Frost Radar™: North American Hosted IP Telephony and UCaaS Market
North American businesses and public-sector organizations are facing heightened challenges as COVID-19 quarantines and other lifestyle changes affect the way workers perform their job tasks and interact with co-workers, customers and partners. The unprecedented rise in remote work, supply-chain disruption, customer demand volatility and elevated employee and customer safety concerns brought to light the need to update business continuity programs and accelerate business process automation.
Digital technologies, including cloud communications solutions, have captured the spotlight in this time of crisis. Cloud-based video meetings, team collaboration, phone system and UCaaS have provided much-needed tools for remote knowledge and task workers, as well as certain frontliners, such as doctors, nurses and teachers, to stay connected with both their internal teams and external parties, including customers, patients, students, suppliers and distributors.
The North American hosted IP telephony and UCaaS market has been on a steady growth trajectory for the past two decades. The global pandemic is likely to have a net positive impact on market growth in the long term as many businesses accelerate their digital transformation strategies and embrace cloud services as the key pillar of enhanced business continuity programs.
In the near term, UCaaS solutions are likely to see pockets of rapid growth in certain customer segments and verticals. However, cloud migration, as well as overall digital technology investments, may be hampered by the global economic recession, pervasive workforce reduction and rampant business failure, particularly among small businesses in the US. New user and customer acquisitions are likely to offset installed base churn and delayed new projects for the majority of service providers and thus for the market as a whole.
The North American hosted IP telephony and UCaaS market remains highly fragmented despite ongoing mergers and acquisitions. New product launches by a variety of technology developers, as well as increasing popularity of wholesale services and private-label UCaaS offerings are likely to perpetuate market fragmentation in the foreseeable future.
Key success factors in the North American hosted IP telephony and UCaaS market include:
• Completeness of UCaaS portfolio, including a robust cloud PBX feature set, mobility, and advanced collaboration capabilities such as video meetings, group chat and team spaces
• Flexible solution packaging and pricing
• Open, scalable and extensible cloud platform
• Excellent service quality, reliability, security and compliance
• Compelling channel programs
• International presence
• Strong brand recognition
• Digital customer journey for SMB
• Robust implementation
Frost & Sullivan tracks more than 120 service providers hosting their own proprietary platforms or solutions delivered by third-party technology developers. Of those, 30 providers have been selected for their growth and innovation leadership, notable accomplishments in the past year and prospects for success based on their technology development roadmaps and effective go-to-market strategies.