Unified communications is on the move.
The unified communications (UC) segment is forecast to grow from $22.8 billion in 2011 to $61.9 billion by 2018, according to Transparency Market Research.
UC is viewed by businesses of all sizes as a way to cut costs and improve both productivity and collaboration. It cuts costs by using the latest Internet technologies instead of more costly solutions such as traditional corporate video conferencing solutions, and it boosts productivity by reducing the number of places that employees need to check to stay connected with colleagues. It also enables workers to easily employ the communications medium that best suits the type of information being shared, whether chat, email, call of video conference.
Further, UC boosts collaboration by giving employees more face-time and a sense of working together in the same office even when they are on the road or working from home. UC—when properly deployed—can reduce the lost collaboration that comes from the mobility revolution, a necessary corrective as the physical office loses importance.
Unsurprisingly, then, that the enterprise collaboration market also is projected to have healthy growth in the next few years. According to research group Market and Markets, the enterprise collaboration market is expected to expand from $47.30 billion in 2014 to $70.61 billion by 2019.
The enterprise collaboration market focuses on solutions that drive this crucial UC collaboration among employees as they move out of the office and more into the field.
A third segment that will benefit from the growth of both the UC and enterprise collaboration markets is UC-as-a-service (UCaaS). Combining two of the biggest trends in IT, UC and the cloud, UCaaS is generating substantial interest among enterprise customers.
It is not hard to see why, too; one of the challenges that still plagues the UC market is its relative deployment complexity. While the promise of UC is simplifying communications, as a new technology many firms are still struggling to select the right vendors and put together a solution that works.
By using UCaaS, businesses can eliminate the setup difficulties by outsourcing it to a UCaaS provider that specializes in UC and offers it as a service instead. This offloads the complexity to the provider, making adoption turnkey for businesses.