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Cloud Meetings and Team Collaboration Services: Growth Opportunities
At Frost & Sullivan, the Connected Work research team recently completed one of its flagship studies that provide a detailed overview of the state of the global cloud meetings and team collaboration market. The scope of the study encompasses public-cloud multi-tenant web/video meetings and team collaboration/messaging services as offered by the original service provider—and doesn’t include sales of third-party solutions. Revenue estimations exclude any workload component not directly related to the cloud meetings and team collaboration functionality (e.g., telephony, productivity apps, customer relationship management (CRM), contact center, etc.)
In 2021 the global cloud meetings and team collaboration services market earned revenues of $14.78 billion, a 23.7 percent increase over an already fantastic 2020 year. The installed base of paid cloud meetings and team collaboration licenses grew by 28.8 percent in 2021 to 241.5 million. Below is a summary of eight primary findings in the study.
1. Hybrid work is here to stay.
By 2024, approximately 200 million workers will work remotely full time, while 300+ million will be hybrid workers who spend some days working remotely and some in the office. Emerging workplace trends have heightened the demand for flexibility. Organizations are also rethinking how they effectively communicate, collaborate, innovate and connect with customers.
2. Those working from home must be a higher priority than in the past.
Businesses must leverage technology to enable more flexible, inclusive, and immersive remote meeting experiences. They’ll also need to track and sync actions pre, during, and post-meetings.
3. Delivering different meeting experiences for in-person and remote participants is no longer acceptable.
Achieving meeting equity is now a key business and digital transformation objective. With companies worldwide embracing hybrid work, it is imperative to provide meeting solutions that address the mix of in‐person and remote participants across geographies with different native languages and are adaptable to different work styles.
4. Connectivity and experience parity (no matter where an individual works) has become essential.
That means delivering browser-agnostic mobile experiences on par with desktop experiences, the ability to quickly and seamlessly switch between modalities, and more.
5. Meeting and messaging equity is also achieved through the notion of inclusivity.
That means leveling the playing field across demographics, user abilities, work styles, geographies, and locations.
Features such as real-time transcriptions and translations, interpretation and gesture recognition, and new inclusive layouts foster a deeper connection between in-person and virtual participants. Additionally, new ways of encouraging self-expression are all helping to make meetings and messaging tools more engaging and inclusive.
6. Today, video meetings and collaboration spaces are where company culture lives.
Video meetings and collaboration spaces help workers feel connected, keep morale up, and maintain a strong company culture.
7. Users need solutions that deliver better outcomes.
It’s well known by now that people are experiencing fatigue with video meetings. Technology developers must foster innovation beyond just video meetings to support multiple synchronous and asynchronous modes of connectivity and collaboration, without losing the context or the continuity.
8. Businesses require rich, persistent messaging applications and workspaces that support internal and external collaboration.
Within the same instance, the delivery of advanced AI functionality to capture, surface, and analyze data and information; pre-and post-meeting capabilities; crowdsourcing and audience engagement tools; and seamless integration of collaboration tools into existing workflows and vice versa are all important capabilities that help businesses to embrace continuous/workstream collaboration.
The Future is Innovation
The next phase of innovation in the cloud meetings and team collaboration realm will center around the following:
- The emergence of immersive spaces. Address employee isolation issues by introducing spontaneous audio and video spaces that can re-create the ad-hoc moments of actual physical workplaces.
- The growth of virtual events. Similar to the future of work, the future of events will be hybrid. Going forward, event organizers will take on the new responsibility of creating events that combine the best of in-person and virtual event experiences—offering high engagement while successfully reaching large audiences.
- Horizontal and vertical solutions will continue to emerge. Standard meeting solutions covered many of the needs in a time of crisis. However, the industry has learned from the experience that purpose-built solutions that factor in use case-specific workflows enable better user experiences. Furthermore, meeting data needs, user experience, connectivity, devices, and application integrations, as well as industry-specific security and compliance requirements, can lead to adoption and monetization opportunities for all but the most horizontal use cases.
- The growth of APIs, SDKs, and composability will continue. We can expect the cloud meetings services market to evolve rapidly over the next several years, with different buyers creating custom applications and experiences using communications platforms as a service (CPaaS). Through a combination of packaged applications and application building blocks such as exportable data, APIs, and low-code/no-code systems, businesses will be able to embed communications and collaboration functionalities into their business workflows.
- Integration of hardware and software capabilities that span a variety of work modes become must-haves. Hardware and software integration has become ideal across all work modes, from home offices to mobile workers, conference rooms, office workstations, shared spaces, and boardrooms. Capabilities include easy pair, share, control, moving calls between applications and devices, co-creation (e.g., whiteboarding) between applications and devices, etc.
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