The unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market is ripe for disruption with the blurring between standalone applications and business suites, according to the latest study from Synergy Research.
Standalone apps, such as video conferencing and web conferencing SaaS, represent two thirds (67%) of the market, with giants such as Cisco, Citrix, and Microsoft among those leading the way. The research notes that video conferencing SaaS, while the smallest segment, is the market growing at the fastest rate. Companies such as RingCentral, Vonage, and ShoreTel represent the other third, but are growing at a faster rate (23% compared to 13% for standalone) with annual revenues from both topping $4 billion.
The report asserts the market for UCaaS is burgeoning. “UCaaS continues to be a force for change within the business communications market,” said Synergy Research founder Jeremy Duke. “There has been a rapid rise of some disruptive new vendors and I do not expect the pace of change to slacken.” Citing Cisco adding voice capabilities to Spark and Microsoft adding UCaaS to Office 365, he added: “We are now entering a world of next generation UCaaS where standalone is not so standalone anymore.”
A report from Osterman Research in November found that, contrary to the Synergy market figures, two in five business decision makers were either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ fearful about moving to unified comms (UC). Reasons given for not making the jump include not fully understanding the impact UC would have on their business, as well as various investments in legacy phone systems.
Previous research from Synergy puts Cisco ahead of Microsoft in the enterprise collaboration market – one area being unified communications. According to the latest note, the US remains the largest UCaaS market, with the business suite segment more concentrated than standalone.