10 Unified Communications Buzzwords and What They Mean

So, you’re looking for a new business phone system. For someone who isn’t in the business communications industry professionally, some of the words used can be very confusing. For example, if you’re an office manager or company owner with little IT background, it’s a lot to take in! Without knowing all of the lingo, it’s hard to figure out exactly what each solution entails, as well as which one is right for you. Here are 10 buzzwords surrounding unified communications that are useful to know before making a decision. Hopefully, this makes your decision-making process a little easier!


UCaaS stands for Unified Communications as a Service. Unified communications is the integration of enterprise communication services via a common platform. It improves, enhances and facilitates better overall connectivity, information, and end-to-end solutions; UCaaS offers this as a service. 


Onsite Phone System

An onsite phone system requires the purchase of onsite equipment, as well as a connection through a local phone provider. This type of phone system is harder to upgrade or change because it isn’t in the cloud. With an onsite system, any upgrades require a change to the onsite equipment. Read more about this with the differences between UCaaS and onsite phone systems, as well as the hidden cost of onsite phone systems.


BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. This is simply a policy that some workplaces put into place that allows employees to bring their own devices to use at work, including phones and computers. Check out this article for more on BYOD and Unified Communications and how they work together!


QoS stands for Quality of Service. Quality of Service refers to a network’s ability to achieve maximum bandwidth. In addition, its ability to deal with other network performance elements like latency, error rate and uptime. Quality of service also involves controlling and managing network resources by setting priorities for types of data on the network. At Level365, we use Ribbon Communications’ (formally Edgewater) EdgeMarc and EdgeView to ensure quality of service


SaaS stands for Software as a Service. Software as a Service is a model for the distribution of software where customers access software over the Internet. In SaaS, a service provider hosts the application at its data center and customers access it via a standard web browser. Nowadays, many companies may already be using SaaS without even knowing! It delivers the majority of software nowadays, including Google apps, CRM software, DropBox, Skype, and more. There are also many parallel benefits of SaaS and UCaaS!

Mobile App/ Web Portal


DID stands for Direct Inward Dial. A DID number allows for direct dialing rather than having to dial the main number and then an extension, which is a great feature to have! 

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is the delivery of computing services-including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence-over the Internet (“the cloud”). It offers faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. It can offer a lot of great benefits including lower cost, faster speeds, higher reliability, and better security


Our final unified communications buzzword is softphone, which is essentially a software-based phone. They mimic desk phones by presenting a phone interface on the computer, complete with a dial pad and call handling features (such as Mute, Hold, and Transfer). They can even offer more features than a desk phone. When making calls from a UCaaS web portal, you will be using a softphone. 

Hopefully having some of these unified communications buzzwords definitions under your belt has better prepared you for your business phone service search and armed you to seriously consider Unified Communications and all of its great benefits. For even more information on UCaaS, check out our ultimate guide to UCaaS

About Level365: Level365 offers a complete Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution with enterprise voice that is customized and scalable for your business. Our service seamlessly integrates communication among desk phones, computer, and mobile devices to support remote teams and provide flexibility for on-campus staff. The UC platform extends beyond voice communications with Unified Messaging, Analytics, Presence, Chat/SMS, Cloud Faxing, CRM Integrations, and more.

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