Emerging UCaaS and VoIP Trends in 2022
Things are moving so fast in the UCaaS space that sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Let’s look at some of the emergent trends we’ve seen across UCaaS in 2022.
Things are moving so fast in the UCaaS space, it’s hard to keep up. Let’s look at some of the emergent trends we’ve seen this year.
What is UCaaS?
Keeping in touch has never been more relevant as teams seek innovative ways to connect and collaborate. As a result, business communication has evolved at scale to keep pace. Gartner offers a succinct and comprehensive definition of the centralized system referred to as UCaaS.
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a cloud-delivered unified communications model that supports six communication functions:
Meetings (audio/video/web conferencing)
Instant messaging and presence (personal and team)
Communications-enabled business processes
Adoption of UCaaS has been rapid and widespread. Irwin Lazar, Principal Analyst at Metrigy, predicts UCaaS solutions will account for 70% of all business communications solutions by 2023 (bad news for webinar-haters).
Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant” of the major players in the UCaaS space (updated in Feb 2022) gives us a great place to start our exploration of 2022 UCaaS trends, followed by a bird’s-eye view of how the playing field has changed during the year.
In this neat infographic, Gartner summarizes the market performance of the dominant UCaaS providers, assigning them to the following categories.
Leaders who “execute well against their current vision and are well-positioned for tomorrow.”
Challengers who “execute well today or may dominate a large segment, but do not demonstrate an understanding of market direction.”
Google (Voice for Business)
Visionaries who “understand where the market is going, but do not yet execute well.”
Niche Players who “focus successfully on a small segment or are unfocused and do not out-innovate or outperform others.”
OK, so that was the beginning of the year. What’s changed since then?
Quite a lot, actually – as you’d expect with an area of such remarkable growth, the consolidations have come thick and fast as the big fish eat the smaller ones. Here are some of the notable acquisitions and mergers we’ve seen in the UCaaS space this year (for a more comprehensive overview of some of these major players, check out Lightyear’s "Ultimate Guide To UCaaS in 2022").
Mitel partnered with RingCentral. Mitel threw in the towel on UCaaS and struck a strategic partnership with RingCentral, which means their massive user base (some 35-million strong) will migrate from their cloud-hosted Private Branch Exchange service through to Ring Central’s Message Video Phone (MVP) cloud communications platform.
8x8 buys Fuze. Market leader 8x8 acquired market visionary Fuze early this year, in a $250m buyout. Communications from 8x8 reassured Fuze customers that their Fuze services would remain unchanged in the short-term, with the bonus of being able to access the 8x8 Contact Center and Communication APIs.
Ericsson acquires Vonage. The telecom giant picked up Vonage in July 2022 as part of their push into the enterprise telecoms sector, with promises of massive investment in Vonage’s R&D. Vonage retains its corporate identity.
Remind me again, what are the benefits of UCaaS?
Cost reduction. As a “unified” solution, UCaaS typically offers a lower overall price for this bundle of services than individual point solutions or non-cloud solutions, due to the reduced friction in delivery from a single platform.
Supportive of remote working. Fewer separate platforms = fewer technical glitches (in theory), given the single log-in for remote workers.
Ease of deployment. With centralized account management, running a distributed team is simpler.
Better teamwork. Working with a single platform allows your team to become more proficient in its use instead of interfacing with several different products. These single-platform benefits will present themselves as productivity gains and time saved.
Better customer engagement. If elements of your unified communications system are customer-facing, you’ll find improvements in customer experience, as your audience find themselves switching seamlessly between VoIP, online chat, and messaging features.
UCaaS Endpoint Security
Any cloud-based solution is always going to come with additional security concerns, particularly for distributed teams, working across diverse locations.
As provider-hosted applications, UCaaS offers a potentially more efficient solution for network security than in-house unified communications such as PBX. The provider usually assumes responsibility for UCaaS security features, along with all associated network infrastructure. Compliance with regulatory and federal security statutes is a given, as you’d expect with any reputable SaaS.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and UCaaS
Cloud-based, unified communications services are a great place to showcase AI solutions for software/productivity-first based providers like Microsoft.
Automated workflows allow seamless data management between integrations – for example, VoIP voice transcriptions can be automatically transferred to your CRM. Analytics platforms and AI-based data layers can access anything and everything, with massive productivity gains.
Application integrations with UCaaS
There’s very little that can’t be integrated with UCaaS solutions. Call-center management tools, employee-experience monitoring, and marketing and analytics apps, among others, can all be connected to your UCaaS systems to create a truly global platform that delivers anything your team requires through a single portal.
If your business is contemplating a shift to unified-communications-as-a-service or an alternative voice / video / telephony solution, the Lightyear platform (and our network professionals) are ready to help you procure the perfect all-in-one communication solution.
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