, chat, messaging, analytics, business processes, programmable APIs, SIP trunking, IVR/ACD, queue callback, skills-based routing
Integrations Product management, CRM, calendar, CPaaS CRMs, helpdesks, UCaaS, CPaaS PBX, UCaaS, CCaaS, CPaaS, CRM, helpdesks, chat, sales automation
Users All employees Sales and service reps All employees
Use Case Consolidate telephony, conferencing and collaboration solutions into one omnichannel platform. Streamline multi-channel contact center for optimized external communications with customers. Enhance your current PBX without infrastructure changes, supporting inbound and outbound communications with low-code no-code technology and simplified APIs.
Vendors Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, Nextiva, RingCentral, Zoom, Dialpad Talk, Vonage, 8x8 AVOXI, Talkdesk, CXone, Five9 Virtual, Vonage, Genesys Cloud CX, Dialpad, Amazon Connect AVOXI, Twilio, Infobip, Bandwidth, Vonage, Plivo, Nylas, MessageBird

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