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Unified Communications Pricing

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    Unified Communications Pricing – The Complete Guide

    The world of business communications is rapidly evolving, driven by technological advances and changing business needs. One development that has gained traction is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). This cloud-based, unified communications service integrates various communication tools, making them accessible through a single platform. Unified communications pricing can sometimes be confusing, however. Brightlio is here to help.

    This comprehensive guide focuses on understanding the basics of UCaaS pricing. This article provides the following:

    • An introduction to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) 
    • A breakdown of the basics of UCaaS pricing, including standard pricing models and cost drivers.
    • Strategies to negotiate more advantageous unified communications pricing
    • How Brightlio can assist with UCaaS pricing and phone system quotes

    Understanding Unified Communications as a Service

    UCaaS is a model where a provider delivers a range of communication and collaboration applications on a cloud-based platform. Unified communications system features include voice, video, messaging, file sharing, and other productivity tools. 

    UCaaS offers businesses many advantages, including improved collaboration, increased productivity, and enhanced customer service. It also provides scalability and flexibility, allowing companies to adjust their services according to their needs without significant capital expenditure. For a more detailed understanding of Unified Communications, check out Brightlio’s “Ultimate Guide to Unified Communications as a Service.”

    The Basics of UCaaS Pricing

    Navigating the landscape of UCaaS pricing can seem complex. Understanding its fundamentals can demystify the process. There are several common line items on a UCaaS quote that make up the total cost. Let’s explore them together.

    A Per-User License Fee

    UCaaS pricing is usually priced on a per-user basis. The user license includes access to the cloud platform and features based on service tier. 

    A three-tier structure is typical for business phone systems. Providers, including Dialpad, Ooma, Nextiva, RingCentral, Vonage, and Zoom, all offer a three-tiered pricing model. As businesses move up the tiers, they can access an increasingly comprehensive range of features and a higher level of support at a higher cost. Maintenance costs are included in the monthly cost.

    Pricing tiers are typically broken down as follows.

    Entry-Level Tier

    The entry-level tiers offer basic communication features at a more affordable price point. They typically include dial tone with unlimited calling, call forwarding, instant messaging, simple file sharing, calendar integration, basic security features, and limited customer support. These packages are designed for small businesses or startups with basic communication needs.

    Published pricing at the entry-level tier typically ranges from $15 to $20 per user per month. Remember that Brightlio will help you get a better deal than the published pricing on phone system quotes for all service tiers.


    As businesses grow, their communication needs become more complex. Middle-tier UCaaS plans cater to these evolving needs with advanced features for voice, video conferencing, call recording, unified messaging, collaboration, and third-party integrations. They also offer improved security features and prioritized customer support. 

    Middle-tier plans are a good fit for medium-sized company or those experiencing rapid growth. Pricing at around $25 per user per month is typical for this tier.


    The highest-tier plans are designed for large company with extensive communication needs. These plans provide premium voice features, comprehensive video conferencing capabilities, advanced messaging and collaboration tools, full integration capabilities, top-tier security features, and the highest level of customer support. 

    While these plans come at a higher cost, they deliver significant value by providing a comprehensive suite of features, scalability, and premium support. Pricing between $30 and $35 per user per month is typical for the highest tiers.

    Contact Center as a Service

    Contact center features in a UCaaS solution often carry additional costs and are typically customized to the specific needs of each business. Pricing these features is more complex than standard UCaaS features, and there isn’t usually a one-size-fits-all package. Contact centers vary significantly in size, complexity, and functionality requirements.

    The pricing often depends on the type and number of features required, the volume of interactions, and the number of agents using the system. It’s also common for UCaaS providers to offer contact center features as add-ons or separate packages, which allows businesses to select and pay for only the features they need.

    Contact center features generally cover various capabilities to manage and streamline customer interactions. These may include Automated Call Distribution (ACD) for intelligent routing of incoming calls, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for automated customer self-service, and CRM integration for syncing call data with customer records.

    Moreover, contact center features often extend to powerful analytics and reporting tools for evaluating such factors as call volume, agent performance, and customer satisfaction scores. Workforce management features, such as staff scheduling and real-time adherence tracking, are also common in these packages.

    One critical element of contact center features is omnichannel capabilities. These allow a business to manage customer interactions across multiple channels, including voice, email, chat, and social media, all from a unified platform. These features not only ensure consistent customer experiences but also increase the efficiency of your contact center team.

    Remember, these features aim to enhance customer service, improve operational efficiency, and ultimately drive business growth. Therefore, when considering the pricing for these features, it’s essential to look beyond the numbers and consider the value they can bring to your business.

    Other UCaaS Price Drivers

    In addition to the per-user license fee, there are other factors to include in the total cost. These include the required type and quantity of handsets, professional services, and taxes. Let’s explore these, as well.


    Unified communications platforms allow you to leverage your mobile device, laptop, or desktop for calls and collaboration. Each provider also provides a list of compatible desk phones. Polycom, Yealink, and Grandstream are standard options.

    If you prefer to own the hardware, phones can be purchased from Brightlio or other providers. Costs start at $45 for entry-level models and up to $300 for more advanced models. IP conference phones typically range from $200 to $550.

    If you prefer to have the phones included in your monthly service, the UCaaS provider will include them in your monthly price. Expect to pay between $4 and $15 monthly for the handset depending on the model chosen.

    Professional Services

    Unified communications platforms are typically simple to deploy. Many small businesses can set up their system using free training and implementation resources included with the package.

    Larger enterprise and contact center deployments may benefit from a professional implementation. Some vendors offer standard onboarding packages, while others provide custom-scoped deployments. For budgetary purposes, you can expect to pay between $2,500 to $3,000 for a custom deployment for up to 50 users. Onboarding costs will increase by roughly $30 per user for over 50 users.


    Like most telecommunication services, unified communications are subject to government taxes and fees. These included the Federal Universal Service Fund tax, State and Local 911, Local Utility Fees, and Recovery Charges. These fees typically comprise 10% and 20% of the system cost.

    Internet Connectivity

    As UCaaS solutions are cloud-based, it is important to factor in a reliable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth in your cost expectations. Bandwidth requirements vary depending on the number of users and features needed.

    Since your communications infrastructure will rely on your internet service, a backup internet connection is also important. Broadband or 4G/5G make for low-cost backup internet options. Combining redundant internet services with SD-WAN solutions improves redundancy and prioritizes voice traffic, improving audio quality. These considerations should be included in the total cost of your unified communications system.

    Negotiating UCaaS Pricing

    Negotiating better UCaaS pricing doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right approach and some inside knowledge, you can secure a cost-effective and feature-rich UCaaS solution that fits your business needs.

    The first step towards getting a better deal is to gather multiple quotes from different UCaaS providers. This will give you a clear understanding of the current market rates and a valuable bargaining chip when negotiating with your preferred provider. These competitive quotes give you the upper hand in price discussions.

    Secondly, understanding your business requirements in detail is vital. A clear list of essential features versus nice-to-have features can be a strong negotiating point. Knowing what your business can and cannot compromise on is important. The more flexible you are with your needs, the better your chance of reducing the overall price.

    Customers willing to commit to longer terms also typically get a better price. For instance, RingCentral users get a $10 per month price break on each user license when committing to an annual payment rather than a monthly payment option. Similarly, Dialpad offers a break from $23 to $15 per month on their Standard plan for clients going to an annual payment.

    Working with a telecommunications broker like Brightlio is also incredibly advantageous. A broker’s role is to help businesses find the best telecommunications solutions at the best prices. Brokers like Brightlio have strong relationships with various UCaaS providers, granting us access to better deals and promotional offers. Furthermore, we can save you time by gathering and comparing quotes, freeing you to focus on your business.

    Remember, the goal is not just to get the cheapest UCaaS solution but to get the best value for your investment, which includes a balance of price, features, and quality of service.

    Brightlio Delivers Unified Communications Pricing

    If you are looking for phone system quotes, Brightlio can help. Brightlio partners with industry leaders, including Vonage, RingCentral, Dialpad, and 8×8. We will work with you to determine your needs and budget and then negotiate the best pricing for your business phone system.

    We also offer complimentary services, including network connectivity, SD-WAN, colocation, cloud, and advisory services. This allows us to deliver a complete technology solution for your business.

    We are committed to being your most trusted and responsive IT partner. Get started with Brightlio today!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a unified communications system?

    A unified communications system, often provided as a service (UCaaS), is a user friendly solution that integrates multiple communication methods within a business. It can connect phone calls, video conferencing, chat, and other methods, improving the ability to collaborate.

    What does a UCaaS platform typically cost?

    Unified communications pricing varies based on the features you choose. Companies can expect to pay per user, with costs increasing with the complexity of the system. Expect to pay between $15 and $35 per user, plus taxes, installation, and internet costs.

    How can I save money on UCaaS?

    Gather multiple quotes, understand your needs, and consider working with a telecommunications broker. This can help reduce unified communications pricing and secure a platform that best suits your needs.

    What are the benefits of UCaaS systems?

    UCaaS systems offer businesses the ability to streamline communications, improve collaboration, and connect team members regardless of their location, all of which can drive productivity and efficiency.

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