Ribbon: Heavy UC Investment Anticipated in Next 2 Years

Well above 50% of the respondents said they were concerned about UC security.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 1, 2019

4 Min Read
Unified Communications

Nearly two-thirds of large companies plan to invest in UC during the next two years, while midsize businesses now are savvier about the benefits of UC.

That’s according to a new research study by Ribbon Communications. The global survey reached 4,800 decision makers in 23 countries at businesses ranging in size from five to many thousands of employees.

For organizations that have not yet invested in UC technology, 68% of large companies (more than 1,000 employees) and 46% of small companies (1-20 employees) planned to adopt some form of UC in the next two years. As for midsize companies, 67% of respondents with 21-100 employees and 71% with 101-1,000 employees plan to adopt some form of UC in the next two years.


Ribbon’s John Macario

John Macario, Ribbon‘s senior vice president of channel marketing, tells Channel Partners his company has been conducting this survey for five years, and one of the most surprising findings is how companies with 20-100 employees have evolved regarding their knowledge and level of sophistication with regards to the benefits of UC.

“(They) seem to know as much as their much larger companies (more than 1,000 employees), and seem more prepared and inclined to look for the right UC solutions for their business,” he said. “The smallest companies are really focused on economic benefits and finding a provider they can trust. Larger companies still care about those, but want to understand how specific UC features can help their business be more productive. Unfortunately, each business type will have their own definition of which features are important. So, it’s important that providers take the time to understand their customers’ business and pitch the right feature set.”

Based on responses, UC adoption is more advanced (41%) in large companies than in small ones (10%), inverting the notion that smaller companies are the first to leverage new technologies.

In addition, well above one-half of the respondents said they were concerned about UC security, Macario said. This included concerns about toll fraud, DDoS attacks and the impact that robocallers have on their day-to-day operations.

“In the U.S., 49% of the respondents told us their company has already been the victim of a SIP security attack,” he said.

The number of non-IP seats range from 87% in companies with less than 20 employees to 52% in those with more than 1,000 employees, suggesting growth potential for UC providers, according to the study.

Some 39% of the respondents who already have adopted UC bought their service from traditional providers, including LECs in the United States and national carriers in the rest of the world, with the next 30% of respondents evenly split between competitive carriers and IT services companies. Mobile carriers, on the other hand, only accounted for 4% of purchases.

Those numbers change significantly for those who have not yet purchased UC services. Those respondents expected to purchase these services from traditional providers (21%) and mobile carriers (16%), followed by cablecos, competitive carriers, equipment providers and IT services companies (11% each).

The primary challenge is …

… the wide variety of UC providers from which businesses can choose, as well as the lack of differentiation among UC providers, Macario said. For example, the owner of a 50-person business will have a hard time understanding which provider can best serve their specific business needs, he said.

“We see few providers differentiating on things like service quality and SLAs, which the survey respondents have told us is very important to their decision making process,” he said. “The opportunities are extremely clear. We measured UC adoption in the U.S. at 25% or less for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. That means that there is a large available market. More than 85% of companies with more than 20 employees told us they were interested in UC for their business. And, about two-thirds of those same companies expected their businesses to switch to UC within two years.”

“Clearly, the UC value proposition resonates cross-market and cross-industry no matter the size of the company,” said Patrick Joggerst, Ribbon’s CMO and executive vice president of business development. “Our findings highlight the significant market opportunity to serve these organizations, and the results also provided us with some unexpected findings which we’ll be sharing on a regional basis over the next few months, starting in Europe.”

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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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