What is UCaaS?
Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) takes the traditional Unified Communication (UC) model of offering communication and collaboration services and applications, and delivers these tools as a hosted service managed and supported through a reseller partner or MSP. According to Gartner in their 2015 Magic Quadrant report, there are six main communication functions under the UCaaS umbrella – voice and telephony, conferencing, messaging (email, voice mail), instant messaging, clients (desktops, think clients), and communications-enabled applications. You can download the full report here.
There are two main approaches to delivering UCaaS to the market – single-tenant (dedicated instance) and multi-tenant (shared instance). According to Gartner, the industry is trending towards the multi-tenant approach for the SMB and mid-market end-users, while enterprise customers are favoring the single-tenant environment.
The UCaaS Opportunity
The marketplace is very much in flux, constantly evolving to meet the needs of end users. While doing some research on UC/ UCaaS and related trends MSPs should be looking for, I came across a recent survey of IT technology professionals across the US conducted by Dell. This study, while only reaching 200 respondents (a very low sample, size in my opinion), did produce some very interesting points that should make MSP owners take note.
Here are some of the findings from the Dell survey:
- 95% cite challenges in delivering a quality UC experience to remote workforce
- 91% support employees who work from their homes or other remote locations
- 71% of companies have increased their UC investment to accommodate this growing base of remote workers
- 83% of organizations expect the number of remote workers in their organizations to increase in the coming year
- 98% see value in gaining insights into UC remote worker usage
- More than 75% are concerned about the security of their organizational data when remote workers abandon the UC platform
- 79% depend on users to alert them to UC performance issues that would otherwise be unknown
If you are an MSP, these stats should really make you start thinking of a strategy around UCaaS if you do not already have one. IT Business Edge wrote an article on the top five reasons for choosing UCaaS, and they align very closely to the findings by Dell.
- Removes front loaded Capital – Takes the generally high, up-front cost away and rolls it into a lower OPEX expense, paid on a monthly basis.
- Offered on a per-seat basis – Easy to scale up or down. Employees leaving or new employees being hired are easy to manage and setup.
- Consistency of service – Cloud based technologies offers a demanded consistency that is aligned with cloud based services.
- Offers a hybrid model – One size does not fit all. As with the description of UCaaS, organizations can choose to keep certain infrastructures on premise, while offloading others to the cloud.
- Broad range of services available – MSPs can help to offer many types of service models attached to the actual UCaaS solution.
This is great news for MSPs. There are many great UCaaS solutions in the marketplace today. While RingCentral is the leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report, there are over 20 offerings available. To learn more about Tech Data UCaaS solutions offered by both RingCentral and Mitel, visit ExperienceTechDataCloud.com.
Tom Mayhew helps manage the Tech Data Cloud and Service Provider go-to-market strategies and works closely with vendor partners to identify, understand, and act upon market trends to build out more successful marketing plans.