The unified communications and collaboration market is expected to register a CAGR of over 27.8% over the forecast period 2022 - 2027. The unified communications and collaboration market has historically revolved around individual products. In the past, companies chose individual products to meet particular needs. For example, organizations bought email servers for messaging, team rooms for teamwork, portals for organizational information sharing, and PBX and voicemail for telephony services. Now, customers are making strategic technology decisions to deploy unified communications and collaboration environments based on the capability, richness, and integration of the entire collaboration stack.
- Unified communication, since its launch, has emerged as a cost-effective solution for organizations across various industries, such as BFSI, healthcare, and retail, among others. However, the cloud delivery of the unified communications offered by companies like Mitel Networks Corporation and IBM, shapes how organizations manage their communication networks.
- Companies that choose collaboration and communication products often do so based on the platform's future direction. Selecting the right platform helps companies reduce IT costs, management overhead, and integration challenges. Moreover, taking a holistic platform approach substantially benefits end-user training, end-user adoption, and business value.
- The growing need for easily maintained network systems that can enable effective communications across multiple end-user industries, including healthcare, retail, and manufacturing, is evident, considering the old/obsolete contact centers.
- The advent of cost-effective cloud-based solutions has increased healthcare providers' adoption, often categorized as having minimum IT budgets. With the subscription-based united communication services in place, the healthcare contact centers establish their PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems and seamlessly addressmultiple customer requests from various sites.
- For consumers, mobile-first solutions where the communication is enabled through chat, audio, and video call through the same device can address all the customer queries. Therefore, these solutions aim to enhance customer service assistance, merchandise inquiries, and self-service. Employees also benefit from deploying virtual training and merchandise management tools.
- Remote work mandates caused by COVID-19 are creating an unprecedented opportunity for service providers to promote software-based communications as a key enabler of business continuity and demonstrate the flexibility of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and cloud services in terms of capacity adjustments and services delivery (irrespective of location). This trend is expected to support market growth.
Key Market Trends
Growing Adoption of UC&C Solutions in Retail Driving the Market's Growth
- Retailers are adopting cloud computing technologies to boost their sales, analyze customer information, and improve the user experience by reducing cost and improving network performance. For example, unified communications as a service (UCaaS) for voice and other collaborative tools, Wi-Fi-enabled Network as a Service (NaaS) for centralized data services across stores, and Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) are enhancing the retailer benefits.
- RFID technology continues to grow in the retail sector. RFID provides a natural synergistic effect as a proximity technology. It has been extensively tested as a customer self-service tool for pricing and inventory management in checkout lines. RFID is also expected to be used as a device recognition and authentication mechanism for future mobile and handheld devices, like recognizing the incoming customers to the store and providing customized experiences based on their likes. The impact of a customer experience of that scale can only be leveraged with information. Unified communications technologies are the locus of the retail operation, integrating customer, sales, and inventory operations into one single telephone, computer, or POS system.
- The rapidly changing customer purchasing trends have resulted in a dynamic shift in the retail industry from the earlier single point of interaction to omnichannel interactions through the web or social media. The increasing demand from consumers has created the need for an enhanced shopping and service experience across all the channels, which caters to the requirement of innovative communication tools that automate customer service and retail business operations.
- Apparel retail e-commerce sites, can switch to a hybrid cloud model for many operations to ensure seamless work operations in their businesses. Public cloud resources could be utilized for processing orders and managing the scalability features of the resources. Whereas the private cloud model could be used to work on the legal regulations, including crucial data, such as payment information of customers, that need strict governance.
Europe Occupy Significant Market Share
- The UK carriers' efforts to discontinue the integrated services digital network services are driving the carrier and customer migration to Internet protocol connectivity services. This huge shift is driving the adoption of next-generation business communication solutions, such as hosted private branch exchange (PBX) and UCaaS solutions.
- In February 2022, Vodafone Business and RingCentral, cloud communications, video meetings, collaboration, and contact center solutions provider announced Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral. This communications platform combines RingCentral Message Video Phone (MVP) with Vodafone's mobility and 5G capabilities. Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral will be launched in the United Kingdom, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, and Sweden. The market is also witnessing partnerships, which is helping to increase awareness of the solutions.
- Companies in the market studied are also indulging in multiple strategic activities to stay relevant in the industry. For instance, in October 2021, Lumen Technologies and Cisco announced that they are expanding the partnership to include a new offering: Lumen Solutions for Cisco Unified Communications Manager Cloud (UCMC). This product pairs Cisco's cloud-based collaboration services with Lumen's global fiber network
- The European Commission has begun taking more decisive steps toward secure, encrypted communications. Staff members for the EU Commission need a secure messaging tool for unified communication to ensure greater mobility with collaboration, centralize information, and boost overall efficiency. This offers an opportunity for companies to roll out innovative products.
The unified communications and collaboration market witnessed rapid innovation, industry consolidation, and a shift toward team and workstream collaboration. In recent years, the need to have a full UC&C platform caused many vendors to consolidate because the fastest way to accomplish this was to acquire the customer base. The key players operating in the market focus on new product development strategies to strengthen their product portfolio and increase customer acquisition. Some of the recent developments in the market are:
- In December 2021 -Yeastar, a provider of unified communications solutions and a pioneer in the digital workplace, announced a new distribution agreement with Alliance-Com, the French market player in telecom distribution and business networks. This agreement highlights both firms' commitment to providing more comprehensive UC&C solutions, including robust UCaaS options for SMEs. The partnership allows French clients to use the dual benefits of Yeastar's top-notch portfolio and Alliance-professional Com's services, removing barriers to a connected and collaborative workplace. It also gives the VoIP communication business in France a lot of traction.
- In January 2022 - Nuvias UC, a pan-European distributor, purchased German unified communications distributor Alliance Technologies. Nuvias UC's channel reach will be expanded across the DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) region. All-IP services, PBX to Teams or Zoom migration, UC equipment for individual workspaces, home working and conference rooms, certified Zoom Phone integration, and Microsoft Azure cloud services are Alliance Technologies' specialties.
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