UCaaS is opening up opportunities for new and traditional voice resellers by meeting changing customer needs and the digitally transforming business landscape.

For years, the only way that companies could communicate with colleagues and customers was through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). We relied on this, as well as Private Branch Exchanges, which meant that the costs for connecting businesses were high.

With the arrival of the internet, forward-thinking companies began to ask if they could send voice information through the same packets as their internet data. The era of VoIP began, and businesses of all sizes started jumping on the bandwagon. Now, we’ve got a new, even simpler solution for flexible, scalable and agile communications – Unified-Communications-as-a-Service, or UCaaS.

Giant leap forward

UCaaS is a set of communication and collaboration applications and solutions delivered digitally by a third-party provider over an IP network.

In the beginning it was synonymous with hosted voice services and seen almost exclusively as a replacement for traditional phone services. However, it has since developed into a broader term covering a host of business-communication solutions, connecting everything from voice and video conferencing to presence and messaging. UCaaS has made telecoms the backbone of the modern business.

Key business benefits

Alongside the enhanced communications stack, UCaaS delivers significant cost savings. The costs of management, maintenance and upgrades are transferred to the service provider. Any need for future hardware investment is removed from the equation. And there’s no need for a large in-house IT team either, as support comes from the back-end in exchange for a monthly fee.

Perhaps the biggest draw of UCaaS is its ability to transition businesses to the cloud. The flexibility and scalability of the cloud environment can enable greater functionality and transformation within any organisation. It increases agility and the ability to scale, just as businesses need to be more responsive to maintain customer satisfaction and adapt to changing needs.

New ways of working

As things such as flexible scheduling and remote working become more popular, the freedom to communicate on a range of devices while on-the-go is now a requirement for businesses and employees. Millennials may not even consider a job opportunity if it doesn’t offer remote working.

UCaaS delivers this freedom and functionality, keeping remote workers connected and engaged, sharing knowledge and working together seamlessly on virtually any device, from almost any location. And when employees feel a part of the team, their motivation, productivity and loyalty increases.

Driving adoption

As end users recognise the benefits of a cloud-based UC system, the UCaaS market size is expected to grow from $15.8 billion in 2019 to $24.8 billion by 2024.

What’s more, Gartner believes that by 2024, 74% of new UC licences will be cloud-based, an increase from 48% in 2019, because UCaaS solutions will be far too advanced to ignore in terms of functions, features, analytics and portals.

Vendors such as RingCentral, Mitel, Avaya and Microsoft are already offering packaged solutions of the best UC features over the cloud. Some even support contact-centre solutions such as interactive voice response, auto-attendant and customer relationship management integrations, to help align the internal and external communication strategies of a business.

Fit for every business

UCaaS has always been a natural fit for SMBs, quick to adopt a solution offering enterprise technologies without the upfront investment. It offers access to enterprise-level technology at an affordable price without the need to manage and maintain infrastructure or IT resources.

But vendors are also seeing significant growth from mid-market and enterprise segments. As IT decision-makers replace on-premises infrastructure, they’re recognising the benefits UCaaS brings to larger organisations such as global collaboration, application and tool integration, and superior user experience.

In fact, large enterprise adoption rate in UCaaS is now more than double the rate for SMBs, as businesses of all sizes recognise the importance of the cloud for driving digital transformation.

Transforming the channel

Just as UCaaS is transforming the workplace, it’s also shaking up the IT channel. With its predictable, long-term revenues and flexibility, it’s proving attractive to new resellers, with a market potential that extends beyond traditional voice resellers. Opportunities will continue to grow as the UCaaS market evolves.

And with end users now primed for UCaaS and expecting it over and above simple voice services, agents such as Westcon-Comstor will be instrumental in arming resellers with the best solutions on the market and helping them seize the opportunity.

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