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The Rise of BYOC: Large Enterprises Shouldn’t Miss Out
Over the last few years, Metrigy has tracked a rapid rise in the adoption of unified communications-as-a-service, or UCaaS, for short. According to our global “Workplace Collaboration: 2021-22” research study, more than 47% of the 476 participating companies are now using it in some fashion, either as a complete replacement for legacy on-premises and/or hosted PBXs, or in conjunction with legacy platforms. Our data shows more than a 240% increase in UCaaS adoption since 2019.
Prior to the pandemic, UCaaS adoption was largely concentrated in the small-medium business segment, with larger companies reluctant to embrace it due to concerns about availability and reliability, security, performance, and cost. The pandemic, coupled with the maturation of UCaaS offerings, has dramatically changed that equation. Among this year’s data set, approximately one-third of large companies (defined as those with more than 2,500 employees) are using UCaaS, compared to 31% that still maintain their calling platforms on-premises. Of those still operating their own calling platforms, 25% plan to shift to UCaaS by the end of 2021 and another 14% are evaluating doing so in 2022.
One of the primary factors inhibiting UCaaS adoption among larger enterprises has been a key selling factor for smaller companies: bundled PSTN access. Larger, multinational companies typically have multiple PSTN provider contracts in different parts of the world to minimize cost and meet local regulatory requirements. They have implemented their own session border controller (SBC) infrastructure to support SIP trunking, call routing, and VoIP security, and they often operate multiple communications platforms for calling and contact center. Shifting these environments to UCaaS providers that only offer bundled PSTN access, and thus require porting of phone numbers to the UCaaS provider, creates a barrier to entry and potentially additional cost and complexity for larger, more complex organizations.
In addition, moving to UCaaS provider PSTN access may not enable organizations to effectively support call routing for separate contact center platforms, or legacy platforms during transition. It may not support integrations with subsidiaries that are not yet ready to shift to cloud, and UCaaS providers may not offer local access in remote markets. These limiting factors mean that organizations may miss out on the many benefits available via UCaaS, including integrated calling, meetings, and team collaboration, and advanced features only available via the cloud.
Bring your own carrier, or BYOC, provides the solution to these challenges. BYOC solves these issues by separating call control from PSTN access. Companies using BYOC in conjunction with UCaaS can simply shift their call control from on-premises to cloud, while maintaining their existing PSTN services and infrastructure until such time as it makes sense to shift that to the UCaaS provider as well. Via managed services, companies can contract with a single provider that can deliver UCaaS, PSTN management, and support and integration services. Or, they can continue to self-manage SBCs and other architectural components if they desire to do so going forward.
Metrigy continues to see a great deal of interest in BYOC from those providers that offer it. For example, among those adopting Microsoft Teams Phone System as their UCaaS platform, more than 70% are adopting BYOC via Teams Direct Routing. Key drivers include cost savings compared to Microsoft’s Calling Plans, control over enterprise phone numbers, and the ability to more easily support inbound and outbound calling for contact centers. Among those using Zoom Phone, just over 8% are using BYOC, reflective of Zoom Phone’s greater penetration in the SBC segment of the market. BYOC options are also available from providers including 8x8, Cisco Webex through its Cloud Connected Program (CCP), and most recently, RingCentral through its partnership with Bandwidth announced this week (see related news post).
If you’ve been reluctant to embrace UCaaS for your large, global organization over concerns related to complexity and cost of PSTN access, take the time to evaluate BYOC. It can be a means to simplify UCaaS migration while maintaining control over call routing and gaining access to the benefits of cloud-based feature delivery.