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The rapid evolution of Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC) technology from on-premises to cloud services, hardware to software, and point products to integrated solutions suites is enabling businesses to quickly roll out new capabilities. Cloud services are expected to dominate in the future; however, to penetrate all market tiers and industry segments, UCC service providers will need to offer competitive hybrid offerings. Global UCC industry revenues from the services segment are likely to rise from 59.9% in 2018 to 66.5% by 2020, while the platforms and endpoints segments are forecast to decline from 20.9% and 19.2% to 16.4% and 17.1%, respectively. Total global UCC revenues will increase from $34.64 billion in 2018 to $40.77 billion in 2020.
“Advanced solutions such as AI, software-defined networking (SDN), and Internet of Things (IoT) are emerging crucial purchase factors,” said Robert Arnold, Principal Analyst, Digital Transformation. “Therefore, organizations, particularly small- and medium-sized companies, are adopting Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) capabilities so they can consume advanced functionality more affordably.”
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Global UCC Industry Outlook, 2019, analyzes the potential of different segments of the market in terms of revenue and user growth. It studies the evolving technologies and business models and their implications for vendors, service providers, and end customers. It also presents the features and capabilities that customers are seeking in various UCC applications and covers key purchasing factors.
“User and customer experience continue to drive UCC adoption, utilization, ROI, and stickiness,” noted Arnold. “Service providers will aim to provide high levels of customization to ensure their solutions deliver the greatest user and business benefits. Key R&D areas include team collaboration, Communication Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS), video conferencing, AI, automation, and workflow integration, which are expected to enhance the efficiency of individuals and teams.”
Successful UCC service providers will look to make the most of the growth opportunities presented by:
- Developing a broader communications and IT services portfolio, and employing a more consultative approach and broader partner ecosystem that will be keys to provider success
- Focusing on pricing, packaging, feature/functionality, and business models to vie against disruptive new players and evolution within the existing UCC industry that are leading to accelerated innovation and fierce competition
- Expanding portfolios through M&A and internal development, and offering UCaaS, contact center, team spaces, and multimedia conferencing to shorten the sales cycles and provide more value to business customers
- Delivering security and reliability, as well as aligning UCC with customer business strategies
- Innovating unique business models and architectures to fill market gaps
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