If 2014 was the year of mainstream cloud, then 2015 was definitely the year of UCaaS. UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) saw explosive growth last year and even as we approach the fourth quarter of 2016, that rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down. The global UCaaS market is forecasted to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.4 percent until 2022, eventually reaching an impressive $37.85 billion.
What is UCaaS?
Clearly, UCaaS is here to stay, but what is it? As with many trendy tech buzzwords, there’s no universally agreed-upon definition, however, Gartner defines UCaaS as “equipment, software, and services that facilitate the use of multiple enterprise communications methods”. Admittedly, that definition is still a bit vague. For our purposes, UCaaS can be thought of as a complete communications package for enterprises that provides a suite of tools for things like voice/telephony, email, conferencing, collaboration, instant messaging, and contact centers. When properly implemented, UCaaS solutions will significantly improve how your company communicates and performs.
DoubleHorn’s own UCaaS solution is made up of the following six offerings:
Voice & Telephony: UCaaS solutions replace legacy PBX phone systems with feature-rich VOIP desk phones. The advanced routing features of VOIP phones can help increase reachability and reduce hold times by automatically routing calls to a mobile phone when you’re out of the office. Repeatedly being routed to someone’s voice mail when trying to reach them is a frustration nearly everyone can empathize with, and UCaaS will help make that a thing of the past.
Email / Calendar: Cloud-based email is enjoying widespread adoption in enterprises of all sizes due to its unmatched reliability and ability to effortlessly scale with business growth. In fact, this is the fastest-growing of all the UCaaS components, with 2015 adoption increasing 35% over the previous year. Solutions like Office365 or Gmail for Work greatly simplify the implementation and management of corporate email accounts, and self-provisioning portals allow average users to easily perform tasks that traditionally would have been delegated to IT.
Instant Messaging: This offering lets employees quickly check presence status and availability of co-workers without phone calls or emails. You can also exchange instant messages with co-workers in the office or out in the field. No more wasting time walking around the office trying to find Bob, his presence status informs you he went our for lunch (or probably happy hour, knowing Bob).
Collaboration: Tools like wiki, file sharing, and collaborative document editing promise to improve team connectivity and agility. Most offices these days are virtually paper-free, but the benefits of this can be lost when documents like sales collateral and presentations remain hidden in their department-specific silos. UCaaS collaboration tools enable your workforce to find, view and edit the resources they need when they need them.
Conferencing: Advanced audio, video, and web conferencing tools enable faster team decision-making by providing high-quality virtual meeting environments for any number of users regardless of their physical location. Proper integration enables one-click access to virtual meetings from leading applications like Outlook and Salesforce, or from a mobile device. Conferencing is the most adopted cloud-based communications tool: as of last year it had been deployed at 60% of organizations.
Contact Center: Virtual contact center software requires no up front hardware investment and enables on-premises or remote support and sales teams to improve response times, and as a result, customer satisfaction. This is a key differentiator of DoubleHorn UCaaS, as this component is not typically included in UCaaS packages from competitors.
Drivers behind UCaaS Adoption
There are three primary drivers behind the widespread UCaaS adoption we’ve seen in the past few years. Firstly, millenials represent a significant and ever-growing share of the corporate workforce. The majority of this generation has grown up using the same instant communication tools that UCaaS solutions provide and not only do millenials tend to perform better when provided these tools, they expect them. If your business plans to reap the benefits of a younger and more technologically skilled workforce, its crucial to give them the tools they need to effectively communicate, collaborate, and ultimately, succeed. Secondly, remote workforces are becoming increasingly common. Whether its the software developer that works from home half of the week or the salesman that’s always on the road, an increasingly decentralized office environment demands seamless connectivity and communication regardless of employee location or personal device choice. Lastly, just like with cloud computing in general, lower upfront investment and lower cost of ownership has attracted many businesses to UCaaS offerings.
DoubleHorn is excited to launch its own UCaaS solution next month. Stay tuned to this blog and our other social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for more information.
DoubleHorn is dedicated to one enduring idea: Improving the world-changing power of Clouds. We’ll continue to advocate for organizations who demand better prices, better coverage, better performance, better service, and Better Clouds. Reserve a complimentary cloud consultation today by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-61-VOICE (86423) to learn more.