Derek Yoo
Derek is co-founder and CTO of Fuze, responsible for the technology and product strategy behind the Fuze cloud communications platform....
Read Full Bio >>

Derek Yoo | January 05, 2017 |


UCaaS Outlook for 2017: Consolidation to Continue

UCaaS Outlook for 2017: Consolidation to Continue Improved user experience, simplified management, and lower TCO will continue spurring integration around a single cloud platform.

Improved user experience, simplified management, and lower TCO will continue spurring integration around a single cloud platform.

After many years, we finally are in a place where everyone more or less agrees on what UCaaS is from a functional perspective -- that being the combination of voice services, video collaboration, and team messaging delivered via a single cloud platform. As providers work to align their product portfolios with today's common view of UCaaS, we can expect industry consolidation to continue.

Basic Drivers
The drivers for this consolidation are twofold. First, UCaaS providers can improve the user experience by allowing group messaging, voice calling, and video collaboration from within the same software client. Having one client that covers multiple interaction modes versus requiring an individual software client for each interaction type minimizes the friction that typically comes with shifting between different communications channels. For example, a user could start collaborating with a colleague by exchanging messages, then within the same app escalate to a voice call as the interaction intensifies. Finally, the user could convert that 1:1 interaction to a group video session for real-time discussion among all team members.

Second, having a consolidated UCaaS platform reduces complexity and total cost of ownership (TCO) for IT. By moving from multiple, largely on-premises technologies to a single, cloud-based platform, IT can significantly drive agility and cost efficiencies in their organizations. The more fragmented and premises-based the starting point, the greater the TCO reduction an enterprise will realize from adopting UCaaS.

Logical Directions
When it comes to consolidation, the contact center has been and will continue to be a logical adjacency for UCaaS providers. After all, if an enterprise initiates a UCaaS deployment so it can retire an aged on-premises PBX, it must also determine how to handle the contact center agents being served from that same PBX. Some UCaaS vendors include CCaaS natively on their platforms, while others resell CCaaS or partner with pure-play CCaaS vendors.

Significant consolidation took place in the CCaaS space this year, and I expect this to continue in 2017 in the face of mounting market pressure. The consolidation is a sign of the market recognizing that CCaaS is either going to combine with UCaaS or it's going to consolidate with workforce optimization/workforce management (WFO/WFM) platforms. In fact, many enterprise IT professionals would jump for joy if they could handle their UCaaS, CCaaS, and WFO/WFM requirements from one cloud platform without the need to coordinate with multiple vendors and orchestrate complicated integrations. Such a cloud solution would help them further simplify their environments and reduce TCO.

Consolidation might come from some wildcards, as well. One is CRM integration. Most, if not all, UCaaS and CCaaS providers already have integrations with CRM platforms from vendors such as Salesforce and Zendesk. To date, CRM vendors have largely tried to stay neutral when it comes UCaaS and CCaaS, offering APIs to any company that wants to integrate with their platforms. However, CRM vendors could change their strategies and look to own the end-user communications. Natively combining CRM with UCaaS and CCaaS could lead to simplified platform management while enabling the extension of the platform to everyone in the enterprise for an improved user experience.

Another wildcard could be from the enterprise social side, as a lot of what happens in enterprise communications these days follows what happens first on the consumer side. Enterprise social network providers might find a lot of value in combining with UCaaS to create differentiation and enable communications-based workflow automation.

Regardless of what ends up happening in 2017, the horizontal nature of UCaaS means that a lot of different consolidation opportunities are possible. The market will ultimately decide what combinations are the most efficient.


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.