Consolidation in the UCaaS market is one of the most consistent trends influencing the communication landscape in recent years. As Unified Communications as a Service continues to evolve, responding to the rapid transformation of the workplace, and the way we stay connected, consolidation has become increasingly crucial.
Through the mergers and acquisitions of various companies, UCaaS vendors are able to create more comprehensive ecosystems for communication and collaboration. While extensive research and development may be able to achieve the same results in some cases, many vendors simply don’t have the budget, time, or specific expertise to develop new innovations from scratch.
Let’s take a closer look at the rise of consolidation in the 2022 UCaaS market.
As Demand for UCaaS Grows, Consolidation Increases
The UCaaS market has been growing consistently for several years now, but adoption has skyrocketed following the onset of the pandemic. Metrigy believes around 70% of businesses will be using UCaaS solutions by 2023. What’s more, Grandview Research predicts the industry will be worth a phenomenal $210.07 billion by 2028.
An increasing demand for remote and flexible working opportunities has prompted increasing demand for flexible, cloud-based environments for communication, capable of empowering team members wherever they are. Crucially, the changing landscape has also meant that the companies embracing UCaaS aren’t just small, agile businesses, but larger enterprises too.
These enterprise organizations need more than just cloud-based business calling combined with basic chat or email tools from their UCaaS providers. Brands are increasingly demanding more advanced UCaaS offerings, equipped with everything from artificial intelligence to real-time reporting, 5G mobility, and API-based integrations. To deliver on these demands, companies must consolidate.
Using Consolidation to Innovate
The pandemic has created new expectations among companies in search of UCaaS technology. Companies want access to all of the tools they need for excellent communication in one place, from video conferencing, to file sharing, call routing, and business calling. This places increased pressure on UCaaS providers to offer comprehensive ecosystems, ready to adapt to individual customer needs.
Already, there are a handful of providers like Zoom and Microsoft Teams dominating the conversation with their ability to offer a wide selection of services in one, unified package. Consolidation allows larger number of players to get involved in the conversation. For instance:
- 8×8 and Fuze; 8×8 and Fuze make a natural team in the UCaaS landscape. Fuze was one of the first companies to launch mobile applications for UCaaS in the Apple app store, while 8×8 introduced the world to one of the first video phone services. Together, the two make a powerful entity for innovation in a new age of communications.
- Ericsson and Vonage: While this acquisition confused a lot of analysts initially, the acquisition of Vonage by Ericsson could open the door for more bespoke, API-driven and developer-forced solution for Ericsson customers. Ericsson even believes the acquisition of Vonage will help with the development of its new 5G initiatives in the future.
- Dialpad and Koopid: Dialpad’s acquisition of Koopid brings native conversational experiences further into the Dialpad ecosystem, allowing for more meaningful omnichannel digital engagements. Dialpad has actually invested heavily in acquisitions recently, helping to expand its UCaaS offering significantly and deliver the development of a more complete UCaaS portfolio.
- Sangoma and StarBlue: Sangoma purchased StarBlue to unlock access to broader distribution and larger account opportunities. The acquisition will also help the company to further develop its combined approach to UCaaS and CCaaS technology – an avenue many UCaaS vendors are beginning to explore.
- Cisco and Socio: Responding to the pandemic’s impact on the way we manage meetings and travel, Cisco purchased physical events experts, Socio. The Cisco team intends to offer event organizers more of the tools they need to host better hybrid, virtual, and in-person events in a modern world.
Will Consolidation Continue?
Consolidation allows companies in the UCaaS environment to serve their customers in an ever-accelerating landscape of digital transformation. In the last couple of years, companies from all industries have been forced to increase their investments into digital solutions to operational problems. For many companies, this transition began with moving communications into the cloud.
In a post-pandemic environment, there will continue to be a growing need for flexible, scalable, and innovative cloud-based technology in communications. As the way we communicate and work evolves, companies will be reliant on their UCaaS providers to provide full end-to-end technology stacks to handle this new environment.
Consolidation gives UCaaS vendors the freedom to combine their specialist skills with the offerings of other innovators, both inside and outside of the UCaaS space. There’s no doubt we’ll continue to see more examples of consolidation throughout 2022.