Channel Leaders Discuss Unified Communications' Future, Challenges

“We’re definitely on the cusp of trying to find that balance between the right talent and the right talent that can work remotely."

Claudia Adrien

December 7, 2022

7 Slides

The world of unified communications is ever evolving and becoming more profitable. The global UCaaS market stood at $28.96 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $69.93 billion in 2028. Other estimates have those figures even higher.

Of course, UCaaS doesn’t live in a vacuum and is affected by market forces just like other industries. This year layoffs have rocked the tech community, including the UCaaS. Such factors have made employment decisions a challenge for this sector. Additionally, as the economy fluctuates, price compression has become an important issue to watch in this space.

In September, Channel Futures held a series of roundtables in Orlando, Florida, at the MSP Summit, Channel Partners Leadership Summit and Women’s Leadership Summit. The roundtable involved leaders in UCaaS and the channel and covered a range of topics. These included how partnerships with Microsoft have evolved and the extent to which UCaaS firms handle hybrid work not only for their customers but for themselves.


Callware Technologies’ Jim Christensen


GoTo’s Michael Day


Vonage’s Irfan Fazlulla


RingCentral’s Wendy Harmon


NEC’s Al Kelley


Powernet’s Penny Thurnau







Participants in the roundtable were:

Jim Christensen, COO at Callware Technologies

Michael Day, vice president of global partner sales at GoTo

Irfan Fazlulla, senior director of marketing partnerships and strategy at Vonage

Wendy Harmon, assistant vice president of channel marketing at RingCentral

Al Kelley, vice president of channel sales, Americas at NEC Corporation of America

Joel O’Brien, vice president of engineering at Ooma

Penny Thurnau, vice president of strategic alliance at Powernet

Economic Challenges: Tech Layoffs and Recruitment

In recent months the tech industry, particularly in California, has experienced massive layoffs, making workers available to new opportunities outside of the state.

Utah is seeing an influx of talent leaving California. However, even though workers are coming to the state, Jim Christensen, COO at Callware Technologies, said it’s still not enough.

For more comments and insights from the roundtable participants, scroll through the gallery above.

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

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About the Author(s)

Claudia Adrien

Claudia Adrien is a reporter for Channel Futures where she covers breaking news. Prior to Informa, she wrote about biosecurity and infectious disease for a national publication. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Florida and resides in Tampa.

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