Unified Communications (UC) – The next 5 years

Remember when you jumped on the last great bandwagon, only to have it die before it even had a chance? Can anyone remember Betamax or LaserDisc?

Well, if you use Unified Communications (UC) in your business, or are thinking of doing so, I’ve got great news for you: It’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, market experts at Solar Communications and other sources project UC’s growth rate at over 14% across the next five years.

People need to have fairly-priced enterprise communications systems, and many UC systems fit that bill quite nicely. Enterprises need UC, as it helps them keep their infrastructure costs down, as well as their transportation and communication costs under control.

As always, companies are seeking additional ways to better manage operational costs so they can better maintain their bottom line profit margins, since infrastructure cost of a workplace is rapidly growing, due in part to heightened worker strength in companies.

A different report regarding UC, this one by Grand View Research, stated that the market for UC was predicted to reach almost $76 billion by 2020. Mobile workforces are on the rise, for one, and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and other similar movements continue to be prime movers in the industry.

Unified Communication in Global Markets

The worldwide market for UC is also growing strong. Wainhouse Research, a market research firm recently published a report on the global Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) marketplace. It stated that global UCaaS revenue was projected to be in the neighborhood of $5.3 billion dollars by the year 2018. That carries with it a five year compound annual growth rate of 24%. A large segment of that growth is expected to be derived from the mid-to-large corporate sector.

It should be noted that Wainhouse Research’s definition of UCaaS is that of a hosted service that provides a consolidated end-user experience, to include video, audio, group collaboration, application and desktop sharing, instant messaging and presence information.

Unified Communications as a Service Gaining Speed

Although many organizations remain using their legacy circuits — perhaps they haven’t heard they are soon to be phased out — an increasing number of companies are looking towards hosted providers to get their communication needs met. A Markets & Markets report stated that “In today’s market, many companies are shifting from an on-premises model infrastructure to a cloud-based UC model. This is so they can enjoy not only the cost savings, but the additional service options as well. There are many small to medium corporations that are using UCaaS services to assist the progress of personal communication as well as communications across the organization.”

Ramping UC Up with Collaboration

Another driving force behind the increasing acceptance and usage of Unified Communications is the heightened need to collaborate. More and more, employees are needing to work with each other and not duplicate efforts. Additionally, since those employees are enjoying more powerful mobile platforms with increasingly large sets of features in their private lives, they are coming to expect that same sort of functionality at their place of work as well. This is done in part by allowing employees to bring their own devices to work (BYOD). Management also plays an additional role in this, by making sure there are effective solutions in place so their employees can collaborate effectively and efficiently.

A different Markets & Markets report that was focused on the enterprise collaboration sector stated that resources of this type are projected to hit a global market value of $70.61 billion by 2019. This figure, along with the others stated in this article, certainly point to additional deployments of modernized networks for communication.

Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.