November 17, 2023
Managed service providers (MSPs) and UCaaS go hand in hand. In fact, both models lend themselves well to working with the other. And UCaaS offerings are often overseen by MSPs who could gain plenty from the existing state of UCaaS, even though it seems to have reached a "certain level of maturity," according to Mike Kane, senior vice president of global partner sales at the AI-led CCaaS/UCaaS provider, Dialpad.
Dialpad's Mike Kane
Opportunity presents itself in the form of the managed internet sphere/managed-SD-WAN in areas like traffic shaping and managed security, which could extend significant prospects for the MSP community. There are others, like technology service distributors (TSDs), which Kane says now have a variety of new possibilities because of the maturity of UCaaS.
"Because we are seeing high adoption rates, I think the best way to gauge that is why we have seen our traditional partners reaching out to get involved in different projects for their customers," Kane said. This could further indicate there could be growth in areas like artifcial intelligence (AI), which has already been noted in the past few months, with the explosion of generative AI in space, Kane added.
Hybrid Work Is Here for Good, Cisco Exec Says
Jono Luk, vice president of product management at Webex by Cisco, also shared his take, noting that hybrid work is here to stay. "The expectations for the future of hybrid work center around creating human-to-human connections that deliver amazing experiences."
Cisco's Jono Luk
According to Luk, 98% of all meetings moving forward will have at least one remote participant, yet only 15% of conference rooms have collaboration technology. This creates a UCaaS opportunity for partners looking to sell, manage and deploy hardware to enable said interactions.
UCaaS Will Become More Vertical-Focused
“Post-pandemic, UCaaS has become more mainstream, with modern Silicon Valley types being the early adopters,” Kane said. Partners can set themselves apart by building differentiated offerings if they want to stay afloat in the future, he said.
“Partners will have to start getting specific around use cases and even vertical markets,” Kane said.
Those once seen as competitors will be competitors no more, with interoperability becoming top-of-mind. Most enterprises leverage multiple systems to meet their various company needs, Kane added.
Cisco's Luk echoed that opinion. “By partnering with partners of all sizes and capabilities, from global solution vendors to startups, UCaaS platforms can deliver exceptional hybrid work experiences."
Kane contends that partners will have to quantify what they are doing with AI if they want to speed up user adoption, stating, "You need to be able to quantify these things to make it real to people. I think you hear the stories about what AI can do but have no real sense of what that means for business. What does it amount to? What did it produce?"
The Future of UCaaS Necessitates Flexibility, Better Resources
With plenty of UCaaS providers saturating the market, the rate of change the market experiences is exponential, necessitating enterprise elasticity into the future, Luk told us.
"UCaaS providers must be fully committed to empowering individuals to get their best work done on their terms, and partnerships are essential to ensuring that the unique needs of hybrid workers are met," Luk said. Regarding resources, Luk said that, more often than not, UCaaS providers don’t have the resources, budget, domain or technological know-how to build an application that best helps their customers deliver nuanced outcomes.
"These providers should admit this and partner with independent developers and even startups that specialize in this to deliver hyper-personalized hybrid work experiences," Luk concluded.
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