The market for Unified Communications solutions and services is undergoing a transformation, and are widely expected to remain diverse, despite consolidation, in 2015.
According to IT analyst firm Ovum, the change is fuelled by large enterprises and SMEs turning to new ways of purchasing, deploying, and managing business communications technology, with cloud-based communications services among the “root causes” of this transformation.
“Enterprises considering UC solutions in 2015 will encounter a market undergoing considerable change,” says Brian Riggs, principal analyst of enterprise services, Ovum.
“Video will become ubiquitous as consumerisation, WebRTC, and other factors make videoconferencing available from any application and any device.
“Meanwhile UC services will become better enabled to support complex hybrid cloud deployment models.”
Ovum has identified the four overarching trends in the UC market that will have the biggest impact on businesses in 2015.
The market for UC solutions is, and will remain, diverse, despite consolidation:
There is consolidation around a few top vendors that enterprises will nearly always consider when expanding or replacing their existing business communications solutions.
At the same time, the market is large and diverse, and there will be plenty of opportunities for second- and third-tier players not only to exist but to thrive.
Hosted UC services are becoming mainstream, particularly among large enterprises:
Enterprises are no longer simply curious about cloud-based UC services, but are ready to invest in them. In large enterprises, hosted UC services often sit alongside premise-based solutions, either for a set transitional period or for the long term.
This will create more market opportunity for hosted communications services, but will potentially complicate deployment and management.
Videoconferencing is becoming ubiquitous:
A wide range of video-capable UC clients, web-conferencing platforms, and consumer applications are now used in the workplace. End users are more familiar with videoconferencing software than ever before, and are demanding access to it.
However, the sheer number of systems, applications, and services that facilitate corporate videoconferencing is making interoperability a significant challenge.
Hosted videoconferencing is undergoing a transformation as providers introduce new services and revamp existing ones:
Operators are revamping the hosted services that they have long sold to enterprises, while also introducing a new set of video services through partnerships, acquisitions, and internal development.
Meanwhile new providers are trying to establish themselves through differentiated services and videoconferencing offerings that are more tightly integrated with other types of communications solutions in use within the enterprise.