UCaaS will be one of the main drivers for innovations in the business communications, helping businesses deliver a more targeted user experience.
2018 will mark a very significant shift in UCaaS growth towards larger enterprises due to their need of reliable and secured cloud solutions.
According to a recent Gartner report: “UCaaS capabilities now exceed those available from premises-based UC. The pace of UCaaS innovation is accelerating as vendors focus R&D resources on cloud delivery.”
The interest in UCaaS solutions is driven by the low cost of ownership as compared to other similar tools, the shift to pay-per-use model of charging the end users, the growing mobile-first trends, and the integration of all communicating services around a single platform.
UCaaS' growth may be explained with its capability to integrate multiple functions of communication on one platform, and allow relatively quick adoptation. Adding to that enhanced flexibility, we can see why enterprises across the globe have started to invest in UCaaS apps.
Why You Should Pay More Attention
1. UCaaS End-To-End Compoatibility With Legacy Systems
Although much of the enterprise business already moved to the cloud, or it's planning to do so, there are still many companies using PBXs and land lines. Transitioning entirely to an UCaaS platform is often time-consuming and expensive. There's still a need for end-to-end unified communications solution that incorporates PBX, analog, and digital connections. Providing such integration will allow customers to deploy a single vendor solution without compatibility testing across platforms.
2. Increased UCaaS Adoption
In 2017 we saw a growth in UCaaS adoption. We believe 2018 will see even higher demand for such services. However, not all companies are ready to go all in. Many companies choose to go with a hybrid model, a popular form of flexible cloud adoption that allows for gradual move from on-premise to cloud. We'll have to wait a bit more before we see companies jumping directly to the cloud, without keeping their on-prem infrastructure running simultaneously.
3. Demand For Voice and Video Communication Will Increase
Last year we noticed a rise in demand for telephony services. This trend will continue to grow, as well as the need for video conferencing. More companies now conduct conference calls as ever before, and this is only going to gain even more momentum in 2018, especially as enterprises continues its rapid adoption of team messaging and collaboration solutions.
4. Telephony Will See Higher Adoption
As more companies are moving from traditional to digital communication, large-scale digital transformations are being implemented to ease transfer of data, and provide better and faster communication. Twenty US states have already opted to replace landlines with VoIP and other communication technologies. PBX usage is likely to grow this year. With the arrival of 5G we'll see a stronger push for native mobile integration, with embedded and customized support for a richer UX. This mobile-centric experience will expand to include team collaboration, and enhanced meeting support.
5. Microservices Promise To Improve UCaaS Deploiment
In the world of unified communications microservices is not a new concept, but lately we've seen it being more widespredly used by organizations. This type of architecture centers around greater customization through extensive use of APIs in order to meet any specific user experience needs.
6. Rise Of The Managed Service Providers
Managed Service Providers' role in the UC market will continue to increase in 2018, as many businesses look up to MSPs to help them navigate the cloud. MSPs are directly responsable for monitoring, managing and optimizing multi-level cloud environments, and can offer customized cloud solutions, offering more flexibility, and relieving the companies from the complexieties of moving to the cloud.
7. Focus On Security
Cyber attacks are the scourge of the IT world, and unfortunately they've increased in number and scale (with the recent Github DDoS attack being the biggest to date). That's why we'll see continious investment in UC security and analytics. GDPR is also putting pressure on companies to upgrade their UCaaS systems, shielding end user data from being easily accessed, and also ensuring further protection against online malicious activities.
8. AI And Big Data Will Have A Saying
AI and Big Data are more than just buzzwords, they're a reality, and an ever present component in UCaaS systems. AI is believed to change the way UCaaS leverages massive amounts of data to predict and prevent human or technical errors from occuring in collaborative interactions. Self-correcting systems will eventually ameliorate collaborative processes, and partially substitute IT as the middleman. Big Data will prove vital for improving productivity. By analyzing communications-based data and employing actionable solutions, organizations will be able to better position themselves on the market.
9. Voice Assistants As Middlemen
We mentioned that AI will have an even bigger impact on UCaaS in 2018. One direct result of that will be the wider adoption of voice assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Spark. In the coming months we'll see an increased number of business apps for voice assistants being implemented in a variety of UCaaS functions.
10. UCaaS Costs Will Go Up
We mentioned that demand for UCaaS platforms will be on the rise this year, but that doesn't nessecary mean fewer costs. On the contrary. Early UCaaS adopters have to be ready to pay good money for an all-encompassing UC solution. It must be noted that incorporating one such tool into your business strategy would not be always easy or quick. Planning will be crucial when companies opt to move to the cloud. Fail to do so could potential harm brands and customer experience. Don't forget that adopting a UCaaS solution is often connected to external vendors, and building multi-layered infrastructure, meaning that businesses will have to budget increasing costs and manage complexities when deploying across hybrid ecosystems.
Come Meet Us
Attending this year's Enterprise Connect? Be sure to swing by our partners Masergy's booth No.1119, where you'll have the opportunity to meet our team, and hear more about Cloudpipes, our vision for the UCaaS industry, and how we can help you achieve seamless cloud migration.