Enterprise Communications


North American Hosted IP Telephony and UCaaS Market, Forecast to 2023

Providers Reposition and Realign Strategies to Ensure Long-term Success
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Published: 21 Sep 2017

Forward-thinking businesses increasingly evaluate advanced communications and collaboration solutions as part of their digital transformation initiatives. However, other priorities such as security, network reliability, cloud migration and Internet of Things (IoT) often supersede communications upgrade projects. Growing customer demand for more flexible technology consumption models to support digital transformation projects represents a key growth driver. Premises-based communications solutions reaching end of life and increasing availability of compelling UCaaS offerings are also encouraging the move to cloud communications. Service providers face different challenges in their pursuit of UCaaS revenue growth and market share gains. Rapid technology advancements and competitive dynamics create sense of uncertainty and delay investment/upgrade decisions. Premises-based solutions are often favored for security, control and customization/integration reasons. Provider repositioning and strategy realignment are likely to determine the industry’s evolution and growth trajectory over the next few years. M&A, bankruptcy protection, internal reorganization, international expansion, as well as solution repackaging will aim to improve industry health and boost customer confidence in service and company long-term viability. In addition to growing customer interest in moving communications to the cloud, UCaaS adoption will be highly impacted by the availability of strong market participants with visionary strategies, broad geographic presence, solid financial performance and affordable, feature-rich solutions. Market growth over the forecast period will be driven by both existing provider new user acquisition as well as the entry of new service providers and/or launch of new UCaaS solutions. Key growth opportunities in the UCaaS market exist in the following areas: • UCaaS enhancements (e.g., contact center, advanced collaboration, analytics, native mobility) • Broader portfolio diversification (e.g., SD WAN, communications platform as a service (CPaaS), adoption and other value-added services) • Improved end-user and IT admin experience (e.g., portal, messaging-centric user interface, greater service quality and reliability, free trials) • Tailored solutions (e.g., verticals, micro-business, mid-market and enterprise) • Greater market reach (e.g., channel expansion, international presence, digital engagement) While more “traditional” UCaaS solutions will continue to experience rapid adoption, the industry will begin to gradually transform under the impact of both internal and external forces. The emergence of “productivity UC”, “vertical UC”, “IoT UC” and other forms of embedded communications is likely to disrupt provider business models, solution prices, customer use cases and other market dynamics. As communications vendors provide open application programming interfaces (APIs) and as CPaaS offerings gain traction, businesses will have more options for deploying communications and collaboration functionality from both traditional communications providers and new market entrants with software as a service (SaaS), cloud or other backgrounds.

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