**Original post has been updated to reflect new UCaaS trends in 2020
With all the new and trending tech on the market, it’s easy to think that telecom has officially taken a back seat to other communications technologies. Video conferencing and mobile apps have claimed a broad swath of the telecommunications industry’s market share, and traditional telecoms have struggled to innovate to meet the challenge. What you may have missed, however, is the fact that UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is booming. Offered by VoIP providers and telecoms, UCaaS has brought business phone systems into the future in a way that had made such services far more attractive to enterprise businesses than new tech industry favorites.
UCaaS is Top Three in Tech
Sales for UCaaS were so strong in 2017 that some of the industry’s leading providers have made some bold predictions. Intelisys, a ScanSource company, considers cloud-based unified communications to be one of the top three hottest technologies for 2018. “UCaaS is off the charts. As partners source new solutions for their customers, it probably comes up in 50 percent of those conversations,” said Intelisys President Jay Bradley in an interview with crn.com. “The appetite for cloud communications among customers is strong, and sales numbers in this area for partners are robust.”
2020 saw even more significant growth for the UCaaS market, with Avant Analytics reporting almost 90% growth in UC sales through July of the year. Driven by consumer demand and work from home orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a push for digital transformation, UCaaS has shown itself to be a key component of a business’s success.
Subscriber Growth is Climbing Fast
UCaaS is typically charged for in “seats”, which is the measurement increment used to describe the number of users a business attaches to their hosted UC account. While the total number of companies buying UCaaS services has seen tremendous growth, so has the number of subscribed seats. This means that not only are UCaaS providers signing up more clients, but they’re also signing up clients who are scaling up their communications. Recent research by the firm Synergy Research Group found a surprising and inspiring growth in UCaaS use.
“UCaaS seat additions in 2017 were 16% higher than in 2016, which were themselves 11% up on 2015, demonstrating the robust demand for these services to displace traditional premise-based telephony and UC,” said Jeremy Duke, Chief Analyst at Synergy Research Group, in an interview for datacenterjournal.com. “Our firmographic analysis of this market also shows that UCaaS is gaining market acceptance momentum with large businesses and enterprises. Given the sheer scale of PBX installed base and the low penetration of UCaaS into those segments, this bodes well for continued strong growth.”
Why the tremendous growth in UCaaS?
Why? The answer is not so surprisingly simple: the global pandemic.
“The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation plans, making business leaders more aware of any gaps in their legacy communications solutions,” said Ian Kieninger, Avant’s CEO and co-founder. “Needs have changed amid COVID-19, due to stay-at-home orders and remote work.”
Another driver for the rise in demand for UCaaS is cost-savings. Hosted communications are far less expansive than on-premise systems, and they are almost always more secure from malicious attacks. This makes UCaaS an attractive alternative to traditional on-premise communications systems in enterprise and large businesses.
A hosted UC also has a suite of advantages over on-premise systems that make them desirable services for enterprise businesses. First, UCaaS is scalable with little cost or effort. Scalability is exceedingly essential for companies who expect to experience growth. UCaaS also makes communications more flexible in regards to how employees use them. Since hosted communications are internet-based, employees can access and use their work phone wherever there is an internet connection.
The advantages of UCaaS are numerous. Here are a few that make them most attractive to enterprise businesses:
A growing company needs scalable systems. IP phones, along with a hosted PBX, are managed off-premise, and so do not require on-site engineers to set up. Scaling up a hosted phone system is a matter of asking for more lines, which can be deployed at a moment’s notice. As call volumes grow, a hosted phone system allows your business to add lines quickly and efficiently.
If your business offers seasonal goods and services, a hosted phone system can help save on costs while meeting higher demands at certain times of the year. Just as new lines can be added in a pinch, so too can they be removed or suspended during the offseason. Hosted phone systems allow for better scalability both upwards, for growth, and downwards to save money in the offseason.
More and more, consumers prefer to stick with brands and businesses with reliably excellent customer service. This means that phone systems are a crucial part of building consumer trust and loyalty. A phone system that cannot quickly and efficiently meet consumer demands will create an environment whereby consumers may lose faith in your company because the phone system did not work, the wait times were too long, or the customer service was not up to par. A hosted phone system allows the rapid deployment of new lines and hardware that ensure your phone system keeps pace with your business’ growth.
Traditional on-premise phone systems are an administrative nightmare. They require staff to manage them, are not particularly scalable, and in this day and age are completely outdated. A hosted phone system takes the administrative burden of maintaining the phone system off-site and off your shoulders, so you can worry about growing your business without worrying about how to scale your existing phone system.
Integration With Modern Technology
Hosted phone systems are built and managed in the digital space. In contrast to older on-premise phone systems, a hosted phone system can easily integrate with new communications technology – including video conferencing, mobile applications, and flexible workspaces – to allow your employees to make full use of all the latest communications tools to help grow your business. This integration means your phone system will no longer stand-alone, but be part of unified communications solutions to make your business more scalable, more flexible, and easier to manage.
Ease of Use
Hosted phone systems are managed off-premise by a company specialized in the administration of such systems. This means that the headache of deploying and maintaining an efficient phone system is now the responsibility of a dedicated team, who are reachable for any problems that may arise. Setting up a hosted phone system is made more intuitive than ever. New employees can be trained more quickly on the systems, and this saves time and money. Overall, the ease of use of a hosted phone system is more efficient and more cost-effective than retaining a legacy on-premise phone system.
There are many good reasons why businesses are looking to UCaaS providers to upgrade their communications systems. With such rapid growth, firms that intend to remain competitive in their marketplace will need to consider deploying these services as well. MIX Networks is a premier provider of UCaaS, with such services as a full hosted UC, mobile app, and 4G failover. To learn more about our services, CLICK HERE.