A sweeping shift to cloud-based solutions within the global unified communication and collaboration (UCC) market has up-ended the traditional sales, purchase, implementation, and support models. Frost & Sullivan expects customization and user adoption to be keys to ensure UCC solutions deliver significant user and business benefits. UCC integration into workflows, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) promises to enhance business outcomes, unlock next-level value, and produce greater return on investment (ROI). Services will rise to 66 percent revenue share of the $39 billion UCC market in 2019, as software, platform and endpoint revenues continue a steady decline. The global user base of cloud UCaaS, among the fastest growing segments, has surpassed 43 million, with net new users estimated to grow at a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent from 2016 to 2023.
"Intensified competition and considerable price pressures are forcing providers and vendors to enhance their applications and services-based solutions portfolios. This will broaden their addressable market as well as expand cross-sell and up-sell opportunities," said Robert Arnold, Industry Principal, Conferencing & Collaboration, Frost & Sullivan. "Providers' future success will hinge on addressing the customer's need for customized, reliable and flexible solutions; reducing costs; and improving productivity."
Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis, Global UCC Industry Outlook, 2018, reveals innovations, macro and micro trends, future predictions, industry challenges, and disruptive and sales trends.
To gain a competitive advantage, Arnold recommends vendors, providers, partners, and enterprises collaborate clearly with enterprises on business needs assessment and post-deployment support.
Transformations that are creating new growth opportunities include:
- Rise of as-a-service-based solutions and cloud services;
- Integrating UCC with office productivity and other business software;
- New UC solutions such as IoT, social, IT, vertical and contact center UC;
- Next-gen collaboration;
- Social capabilities raising personalization to new levels;
- Adoption of hybrid solutions;
- Intelligent networks;
- Development of mobile solutions support;
- Network analysis giving way to app performance and usage; and
- Prominence of video.
"Progressive solutions such as AI, software-defined networking (SDN) and IoT are slowly making their way into enterprises, most of which have disparate networks, protocols and interfaces. For smaller organizations, these technologies may appear unattainable," noted Arnold. "Providers must recognize where most customers are in their readiness for such advanced capabilities and lay the necessary foundations for adoption. Security and privacy concerns, coupled with unclear IT strategy and managing multi-vendor solutions, will also need to be addressed."
Global UCC Industry Outlook is part of Frost & Sullivan's global Conferencing & Collaboration Growth Partnership Service program.