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CF20: 2023's Top UCaaS Providers You Should Know

Microsoft, Avaya, Cisco and Zoom are all here. See who else made it and why.

Edward Gately

April 21, 2023

20 Slides

UCaaS providers continue to see strong market demand as hybrid work and economic uncertainty have made UCaaS an even more compelling option for many organizations.

UCaaS remains a highly competitive market with little room for newcomers. And UCaaS providers are continuously adding new capabilities to keep up with competitors.

According to Fortune Business Insights, expect the global UCaaS market to grow from nearly $30 billion in 2021 to nearly $70 billion in 2028. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 13%.

This is our third annual “CF20” focused on UCaaS providers, and the sixth if you count our previous CP lists. Analysts share their views on what it takes to succeed with the technology. It includes an updated list and fresh views on changes in the competitive landscape.

Pressure on UCaaS Providers

Raul Castanon, senior research analyst at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said with organizations looking to streamline and reduce or eliminate unnecessary expenses, the battle is shifting from “best of breed” to “best of suites.”

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451 Research’s Raul Castanon

“UCaaS has been ahead of the curve with all-encompassing suites featuring messaging, presence, telephony and video conferencing capabilities,” he said. “However, there is increased pressure on vendors to deliver on the synergies that bringing these capabilities together can deliver. For instance, Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace will have an advantage in UCaaS with their productivity suites, and have already announced a tight integration between these, allowing users to communicate in real time while collaborating on a spreadsheet or document.”

The UCaaS space has experienced steady consolidation over the past few years, Castanon said. While there has been some M&A activity, this consolidation has been mostly the result of vendors exiting, namely vendors like Avaya, Mitel and others partnering with RingCentral to focus on other opportunities.

Expectations of UCaaS Providers Haven’t Changed

Tim Banting, Omdia’s Digital Workplace Practice lead, said customer demands haven’t changed. (Omdia and Channel Futures share a parent company, Informa Tech.)

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Omdia’s Tim Banting

“The UCaaS market has always addressed the fundamental need to help a diverse, distributed, increasingly digital workforce communicate and collaborate more effectively and efficiently,” he said. “These platforms’ capabilities also extend to partners, suppliers and guests to unify extended teams (intercompany collaboration) and, typically, help teams to focus by collecting conversations and content in specific channels or rooms, creating a single repository for workflow. UCaaS platforms also provide increased transparency through centralizing content and discussions, which helps team members solicit ideas, garner feedback and build consensus with their colleagues.”

Plenty of Low-Cost Options for Cash-Strapped Organizations

Jon Arnold, principal of J Arnold & Associates, said there are a lot of low-cost UCaaS options for organizations impacted by economic uncertainty.

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J Arnold & Associates’ Jon Arnold

“However, for companies that want to get a little more exploratory with things like virtual environments, metaverse, they’ll probably cut back on that a bit because that’s probably a little too much of a frill for now,” he said. “So that might put a bit of a hold back on adopting those virtual workplace environments.”

Consolidation is continuing because the “space is so crowded,” Arnold said.

Based on feedback from analysts and recent news reports, we’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 UCaaS providers that are making the most of the competitive landscape and charting success. The list in the slideshow above offers a mix of well-known providers as well as lesser-known companies that are making big strides in UCaaS.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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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