March 24, 2023
What’s the state of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) in 2023? In a nutshell, it’s more robust than ever. Hastened in no small part by a three-year pandemic and a related explosion of remote work, companies are increasingly migrating their operations to the cloud — including video and voice, the core of UCaaS.
What is UcaaS?
UCaaS stands for Unified Communications as a Service. It is a cloud-based delivery model for enterprise communication and collaboration services that can include voice and video calling, instant messaging, email, and file sharing. This allows businesses to access these services over the internet, rather than having to maintain their own on-premise communication infrastructure. This approach offers greater flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, as you only pay for the services you need and can easily scale up or down as business needs change.
Solutions typically include features like call routing, file sharing, voicemail, video conferencing, screen sharing, and integration with other business applications. They can be tailored to meet the specific communication needs of businesses of all sizes and types.
By 2030, according to different projections, the global UCaaS market is expected to hit between $240 billion and $381 billion at a substantial CAGR of 19.5 percent. That’s a long way from $91 billion globally ($27 billion domestically) in 2022.
According to John Irey, Mindsight Vice President of Consulting Services and a UCaaS expert, “It is no secret that UCaaS has been booming. What I think has been really clear this year is the willingness across pretty much all verticals to migrate. 2023 has been off to a hot start and we are seeing particularly strong interest in both education and local government.”
Back in late 2021, Gartner foreshadowed this trend when it predicted that 85 percent of companies would adopt a cloud-first strategy by 2025. “There is no business strategy without a cloud strategy,” one Gartner analyst declared.
As another Gartner analyst noted, in early 2022, “The shift to the cloud has only accelerated over the past two years due to COVID-19, as organizations responded to a new business and social dynamic. Technology and service providers that fail to adapt to the pace of cloud shift face increasing risk of becoming obsolete or, at best, being relegated to low-growth markets.”
In the UCaaS realm, making the leap (increasingly by partnering with third-party vendors that manage and maintain the platforms) has been shown to accelerate productivity while reducing IT costs. Not only can employees access all the tools they need from anywhere at any time, there’s also no need for on-prem hardware or on-site support.
“Consolidating services into one provider presents a cost-saving opportunity for organizations, as bundled services often lower the total investment cost,” FluentStream CEO Cass Gilmore wrote late last year on Spiceworks.com. “Additionally, working with one vendor condenses multiple invoices and decreases oversight management to a single point of contact. As organizations look for cost-cutting measures, service and vendor consolidation will certainly be a top consideration, fueling growth opportunities for organizations that can offer compelling bundled services, streamlined account management, and stellar customer service.”
Options for personalization and collaboration are expanding as well, thanks to UCaaS-facilitated features like fast file sharing, real-time white-boarding, and integrated apps. That’s all made even more efficient, incidentally, by the growing ubiquity of 5G satellite-based internet service.
Focus on Cybersecurity
And it’s no surprise that the mounting popularity of UCaaS — with the often problematic use of unprotected personal devices that frequently goes hand-in-hand — is reportedly spurring more companies to put more focus on improving cybersecurity. Topping the priority list is the implementation of Zero Trust protocols (read Mindsight’s recent blog Zero Trust Security: A Cybersecurity Report | Mindsight) “Cyber criminals are more adept at targeting and exploiting weaknesses in networks and applications,” this insider essay correctly notes. “SOC analysts suffer from alert overload due to high volumes of false positives. And the expansion of complex, multi-cloud environments introduce new security challenges and increased attack vectors. Addressing these threats with an array of standalone products is unproductive, unscalable and is an ineffective approach to network security. As a result, companies will increasingly adopt security platforms that offer a converged set of security capabilities in a single architecture, enabling security teams to more effectively secure and protect complex infrastructures.”
An AI Infusion
Not least of all, AI and UCaaS are becoming more and more intertwined. “In 2023 and beyond, organizations will increasingly adopt UCaaS features powered by AI to harness new efficiency and productivity gains,” Gilmore wrote. “For example, AI enables the conversion of voicemail messages to text messages, automates note taking during meetings, and improves workflows.”
Is Transitioning to UCaaS a Daunting Task?
It definitely can be — unless you have knowledgeable help. That’s where an IT Consultant like Mindsight comes in. “Our experts have two decades of experience in finding UCaaS solutions that are right for your organization’s needs and budget. The process, entirely managed by Mindsight , is transparent and competitive,” says Irey. Here’s how the process works:
- We begin with a deep discovery of your business and technology objectives to ensure a thorough understanding of current state and future state needs. We encourage stakeholder involvement from appropriate lines of business so we can capture perspectives and requirements, as well as gain early buy-in.
- Once we have a clear understanding of what you need to achieve, we develop a strategy for vendor engagement including defining evaluation criteria and a scoring methodology upon which vendors will be assessed.
- If desired, Mindsight can create the RFI and/or RFP. We then put the RFP out to bid in a transparent process that leverages market competition to drive down pricing. Mindsight manages all communications from prospective providers and their sales representatives, saving you valuable time.
- Once all the bids are in, we develop a wholly unbiased short-list of providers based on your objectives and mutually agreed upon criteria. We present those options to you along with pricing, services and demos. We also provide the pros and cons for each provider based on our past experiences.
- Based on the information presented, you choose how —and if —to move forward, and with which provider.
- You sign the contract directly with the provider; Mindsight’s fee is paid by the provider—not you.
For more details, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 981-5050.
Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.
About The Expert
John Irey is the VP of Consulting Services at Mindsight, an IT Services and Consulting firm located in the Chicago area. With nearly 20 years of experience in information technology, John has helped businesses of every size optimize the technology powering collaborative solutions. He has extensive experience with unified communications platforms and seeks to provide a consultative voice to the business leaders who rely on Mindsight’s transparency to make the best technology investments. John earned his BA/BS in Information Systems and continues to focus on how emerging technology, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, impact the contact center. John enjoys spending his free time with his wife and two young children.