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What are the global trends in the UC market and what role is VOSS playing?

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What are the global trends in the UC market and what role is VOSS playing?

Norm Halvorson, COO, VOSS

August 31 saw VOSS close out our 2014 financial year, and I thought it would be a good time to take stock of the unified communications (UC) market and our position within it.

Firstly, what of the global UC market?
As the UC industry develops and globalizes, industry experts and leading analysts continue to evaluate it in terms of trends in deployment types, market segment/sector, region, and key leaders/competitors. And the consensus is that UC is not just here to stay, it's a market that is showing impressive growth.

An interesting report caught my attention recently: The Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) Market - Global Advancements, Worldwide Forecasts and Analysis (2014-2019) report by www.marketsandmarkets.com cites that the UCaaS industry will grow to a value of $23.34 billion by 2019, from an estimated $13.10 billion in 2014. This represents a CAGR of 12.2% and shows that organizations are finally embracing the idea that communications services delivered from the cloud are ok! They are in fact trustworthy, reliable, and make good economic sense; with the latest and greatest UC services starting to be consumed on a "pay-by-the-drink" basis.

Then there was another report entitled Unified Communications Market Analysis By Product (On Premise, Cloud-Based/Hosted), By Application (Education, Enterprises, Government, Healthcare) And Segment Forecasts To 2020 that caught my eye. This report by Grand View Research focuses more generally on the global UC market, which they predict will reach $75.81 billion by 2020. This report also tips its hat to the adoption of cloud-based UC, stating that while on-premise UC accounted for over 60% of the market in 2013, cloud-based and hosted solutions will rapidly gain share over the forecast period (mainly due to the high initial cost of installation and additional maintenance cost associated with on-premise solutions). The report adds that "Enterprises will continue to dominate the market over the next six years", and "SMEs have been deploying the necessary IP infrastructure to support UC".

Infonetics published some research in late August that was of great interest to me. It was the first time I had seen such a clear piece of research saying that enterprises are lowering their spending on the PBX, but increasing their spending on UC. The reason that this excites me is that the greater the trend towards UC, the greater the requirement for UC management.

VOSS 2014 in review
We can't give too much away, but we are, on the whole, very pleased with our performance in the UC management space in 2014.

It is no secret to say that for a number of years, we have faced the challenge that enterprise organizations often chose to forego the initial cost of UC management, as it was deemed another expense to be justified and absorbed, along with the deployment costs of putting the UC environment in place. Enterprises overlooked the fact that UC management is proven to rapidly return this investment and more, in very little time!

However we have seen that this opinion is changing and an increasing amount of enterprise organizations are turning to VOSS from the outset…not just for the highly sophisticated UC management platform that we offer to help them automate and standardize day-to-day operations, but to harness our UC migration solution to help bring users, devices and services onboard the new UC platform in a highly automated, efficient way.

So VOSS is seeing an uptick in UC management adoption, and with the help of our migration solution, the industry is benefiting from a much more rapid user onboarding rate, which is playing a significant role in fueling the growth of the industry.

Let's look forward: Forecasts for 2020
So with all reports – and our personal experience at VOSS – pointing to consistent growth in the UC - and UC management - market, there are some trends within the industry that we are enjoying watching play out:

  1. Mobility: Mobility is clearly redefining UC. Multiple devices per user drives user adoption of UC more than anything else. As the modern consumer becomes more immersed in the BYOD culture of present, the need for UC systems that provide an excellent experience across all geographical locations and user devices, for all applications, becomes critical.
  2. HD video on the desktop: The trend of comprehensive HD video integration into UC systems will only continue to grow as a standard offering, with consumer demand calling for both group and user-specific settings and cost reductions. The release of new “cool” video devices, coupled with HD Video Meeting Rooms in the Cloud will help to drive video adoption, especially for home offices.
  3. Self-service models: With the consumerization of IT, enterprise communications users become more demanding for self-management of their social and work place communications. End user customization and self-service will become a standard demand for UC vendors, driven by the Microsoft 365 initiatives.
  4. Cloud communications: The barriers to cloud adoption for UC are dwindling by the minute. If you think that your company is not evaluating the cloud option, then you just aren't paying enough attention … there are vendors queuing up to pitch cloud services to your CEO every day. Every PBX vendor in the market now has a cloud offering. If you are not leading this initiative within your organization, then you are going to get left behind. If you don't want your organization to move to the cloud, then you better have a strategy for hybrid cloud.

UC management plays a very important role with regard to mobility, desktop video, self-service, and cloud communications. We at VOSS have plans in place for FY15 that continue to support our enterprise customers, and their cutting edge UC requirements, to drive innovation and provide solutions to help them adopt these trends.

Contact us today to discuss any of the topics that I have raised in this blog, in more detail.