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A Cloud with a Silver Lining

The year 2020 can’t be over soon enough so we can forget about the quarantines, disruption and anxiety surrounding the global pandemic. However, chaos often gives birth to innovation and progress. The year 2020 was a perfect example of a cloud with a silver lining. Almost overnight, digital transformation went from an abstract vision and the sole responsibility of IT departments to an immediate priority that is a shared concern across the entire organization. With business continuity threatened by drastic changes in work modes across industries, cloud services provided a lifeline to physically-distanced employees and customers.

As a result, cloud meeting, messaging and calling services adoption skyrocketed in 2020. Many service providers are reporting accelerated unified communications as a service (UCaaS) growth rates driven by increased customer awareness of cloud communications benefits, including: rapid provisioning, flexible capacity adjustments and access to mission-critical services anywhere, anytime, over any device and network.

Who’s Winning in the Post-pandemic UCaaS Market

Dramatic shifts in customer behavior have affected service provider competitive positions and market power. Recent Frost & Sullivan research on the North American UCaaS market reveals that certain providers are better positioned to address new and evolving customer requirements. Specifically, providers with highly-scalable cloud architectures, plug-and-play software-based solutions with low-touch provisioning, and rich user experiences are poised for success in exceptionally dynamic and distributed workplace environments.

Uncertainty about the general economy, company growth prospects and the future proportion of remote workers, as well as the need to accommodate staggered on-site work shifts, will compel businesses to adopt flexible, mobile-ready communications that offer seamless user experiences across physical locations and devices. Integrated cloud suites comprising PBX, team messaging and video meetings will become the solution of choice for organizations seeking to align knowledge, back-office, customer care, frontline and field workers to effectively support a smooth, end-to-end customer journey. To more tangibly improve essential workflows, successful UCaaS platforms must also be highly extensible for integration with mission-critical productivity, business and vertical applications.

Zoom Phone Satisfies Collaboration-centric Users

With its rapidly maturing video-first Zoom Phone offering, Zoom has emerged as one of the clear growth and innovation leaders on the 2020 Frost Radar in the North American UCaaS market. Zoom’s position on Frost Radar was impacted by its ability to promptly and effectively address the challenges businesses faced in the massive increase of remote workers. The evaluation of Zoom’s future growth prospects was also based on the recognition of the provider’s ability to address the unique needs of an emerging new type of customer audience—specifically, collaboration-centric users seeking an integrated meeting, messaging and calling experience.

Due to the need to stay connected and engaged throughout prolonged quarantines, an increased proportion of workers have become accustomed to using video meetings and team messaging tools regularly. With affordable and high-quality video now widely available and the modality of choice for many, Zoom’s video-first UCaaS solution is at the front end of rapid adoption among a large addressable market of video-savvy and collaboration-minded users.

On Frost Radar, Zoom also received high ratings for its commitment to innovation and ability to rapidly address evolving customer needs. The provider’s strong cadence of new feature releases while simultaneously enhancing its solutions’ security and performance capabilities, expanding into new geographic territories, launching Zoom Phone Pro Global Select Plan to help multi-national enterprises consolidate their global telephony capabilities and extending tailored offerings for education, healthcare and non-profit organizations represent exceptional achievements and strong differentiators for Zoom in the highly-competitive UCaaS market.

Zoom’s visionary platform approach is also complemented by effective execution. Tiered packaging and pricing, a choice of Zoom’s own or third-party calling plans, and a selection of endpoints enable customers to choose a Zoom offering that’s right for their specific needs.

Final Thoughts

Competition in the UCaaS market is intensifying. New customer trends and new provider business models are shifting innovation frontiers and value propositions. Providers that are well aligned with key Mega Trends, such as demand for video-first user experiences and collaboration-centric UCaaS, are leaving competitors behind. Zoom’s integrated cloud services suite, compelling packaging and flexible deployment models, combined with a highly entrepreneurial company culture, have earned Zoom a prominent position among the North American UCaaS market leaders featured on the 2020 Frost Radar.

About Elka Popova

Elka PopovaAs vice president for global market research and consulting company Frost & Sullivan, Elka Popova leads the company's Connected Work team, which covers business communications and collaboration solutions. With 20 years of market analysis and strategic consulting experience, she specializes in market and competitive intelligence, market forecasting and trend analysis. She has extensive expertise in a broad range of industry sectors, including unified communications (UC) systems and endpoints, UC-as-a-service (UCaaS), communications platforms-as-a-service (CPaaS) and session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking. Popova holds a master's degree in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.

Elka PopovaElka Popova

As vice president for global market research and consulting company Frost & Sullivan, Elka Popova leads the company's Connected Work team, which covers business communications and collaboration solutions. With 20 years of market analysis and strategic consulting experience, she specializes in market and competitive intelligence, market forecasting and trend analysis. She has extensive expertise in a broad range of industry sectors, including unified communications (UC) systems and endpoints, UC-as-a-service (UCaaS), communications platforms-as-a-service (CPaaS) and session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking. Popova holds a master's degree in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.

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