Unified communication as a cloud computing solution market primed for major growth


Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is already more popular than ever, due to the way it allows parties to leverage a variety of communication solutions at one time from any location. According to a new report from MarketsandMarkets, the global UCaaS marketplace will rise even further over the next five years. Between this year and 2018, the sector will have a compound annual growth rate of 24.8 percent, to go from $2.52 billion in 2013 to $7.62 billion five years from today.


While internet telephony remains the most popular unified communication feature in terms of global usage, much of the growth the report predicted in the UCaaS market over the next five years is expected to result from increasing enterprise demands for video technology and hosted communications solutions. Analysts predicted that the hosted collaboration market will increase by 26.5 percent each year for the next five years, meaning that the sector will go from more than $570 million currently to approximately $1.75 billion by 2018.


“Companies across all sectors are using UCaaS, cloud based unified communication which integrates web conferencing, video conferencing, messaging, VoIP and presence over cloud that helps to decrease front load capital cost as they are offered on a per seat basis, enabling businesses to scale communications easily and effectively, thereby reducing travel time and [instituting] {their quote seems incomplete me} leaner business processes,” MarketsandMarkets said.


Another reason the UCaaS market is expected to experience such dramatic growth is the rise in mobile devices in the modern workplace. Thanks in part to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, plus the development of better remote infrastructure design in the form of more secure VPNs, mobility is now an ingrained part of the enterprise lexicon. Businesses are demanding more and better tools to maximize their return on investment from this trend. UCaaS allows organizations to stay in better touch internally and to communicate with clients and customers across provincial and international boundaries. According to Gartner, the growth of mobility is one major reason why UCaaS and other wireless networking solutions hosted as a service will rise in popularity in the coming years.


“When discussing cloud computing, groups with an IT background often position it as a way to perform existing functions ‘better, faster and cheaper,'” Gartner Research analysts Gregor Petri and Douglas Toombs wrote in a September 2012 report. “But much more exciting opportunities are presented by functions that were not possible or even imaginable before cloud computing. By enabling much broader collaboration, deeper integration and increased scope, cloud computing can enable cloud-based multienterprise processes, in which [communication service providers] can play a pivotal role.”


Addressing remaining unified communication concerns

However, in regard to the cloud computing solution needed to hosted UCaaS, the report found that many companies prefer a more gradual approach. As a result, enterprises at the moment favor a hybrid approach in which some of the unified communication services are hosted on-premise while others are powered by public and private clouds.


The trepidation that some businesses have in regard to UCaaS can be addressed by a managed IT services providerwho can set up a data migration and data protection program to make sure the transition from legacy communications systems to UCaaS goes as smoothly as possible.