How to Become a Successful UCaaS Provider
Forward-thinking businesses increasingly evaluate advanced cloud communications and collaboration solutions, including hosted IP telephony and unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS), as part of their digital transformation initiatives. However, other priorities such as security and network reliability often supersede communications upgrade projects. Service providers face different challenges in their pursuit of UCaaS revenue growth and market share gains. Provider repositioning and strategy realignment are likely to determine the industry’s evolution and growth trajectory over the next few years. In addition to growing customer interest in moving communications to the cloud, UCaaS adoption will be highly impacted by the availability of strong market participants with visionary strategies, broad geographic presence, solid financial performance and affordable, feature-rich solutions. Common service provider success factors in the UCaaS market include speed of innovation, service reliability, efficient provisioning and billing systems, attention to customer needs and effective customer support, market reach (geographic footprint, channel network) and financial stability. Frost & Sullivan conducted an online survey of 184 US UCaaS decision makers and influencers in the March-April 2018 time period. The purpose of the survey was to gain a perspective from UCaaS stakeholders on the adoption and effectiveness of UCaaS solutions, as well as the provider success factors in the U.S. UCaaS market. More specifically, the survey aimed to identify the following:
• What factors drive and restrain UCaaS adoption
• How extensive the UCaaS deployment within the organization is today and how it will change within the next two years
• Which UCaaS features decision makers find most valuable for their business or organization
• How successful the UCaaS deployment has been and what actual benefits it has delivered to the organization
• What prices businesses are paying for their UCaaS solutions and whether they consider them fair
• How businesses prefer to purchase their UCaaS solutions (e.g., bundles vs a-la-carte features/services)
• Which UCaaS providers decision makers are most familiar with, which ones they are using and which ones they perceive as best-in-class
• Whether they plan to switch UCaaS providers, what are the primary factors to switch, and which providers they plan to switch to This study provides an analysis of the survey findings.
Vendor reputation ranks highest among factors playing the largest role early in the UCaaS provider selection process.
Price trumps other factors in final provider selection. Approximately one-third of UCaaS users are not using services from the providers they consider best-in-class. More than half of those state that they chose their current provider because it offers a better price than the one they consider best-in-class.
Providers must watch for existing and emerging competitive threats. They must remain acutely aware of the threat coming from Microsoft, Google and Amazon as well as preempt any customer desertion by offering creative packaging and pricing and paying close attention to specific customer needs.
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