Hosted Voice versus UCaaS

What are the differences between a Hosted Voice Solution and UCaaS?

There are a ton of acronyms that are used when it comes to VoIP offerings today, it can be difficult understand them all.  It’s important to be able to distinguish between them when making a decision about adopting either technology for your business.

Hosted Voice/PBX

A Hosted Voice, or Hosted PBX solution hosts your PBX functions in the Cloud.  This can come in many different form factors, but its taking the PBX out of the closet and placing it in the Cloud using a Software PBX platform.   You should expect the same type of features available in a traditional on-premise PBX, only without the ownership and maintenance typically involved with a traditional PBX.

Unified Communications as a Service, or UCaaS, comes in various form factors as well, but typically is an extension of PBX type functionality to include Voice, Video Conferencing, Application Integration (such as CRM/ERP systems), as well as Presence and Screen Sharing/Web Conferencing capabilities.   Sticking true to the definition of ‘aaS’, these systems should be strictly consumable as a service to businesses, subscribing to the number of users they need and not assuming any licensing, hosting, or maintenance responsibilities.


“The biggest benefit reported by businesses that have adopted UCaaS was that it improved the speed of communications across the business.” VoIP Research Group


FeatureHosted VoiceUCaaS
Full Featured Desktop Telephone FeaturesYesYes
Cost Per Seat / ExtensionLowerHigher
Call Center FeaturesLimitedSupported
Mobile Worker SupportLimitedSupported
Video ConferencingNoYes
Presence or IM/ChatLimitedSupported
Screen Sharing and WebconferencingNoYes
Application Integration, CRM, ERP, PMSNoYes
Multiple Office SupportLimitedSupported

Feature Differences: Hosted Voice versus UCaaS


When considering each system, ask yourself the following questions?

  • Are you tied to an investment in a legacy PBX?  Most Hosted PBX or UCaaS providers have OPEX versus CAPEX models that include new VoIP Hardware with the monthly service fee, which frees up capital for other projects.
  • Are your users all in one office, spread out among multiples, located in home or remote offices? UCaaS might be a better fit if your workers are spread out or are becoming more mobile.
  • Would the features of a UCaaS solution such as video conferencing, screen sharing and web conferencing displace any costly 3rd party software subscriptions, such as GoToMeeting, Skype for Business or Zoom?
  • Is your organization a “cloud-forward” company? Do your users quickly adopt and embrace new technology?

The following considerations are also important when deciding between a UCaaS and Hosted Voice solution.

Not all networks are ready for a UCaaS solution.  The additional features native to UC can be network intensive.  You’ll want to partner with your IT provider or a solid telephony organization that can perform an assessment on your network to determine your capacity.

Sometimes the hidden costs of retaining legacy PBX equipment can far surpass the cost of implementation of a Hosted Voice or UCaaS deployment.   Get a quote from a provider of your choice to evaluate your options.

The mobility that a UCaaS solution can provide your workforce may offer a better way for your customers to reach you.  Options for Softphones on Mobile Devices keep us more connected than ever, and allow your staff a flexibility never before available.  These types of “soft-benefits” are more difficult to place a value on, but empower your organization and people.

There are many other advantages to migrating to a VoIP solution for businesses.  Whether you are an SMB or an Enterprise, there are compelling features about VoIP that make it a great solution.  Contact us today for a consultation and plan to implement VoIP for your business.