10 UC Predictions and Trends for 2020

More and more partners who have hesitated in the past to sell UCaaS will begin to add it to their portfolios.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

December 31, 2019

10 Slides

An increased focus on artificial intelligence (AI), more communications platform as a service (CPaaS) acquisitions and the rise of product suites are among the trends/predictions in UC for 2020.

We spoke with Zane Long, RingCentral’s senior vice president of global channel sales; Raul Castanon, 451 Research’s senior analyst of workforce collaboration; Jon Arnold, principal analyst at J Arnold & Associates; John Lindsley, Mitel’s vice president of channels; and Mark Sher, Intermedia‘s vice president of UC product and marketing, to find out what they’re expecting in the year ahead.


Mitel’s John Lindsley

Public cloud is growing more than 20% annually, and in a crowded supplier landscape, those who can best anticipate, predict, meet and ultimately exceed customers’ needs will lead and eventually consolidate the market, Lindsley said.

“Think about how customer needs have changed other industries in the last few years — health care, automotive, transportation, hospitality, retail, banking and so much much more,” he said. “Changing customer needs can often be fueled by technology enablement, creating new needs customers didn’t know they had.”

As businesses continue to acclimate to and realize the benefits that a more mobile world affords, and as UCaaS becomes easier for partners to sell, deploy and support, we’ll see more and more partners who have hesitated in the past to sell UCaaS begin to add it to their portfolios, Sher said.


Intermedia’s Mark Sher

“As the UCaaS and CCaaS markets continue to heat up, partners will have to decide if a commissioned-based agent model is right for them, or if a more lucrative reseller model that allows them to build significant value in their organizations while maintaining customer control is preferred,” he added.

When asked about providers worth keeping an eye on in 2020, Castanon said Wazo is an emerging UCaaS/CPaaS player that he expects we’ll be hearing about in 2020.

“AWS has kept a relatively low profile in the last couple of years in the UCaaS space, but they recently announced general availability of the Amazon Chime SDK, which allows customers to embed audio calling, video calling and screen sharing capabilities into their own applications,” he said. “By enabling customers to embed these capabilities in their own applications, the SDK provides them with another way to consume real-time communications differently and could significantly expand their market footprint.’

Vendors like IntelePeer, Bandwidth and Brightlink that provide enterprise-grade connectivity and CPaaS capabilities that enable organizations to incorporate programmability into their business communications are three other vendors to keep an eye on in 2020, Castanon said.

Moving from on premises to cloud brings with it lots of new security challenges, Arnold said.


Arnold & Associates’ Jon Arnold

“The end customer may be trusting a lot of this stuff to the cloud for the first time and they don’t necessarily know all of the things that are required, said Arnold. “There are all these new modalities of communication that if you have to be compliant in health care or financial services, or even government services; these are all new environments where data could be unsecure. And when a channel is trying to get into these spaces, they have to know and be able to demonstrate to the end customer that they understand what all these security issues are because if the cloud is new to the end customer, they’re not going to know all of the little things that might put them in jeopardy of staying compliant.”

Scroll through our list below of 10 UC predictions and trends for 2020.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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