Unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) solutions are exploding in popularity, both domestically and on a global scale. According to a study by Transparency Market Research, the UCaaS market is poised to reach $61.9 billion in value by the end of 2018. That represents an undeniably vigorous 15.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2018. So what's motivating such growth?
In truth, there are likely many circumstances contributing to the growth of UCaaS solutions. Even so, one could boil most down to a simple case of a new technology outpacing traditional solutions. With that in mind, here's what UCaaS growth means for you.
The Problem with Legacy UCC
The rise of UCaaS solutions really stems from the unsustainable nature of in-house unified communications and collaboration (UCC) deployments. From an operations perspective, management and integration top the list of the potential headache-inducing qualities of in-house UCC.
While some would point to the "unified" aspects of UCC as evidence enough of its ability to streamline management, their vision is perhaps a bit narrow. When it comes to communication and collaboration in this day and age, agility, flexibility, and accessibility take center stage. In a self-managed UCC solution, that means adding networking infrastructure, mobile apps, client relationship management (CRM) integration, and many other management aspects into your already crammed schedule — not to mention reconciling scalability and the inevitable slew of feature requests that come down the pipe.
Speaking of scalability, there's another major reason for on-premises UCC's lack of sustainability: cost. The "can-do" attitude has been a staple of IT from the get-go, and for good reason. Often called upon to find creative ways to pull off otherwise impossible feats of technology, IT professionals have long prided themselves on do-it-yourself projects tucked away in dusty closets.
As rewarding as it can be to put a little sweat equity into infrastructure such as UCC, this often leads to systems that are eventually inefficient, ineffective, or particularly difficult to manage and scale — in some cases, all of the above. The end result is wasted hours maintaining these systems or lost opportunities settling for less-than-ideal communications. Either way, you can seldom consider them cost-effective endeavors.
Operational and cost inefficiencies will eventually catch up with even the most thoughtful in-house UCC deployments.
Communication and Collaboration Done Better
Indeed, in-house UCC solutions were never long-term solutions. Operational and cost inefficiencies would eventually catch up with even the most thoughtful deployments. As it turns out, UCaaS addresses both of these inefficiencies by simply being better equipped to capitalize on increased cloud spending and the enterprise shift toward mobility. Speaking of which, the global public cloud market is expected to swell to $178 billion in 2018, according to Forrester's latest predictions. The increased reliance on public cloud platforms is expected to prop up the 22 percent CAGR.
As enterprise communications follow suit, UCaaS is the logical replacement — and it provides much-needed upgrades over legacy systems. For example, with UCaaS, you no longer need to maintain separate platforms for your messaging, chat, conferencing, business apps, or contact centers. Instead, all these communication and collaboration pieces come packaged neatly together under a single umbrella.
In practice, this makes management and maintenance of communication infrastructure far more streamlined. It also better aligns with mobile operations strategies. That same UCaaS platform at your desk also works on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop. You might also find yourself with more resources to devote to communication and collaboration, considering the shift in IT spending toward cloud communications initiatives. Heck, by simply consolidating vendors, you'll see a lower total cost of ownership as you reduce capital expenses.
UCaaS Market Growth
The UCaaS market is ultimately enjoying sustained growth for many reasons, including:
- Adoption of enterprise mobility on the back of better network infrastructure
- Proliferation of BYOD strategies
- Growth in public cloud spending
- Growing realization that it's difficult to innovate without effective communication and collaboration
And really, that last point sums up the beauty of the cloud-based communications that are propelling UCaaS — putting simple and effective communication tools in the hands of any user, anywhere, anytime. Putting your communication and collaboration infrastructure in the hands of a unified, cloud-based platform ultimately makes for a more flexible environment. Coupled with tight integration for CRMs, productivity suites, and even IT management platforms, you'll be able to unify more than just communication.
Contact Vonage Business to learn more about how cloud-based communications can aid your company.