Growth In Hosted UCaaS and IP Telephony Not Limited To Big Providers

Frost & Sullivan has recently updated their North American Hosted IP Telephony and UCaaS Market, Forecast to 2023.  The news continues to be positive. The report shows that we can expect to continue on the current growth trajectory through 2023. In 2016, the market experienced healthy growth of 32.1 percent in terms of installed users and 30.6 percent in terms of revenue (without access).

Continued Growth Forecast

“Growing customer demand for more flexible technology consumption models to support digital transformation projects represents a key growth driver. Premises-based communications solutions reaching end of life and increasing availability of compelling UCaaS offerings are also encouraging the move to cloud communications.”

Not Limited To Big Providers

The other good news is that this growth is not limited to only a few big providers.

“Currently, the market is relatively untapped and can support a large number of providers with a diverse background and skill set. As the market matures, highly diversified telecommunications companies and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers are likely to dominate the market,” said Frost & Sullivan Digital Transformation Vice President Elka Popova.

The report states that such issues as security, control, and more flexible customization will be important drivers as companies continue to move away from premise-based systems. Bigger providers must deliver a more “cookie-cutter” solution in order to maintain scale. This is the antithesis of what customers are looking for.

We believe that a local provider (backed by an outstanding white label partner like SkySwitch)  is best positioned to deliver the customized solutions that many companies are looking for.

North American Hosted IP Telephony and UCaaS Market, Forecast to 2023 InfoGraphic

Significant Upgrades And Improvements to Meeting Manager with Release 7.0

The ability to collaborate with co-workers or clients is a key driver for companies moving to a Unified Communications as a Service Platform. The upcoming release of Meeting Manager will significantly improve and enhance the user experience for this key component of our offering.

Highlights of the version 7.0

An Entirely New and Modernized GUI

All the functionality is there and accessible through a much smaller widget that takes considerably less desktop space. During a session, it can be minimized all the way down to this:

But just hovering over the widget instantly exposes every control Icon:

There is even more functionality available under the icons:

This is just the start of the benefits from the new interface. Here are a couple of screenshots showing off the new interface.

This is the new look for meeting set-up

 

Here is the scheduler:

 

Improved Integration with SkySwitch Platform

The web meeting audio will automatically be connected with the Meeting Host’s PBX conference bridge when a meeting starts. Previously, this required the Meeting Host to press a ‘Connect’ button. This screenshot shows a meeting in progress with the direct PBX Integration:

Additional New Features

Live Streaming.

Stream desktop, HD video, and audio to browser-based viewers across all platforms including PC, MAC, iOS and Android.

Up to 20 frames per second desktop sharing.

Share HD video and audio from your desktop to attendees at up to 20 frames per second. This incredible feature brings desktop sharing to the next level over the public Internet by delivering a smooth HD experience in real-time with only milliseconds of delay.

MAC HD Video Recording and Conversion to MP4.

It is now possible to record HD video and desktop sharing sessions on a MAC.  The file format of the recording can be converted to MP4 from the MAC.

More improvements in the future

We are already working on the next release of Meeting Manager that will include an integration with Google and Outlook calendars.

Lots of Room for Revenue in UCaaS

According to Synergy Research Group, the UCaaS market continues to grow in the US at an astounding 29% a year.  Retail UCaaS services account for well over 80% of the total market. The UCaaS market is now generating revenues exceeding $400 million per quarter and approaching $2 billion annually.

While the big guys like Ring Central, 8×8, Mitel, Broadsoft, and Vonage continue to duke it out at the top, there is plenty of market share available for those resellers who deliver a more personalized service to businesses in their local area. This is particularly true as smaller businesses, who have little or no dedicated IT personnel, migrate to UCaaS and Hosted PBX. This is becoming an under-served market as market leaders move to serving larger businesses and enterprises.

“UCaaS continues to provide a richer and more cost effective collaborative communication system for businesses globally,” said Jeremy Duke, Synergy Research Group’s founder and Chief Analyst. “We are also seeing an up-market acceleration of UCaaS adoption, moving from serving mostly smaller sized organizations now to gaining traction in businesses of over 100 seats and over 1,000 seats. Given that the displacement of premise PBXs remains low today, there is ample ground for UCaaS to find strong growth in displacing these legacy systems over a long stretch of time.”

Don’t Do It Yourself: Fighting the rising cost of UCC

In a recent industry survey of over 300 companies for its annual UCC Total Cost of Operations research project, Nemertes Research found that complexity was one of the main reasons for rising operational costs of Unified Communication and Collaboration systems. As user adoption increases, the need to integrate more features continues to drive up complexity and cost of UCC implementation and operations. It seems that those who start down the Do-It-Yourself path using less expensive or open source solutions may see a short-term gain, but often quickly become victims of their own success.

However, companies that leverage offerings from vendors specializing in Operations and Performance management see a 59% reduction in their operational costs and a 34% increase in user adoption. In other words, using a vendor that provides Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Service (UCCaaS) fights the rising cost of maintaining a Do-It-Yourself UCC solution. There is also the added benefit of moving costs from Capex to Opex.

This is exactly the roll that SkySwitch and our ecosystem of technology partners and resellers fill. SkySwitch focuses on integration of best-of-breed solutions into our platform and the operation of the platform. Our resellers focus on training, support and the customer experience.

As shown in the study, using UCCaaS from a vendor whose focus is on best of breed solution integration and operational excellence can greatly decrease the cost and increase user adoption.