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Definition

Communications as a Service (CaaS)

Communications as a Service (CaaS) is an outsourced enterprise communications solution that can be leased from a single vendor. Such communications can include voice over IP (VoIP or Internet telephony), instant messaging (IM), collaboration and videoconference applications using fixed and mobile devices. CaaS has evolved along the same lines as Software as a Service (SaaS).

The CaaS vendor is responsible for all hardware and software management and offers guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS). CaaS allows businesses to selectively deploy communications devices and modes on a pay-as-you-go, as-needed basis. This approach eliminates the large capital investment and ongoing overhead for a system whose capacity may often exceed or fall short of current demand.

CaaS offers flexibility and expandability that small and medium-sized business might not otherwise afford, allowing for the addition of devices, modes or coverage on demand. The network capacity and feature set can be changed from day to day if necessary so that functionality keeps pace with demand and resources are not wasted. There is no risk of the system becoming obsolete and requiring periodic major upgrades or replacement.

Read more about it at:
> Joseph Hoftstader outlines the technical fundamentals of CaaS.
This was last updated in April 2008
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