Rob Arnold - Analyst Profile

Principal Analyst
Information & Communication Technologies


I am based in metro-Atlanta, GA, U.S.A. and have been involved in some facet of telecommunications industry for 20 years.

A primary focus of my research is to uncover how next-gen technology is enabling new ways of working, how professionals will collaboration using these tools and what the future work environment will look like.

Functional Expertise

Twelve+ years of experience in enterprise communications markets. Particular expertise in:
-Competitive and market intelligence
-Market trend analysis and forecasting
-Solutions development, marketing, sales and service support strategies

Industry Expertise

Experience base covering a broad range of sectors, leveraging long-standing working relationships with leading industry participants’ Senior Executives. Areas of focus include:

-Unified Communications and collaboration solutions
-Next generation communications architectures
-Enterprise fixed-mobile convergence
-Emerging Enterprise 2.0 and social media technologies

What I bring to the Team

Extensive knowledge of communications technologies and markets
Detail oriented researcher able to utilize a broad set of qualitative and quantitative resources to produce comprehensive, in-depth analyses
Capable of managing complex projects and workloads with strong organizational and teamwork skills
Interpersonal skills to forge, foster and grow client and end-user relationships for mutually beneficial results

Career Highlights

Joined Frost & Sullivan in 2010 as Senior Analyst; promoted to Program Manager in 2012; promoted to Principal Analyst in 2013.
Prior to Frost & Sullivan, spent eight years producing communications market competitive intelligence research for Current Analysis, Inc
Served several years in MCI/WorldCom operations supporting US national communications systems resale and managed services division
Held numerous roles within contact centers in the healthcare and retail sectors


B.A. from State University of New York at Albany, USA

Areas of expertise

Recent items from Rob Arnold

BYOD and Need for Simplicity Catalyze Adoption
To support modern workers, businesses are seeking to create optimal physical and virtual meeting spaces that foster effective information sharing, creativity and innovation. Businesses are embracing technologies that enhance team collaboration. Key aspects of group collaboration are centered on robust audio, intuitive content sharing and engaging video conferencing, all while allowing users to leverage their choice of devices and content sources for information sharing. As meetings become shorter, more frequent, spontaneous, and less structured, users want to walk into any room any time and start a content sharing session from any device. However, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends have led to a diverse mix of devices in business settings which create issues with physical connection interfaces and wireless sharing protocol support. Top selection criteria for wireless content sharing solutions adoption include simplicity, ease of use, and affordability. Security and consistent support across various endpoint devices are top concerns for buyers. Wireless content sharing that eliminates the issues associated with disparate wired connections is widely viewed as an avenue to achieve ease of use and more productive meetings. Two solution configurations dominate the market: those with dongles for attachment to sending devices; and those with software apps downloaded to sending devices. The nascent and fast-growing wireless content sharing market is characterized by an expanding roster of competitors all attempting to differentiate their positioning and advance their product capabilities simultaneously. Larger competitors are typified as offering products at higher average selling prices, and greater depth and breadth of functionality offered from broader portfolios. Smaller competitors have the tendency to offer significantly lower-priced products to address the most commonly required functionality needs.
Published: Nov 28 2018 Other
Workflow Integrations Begin to Unlock Next-Level Value
The UCC industry continues to evolve under the impact of multiple socio-economic and technology trends. Accelerating cloud communications services adoption (more than 25 percent globally) continues to stall investments in premises-based equipment. In 2017, global UCC communications software and platforms revenues declined 6.2 percent from 2016, the only of three segments (software and platforms, endpoints, and services) to decline. Hosted and cloud IP telephony and UC services dominated at 39 percent share of global UCC services revenue. Cloud-based converged conferencing services (audio, video, web, screen share, chat, etc.) continue to take market share from standalone applications. Numerous enhancements were made to solution packaging to meet customer requirements and shorten the sales and implementation cycles. Provider emphasis on customization and workflow integration increased as they seek to expand use cases and adoption. Total global hosted and cloud web and video conferencing revenues increased 15 percent in 2017. User experience and customer experience are solidified as development and implementation priorities to ensure worker adoption of tools, enhanced customer loyalty and strong return on investment (ROI). Continuous enhancements across UCC segments were evident in 2017, with new IP phones, soft clients and mobile support. Usability features centered on integrations for single-pane-of-glass access, artificial intelligence (AI) for context and ease of use, as well as a consumer-like look and feel. Emerging productivity tools such as content collaboration and team spaces disrupt, revamp and revitalize the traditional content management segment. Team collaboration remained near the peak of the hype cycle. While not yet entirely replacing adjacent standalone tools, adoption is strong. Daily active users are approaching 16 million, with net new users estimated to grow at a robust CAGR of 38 percent from 2016 to 2021. In digital transformation initiatives more organizations integrate communications with business applications for increased agility and efficiencies afforded by customization through pervasively available WebRTC, open APIs, SDKs, and CPaaS. More organizations are moving UCC up the value chain by expanding digital transformation from network enhancement to workplace and workflow digitization. Digital transformation through smarter networks, AI, improved user and customer experiences are driving new value propositions for UCC investments. This study provides a 2018 and 2019 outlook on developments in the following key areas: • Infrastructure: Enterprise media gateways; session border controllers (SBC); voice and UC platforms; video conferencing infrastructure • Applications: Business telephony; instant messaging and presence (IM/P); voicemail; unified messaging; audio, web, and video conferencing; web events (webinars, webcasts, virtual forums); team collaboration; content collaboration; desktop and mobile UC; enterprise social business/networking; communications platforms-as-as-service (CPaaS) • Communications endpoints: DECT, VoWLAN, TDM, and IP desktop phones; soft clients; audio and video conferencing endpoints • Services: Audio, web, and video conferencing; hosted IP telephony and UCaaS; team collaboration, VoIP access and SIP trunking
Published: Mar 13 2018 Outlook
Evolving Focus from Maintenance to Business Outcomes
As organizations strive to further reduce costs and increase productivity, they are seeking to expand their UC deployments to more sites, more users and are implementing additional applications to their workforce. In efforts to encourage more holistic end-to-end deployments, leading UC solution providers are evangelizing the positive impact UC has on business outcomes. However, proving higher-level benefits requires consistent and deeper use of analytics and reporting tools on the part of end-user organizations and their solutions providers. This research report discusses how UC analytics can help to ensure success throughout the UC solution lifecycle, from initial UC implementation planning to fully deployed, mature and optimized solutions management.
Published: Sep 05 2017 Other
Finding Re-Usable Value in the Shift to Next-Generation UC Architectures
Many businesses are migrating from legacy communications environments to cloud-based unified communications services to gain access to advanced features, facilitate budgeting, and other benefits. However, certain businesses are upgrading to next-generation premises-based solutions to benefit from advanced functionality while retaining greater control over security, compliance and other critical factors. In both scenarios, businesses are likely to encounter various challenges as they attempt to reduce costs, risks and potential for workflow disruption. This research service discusses the various strategies that end-user organizations can employ to protect and preserve existing investments in communications technology.
Published: May 05 2017 Other
Evolving UCC Solutions Enable Digital Transformation
The global unified communications and collaboration (UCC) market is in a rapid state of transition. A sweeping shift to services-based solutions and greater for integration and customization capabilities is are encouraging broader adoption. Market traction is expected to further accelerate as end user organizations recognize UCC as essential elements of their of digital transformation initiatives. This study provides vendors, service providers, resellers and other market participants with important insights about key growth opportunities in the global UCC market. Market participants can use this analysis to develop sustainable business strategies and more effectively compete in the constantly evolving business communications market.
Published: Mar 14 2017 Outlook
A Deep Dive into Twelve Prominent Solutions
Not all customers, locations or users will move to cloud communications services. There are valid reasons to deploy UC solution on the customer premises. This Buyers' Guide overviews capabilities available with the flagship SMB platforms offered by North America's leading UC platform vendors. Details include: development direction, scale, performance, deployment options, endpoints and applications support, legacy platform and cloud migration options, and more. SMB decision makers can factor this information into their UC investments.
Published: Aug 24 2016 Market Insights
Finding the Best Fit When Moving to Cloud UC Solutions
Hosted Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) services represent a fast-growing segment in the broader cloud communications market. User adoption is rapidly accelerating; at the same time businesses struggle to manage increasingly complex UCC environments and look for more flexible technology consumption models. In response to growing customer demand, many well-established and emerging providers have launched and continually enhance compelling hosted IP telephony and unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) offerings. It is critical for business decision makers to thoroughly assess available solutions in order to make sustainable investments that best address their evolving needs. Many business leaders are acknowledging the benefits of outsourcing communications solutions management to an expert third party and are considering a switch to hosted IP telephony and UCaaS. However, limited understanding of specific product capabilities and little provider differentiation are causing confusion among business decision makers and slowing hosted services adoption. Furthermore, providers are constantly developing their solutions and changing identity through M&A, which makes it even harder for business IT decision makers to quickly and easily identify the best fit for their organizations. This buyers’ guide discusses key market and technology trends in the hosted IP telephony and UCaaS market and provides in-depth provider and solution analyses along with specific customer recommendations.
Published: Jul 15 2016 Outlook
Collaboration and Right-sizing Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) Deployments Across Every Tier Critical to Driving Maximum Value
This Market Insight details how end-user organizations can effectively right-size their unified communications and collaboration deployments throughout the strategic value tiers of their business and workforce in order to successfully address changing business and user demands. Enterprises have both tactical and strategic opportunities to efficiently satisfy employee requirements across the organization's environment. Next-gen as as well as applications percieved as utility each have a role in successful deployments.
Published: Apr 04 2016 Market Insights
Cloud and SaaS Adoption Accelerates as Premises-based UCC Deployments Decline
After years of provider initiatives, the UCC industry is finally moving in earnest toward software, services, and cloud architectures. Millennials, mobility, social, and BYOT continue to drive technology development in the quest for improved user adoption of UCC. Integration with business applications is a key focal area as UCC vendors strive to deliver greater ROI. Analytics is becoming increasingly important to prove the business value and effect of advanced UCC tools. This study identifies key UCC trends in 2016 and beyond. Market participants can use the findings of this study to develop more sustainable business strategies and accelerate growth.
Published: Feb 23 2016 Outlook
Market Shifts Call for a Broader Skill Set and Portfolio
The enterprise communications market is transitioning to a blended ecosystem of services and software-centric platforms deployed on the customer premises. The range of components that can be part of the UC stack is also expanding. Channel partners must possess broader skill sets than their telephony-centric predecessors. They must recognize that they are partnering into a technology ecosystem which gives them access to supply more of the UC stack to customers and augment their skills, services and portfolios through other ecosystem members.
Published: Mar 17 2015 Market Insights
In the months since InfoComm this past May, startup cloud video conferencing infrastructure provider Pexip has quickly established a market presence. The privately funded company was founded in 2012 by ex-Tandberg staff, including execs, programmers, sales, marketing and other personnel. It was at InfoComm that Pexip had its coming out party. The...
28 Oct 2013 Blog post
In my job I attend a number of Web conferences each week with different groups of people and using a variety of different conferencing platforms. Quite often valuable time is wasted as the organizer, host or presenter is disorganized or struggles to invoke the appropriate features at the right time.  According to a recent Frost & Sullivan decision...
03 May 2013 Blog post
This week Microsoft held Lync Conference 2013, its first ever conference dedicated to Lync. It was a forum for Microsoft to showcase Lync successes to date and to lay out some future initiatives. Already a lot has been Tweeted and blogged about the event. Because my 18-month old daughter has me thinking from new perspectives, I decided to blog my...
25 Feb 2013 Blog post
The virtualization hype-cycle in enterprise UCC markets is nearing a climax. In the realm of UCC, the use of virtualization technologies aims to reduce the costs associated with hardware and to unlock operational efficiencies enabled by the centralized command, control and resource optimization of cloud computing.   From a high-level, server virt...
15 Feb 2013 Blog post
Microsoft has been in the tech industry news a lot lately as it reinvigorates its play in the mobile device market. There is no doubt that competition is good. Competition keeps the top vendors honest, keeps prices in check and keeps innovation moving forward. Apple dominates both the smartphone and tablet markets. Android devices are now the sec...
21 Dec 2012 Blog post
Today I attended a Polycom Experience Event, which took place at the company’s Atlanta executive briefing center. The event was organized to provide customers and partners details about the many product and service advancements Polycom made in October. Approximately 300 people joined, including those at a dozen Polycom sites, from the US and Canada...
11 Dec 2012 Blog post
Last week, I headed to Orlando to attend ShoreTel’s annual partner conference. I have not missed a ShoreTel Champion Partner Conference since the company began inviting analysts several years ago. These meetings are a great chance to spend a couple of days fully immersed in everything ShoreTel, with excellent access to ShoreTel executives, employee...
13 Nov 2012 Blog post
On October 8th a select group of industry and financial analysts spent the morning at NASDAQ in New York City’s Times Square, where Polycom CEO Andy Miller rang the bell to open NASDAQ trading. The ring of the bell launched Polycom Strategy Day. Leading up to the event Polycom generated a lot of buzz in the UC&C industry by teasing the market with...
10 Oct 2012 Blog post
As a Unified Communications (UC) Industry Analyst and full-time teleworker, I don’t know how I let National Telework Week slip by last month without blogging about it. Maybe it’s because 2012 was merely the second year that National Telework Week was observed. But most likely it’s because teleworking is a routine practice for me. Still, teleworking...
24 Apr 2012 Blog post
  Now that Enterprise Connect has come and gone, I’m comparing notes with other attendees and fielding inquiries from colleagues and clients alike about my thoughts on the UC market’s biggest showcase event. A couple of years ago, the then-called VoiceCon event was aptly renamed Enterprise Connect as it became obvious that the enterprise communica...
30 Mar 2012 Blog post
Just before the turn of the New Year my colleague Roopam Jain (@Roopamjain) and I published a research report forecasting the adoption of software-based desktop videoconferencing among enterprise users. Login to read it here: Global Desktop Videoconferencing Market. For the purposes of this report, Frost & Sullivan defines desktop videoconferencin...
08 Mar 2012 Blog post
Avaya announced this week the global availability of Flare Communicator for iPad. The solution makes the Avaya Flare software experience (Avaya Aura UC&C applications) available from iPad. In addition to the Avaya Desktop Video Device (ADVD), iPad is now the second endpoint with such capabilities in Avaya’s lineup. Avaya Flare Communicator is avail...
27 Jan 2012 Blog post
The answer is… not exactly. IBM has announced no plans to discontinue any of its current UC products or to end any of its partnerships with other UC providers. That said, the company is now devoting greater emphasis and resources toward other opportunities in the enterprise communications market. Since the early days of UC in the mid-2000’s IBM ha...
20 Jan 2012 Blog post
We recently wrapped up a Market Insight on next-generation UC architectures. The study specifically focuses on enterprise session management solutions. Please watch for it to be published in coming weeks. For purposes of the study Frost & Sullivan defines session management solutions, or architectures, as those that incorporate premises-based SIP...
29 Aug 2011 Blog post
The concept of "social" is everywhere in consumer markets and after social networking gained immense popularity there social tools have leapt into the enterprise.  There's a lot of confusion in the market about the difference between social media and social business, which is far from synonymous. A social business strategy can employ social media...
02 Aug 2011 Blog post
By Rob Arnold and Roopam Jain Developed under codename “Rally”, the CX7000 Unified Collaboration System will help to round out the group collaboration offerings within Polycom’s portfolio of CX endpoints optimized for Microsoft Lync, which already includes the CX5000 Unified Conference Station with 360 deg...
18 Jul 2011 Blog post

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