The CP List: 20 Top UCaaS Providers You Should KnowThe CP List: 20 Top UCaaS Providers You Should Know
UCaaS providers need completeness of offerings across the portfolio.
March 5, 2018
Being a successful UCaaS provider means battling for market share in an increasingly competitive environment while adhering to a constantly growing list of requirements to please customers.
A steady stream of acquisitions, like Mitel swallowing up ShoreTel and Cisco buying BroadSoft, have narrowed the playing field. Analysts and members of Channel Partners’ Editorial Advisory Board shared their views with us on what it now takes to succeed in in UCaaS.
451 Research’s Raul Castanon-Martinez
“A successful, cutting-edge UCaaS provider nowadays will look much different than what it did 20 years ago,” said Raul Castanon-Martinez, 451 Research’s senior analyst of workforce collaboration. “What I’d be looking for these days is a vendor that is able to provide a platform that (gives) organizations the software building blocks they need for easy and agile customization of the digital experience for customers, partners and employees. This includes different forms of engagement including chat, voice, video. Another key component I’d be looking for is the use of real-time analytics that leverage all the unstructured data that business communications generate; this entails the use of machine learning and natural language understanding.”
Among the many challenges UCaaS providers face are getting businesses to trust the cloud, the ability to support hybrid UC so businesses can migrate to hosted at their own pace, making UCaaS appealing to the channel and giving them room to add value of their own, and competing with adjacent offerings, namely CPaaS and team messaging offerings, said Jon Arnold, principal analyst at J Arnold & Associates.
“Value proposition is messy, and hard for end buyers to understand the landscape to make good decisions,” he said.
UCaaS providers need completeness of offerings across the portfolio, reliability, quality of service, predictable and consistent costs, and responsiveness in service and support, said Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group, and editorial advisory board member.
“It really doesn’t get much simpler than that,” he said. “Cutting-edge is a different issue. It’s interesting, but doesn’t necessarily define success. You have plenty of examples of companies with ‘cutting-edge’ technology that fails because they didn’t deliver on the above attributes. Cutting-edge in UCaaS to me means consistency in service, simple and easy-to-use technology, speed of delivery, and extensibility to different technologies (integration/interoperability).”
The 2112 Group’s Larry Walsh
It’s getting tougher to compete as the market saturates with numerous successful companies, said Sean Riley, research director at IDC and editorial advisory board member.
“What makes it even harder for a new competitor to compete is the reliability aspect, as the major players boast enviable reliability stats,” he said. “Many of the larger providers also have interoperability partnerships with major VoIP manufacturers.”
Based on feedback from analysts, editorial advisory board members, recent news reports and Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for WorldWide UCaaS, we’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 top UCaaS providers that are making the most of the current competitive landscape and charting success.
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