UC Trends Driving the Market
Integration of enterprise communication services such as instant messaging, voice and internet protocol (IP) telephony, audio, web, and video conferencing is possible due to unified communication (UC). With its share of advantages, the UC market is expected to grow massively in the upcoming years. There is no denying that UC is constantly transforming the modern-day workplace environment; with the development of new tools, workplaces are relying on UC platforms like never before.
The UC market will continue to witness the growth in mergers and acquisitions. Similar to Cisco acquiring Broadsoft, privately funded organizations are looking forward to acquiring smaller businesses from local European markets. Today, there is more focus on the overall user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), with video becoming a key technology to drive better communication and collaboration.
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Earlier, video deployments were only considered commercially viable for the enterprises and midmarket organizations. Due to the advancements in IP connectivity and cheap hardware—in addition to the accessibility of cloud-based virtual meeting rooms (VMRs)— a video is becoming popular in terms of UC. Looking at its espousal among small businesses, a video will become one of the major elements for revenue generation for resellers and service providers.
In 2017, Cisco became popular in the Cloud UC space while several other vendors made their mark. For example, Amazon launched Chime, Skype was re-branded for business services, and UC cloud players like Fuze, 8*8, and Ring central were well-received by people. The market is now growing and these new service providers are looking to expand geographically and into other verticals.
There will be an increased focus on UC security and analytics. With GDPR becoming mandatory with the growing cyber attacks, further consideration is needed in the UC space to safeguard user data and ensure protection against cyber threats.
With businesses adopting software as a service (SaaS), end users now expect to purchase their UC solutions on this basis. In EMEA, the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market is expected to be worth $1.15 billion by 2020. End users look forward to UC providers delivering comprehensive solutions for voice, video hardware, engineering and cloud services, all on a simple consumption-based pricing model.
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By Thomas Magg, CTO CEM, VP Business Development, Spirent Communications