Unified Communications Transitioning from Business Continuity Tool to Strategic Must-Have

November, 2021

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) proved vital as a business continuity tool during the pandemic. With enterprises seeing the potential, they are now going beyond isolated applications toward integrated tools directly into business critical applications like customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). The new strategic role of UCaaS can make workers more efficient and facilitate enterprise-wide collaboration.

This is one of the top findings from Avasant’s UCaaS Platforms 2021–2022 RadarView™. The report is a comprehensive study on UCaaS platforms, taking a close look at the leaders, innovators, disruptors, and challengers in this market.

It addresses the need for enterprises to replace their telephony infrastructure with a modern cloud communication platform and identify the right UCaaS providers. It also highlights key trends in the UCaaS platform market and Avasant’s viewpoint on the market’s direction in the next 12 to 18 months.

We evaluated 30 providers using three dimensions: product maturity, enterprise adaptability, and innovation road map. Of the 30 providers, 15 are recognized as having brought the most value to the market over the past 12 months.

The RadarView recognizes platform providers in four categories:

  • Leaders: 8×8, Cisco, Microsoft, RingCentral, and Zoom
  • Innovators: Fuze, Google, and Mitel
  • Disruptors: Dialpad, LogMeIn, Nextiva, and Vonage
  • Challengers: Sangoma (Star2Star), Slack, and Windstream

The following figure from the full report illustrates these categories:

RVpublishing MoneyShot Template UCaaS Platforms 2021 2022 RadarView 1030x687 - Unified Communications Transitioning from Business Continuity Tool to Strategic Must-Have

Mark Gaffney, director with Avasant, congratulated the winners noting, “The UCaaS platform is playing a vital role in delivering new ways of working in the post-COVID economy. Remote engagement is reducing commutes and business overhead costs, and it is unlikely that organizations will want to abandon these new, higher levels of remote interaction.”

Some of the findings from the full report include the following:

    • UCaaS platforms are being leveraged for return-to-work initiatives and enabling a hybrid workforce culture.
    • Cloud telephony has enhanced customer care and improved accessibility to critical information.
    • UCaaS providers offered integration with CRM systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 to enhance customer reach and improve communication between employees and partners.
    • UCaaS providers expanded their integration with Microsoft Teams after seeing an immense uptick in users during the pandemic.

“In terms of employee engagement and customer experience, expanding integration of UCaaS platforms with legacy systems and processes to derive maximum benefits is the way to go,” said Gaurav Dewan, associate research director with Avasant. “Increasingly, enterprises are deploying automation tools and combining chatbots with their ITSM, CRM and ERP systems to generate insights.”

The full report also features RadarView profiles of the top 15 platform providers, including their solutions, offerings, and experience in assisting enterprises in digital transformation.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of the full UCaaS Platforms 2021–2022 RadarView™ (click for pricing)