GigaOm Radar for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)v2.01

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take
  7. About Bill Witter

1. Summary

The need to support hybrid operating models, along with an efficiency-focused strategy cycle, continue to be strong drivers for accelerated adoption of unified communications as a service (UCaaS). A post-pandemic world brought omnichannel communication requirements to many organizations, not only externally but internally as well, as employees remain largely distributed and occasional visitors to a physical location. As this market matures, however, solutions are now shifting from simply supporting such working environments to leveraging native cloud-based functionality to enhance and automate how employees and customers interact.

Enterprises of all sizes have access to solution suites that now often use AI-based advanced features to record how they communicate, and to provide actionable insights based on inputs from speech and sentiment analytics. Reporting offers administrators real-time assessments of important call metrics, while individual teams have a wealth of collaboration tooling to choose from when meeting virtually. Establishing international presence has never been easier as well, with platforms dramatically expanding voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone service coverage to help unify global workforces and serve clients in almost any jurisdiction. As a result, the UCaaS market is less utility-focused and increasingly viewed as a driver of digital transformation in its own right.

As always, a platform must support all core features for video, call, and chat to be considered a UCaaS provider. These features also must be available throughout desktop and mobile environments, thus supporting critical hybrid work requirements. This often includes support for physical VoIP devices for a mix of on-premises and cloud-based deployment. A tightly integrated interface is also generally expected from this market, combining all related functionality into an easy-to-use, one-stop workspace. API-driven integration is another key requirement, as deployment often will require supporting legacy systems that may be providing a portion of the overall UCaaS feature set.

If a solution is deployed successfully, enterprises will benefit from a highly flexible cost structure that offers per seat and feature pricing. Strong video capabilities can help reduce real estate costs while providing even more supervision through native features such as employee presence. Extensive phone functionality such as interactive voice response (IVR) and calling groups can be deployed cheaply through VoIP and cloud-based PBX services. Purpose-built solutions such as webinars help enhance employee and customer engagement through scalable events and interactive tooling. Various vendors now also offer related products, such as contact center as a service (CCaaS) and customer experience (CX) solutions that may be useful add-ons for future investment.

This GigaOm Radar report highlights key UCaaS vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating UCaaS Solutions,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

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