Key Criteria for Evaluating Unified Communications as a Service Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. UCaaS Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Ben Stanford

1. Summary

Enterprises face a multitude of changes to the office paradigm. The inflexible nature of operating fixed, on-premises solutions has become a costly burden. And while collaboration tools demonstrated value pre-pandemic, the requirements of operating in a forced remote working environment due to COVID-19 accelerated enterprise adoption of cloud-based, flexible, and scalable solutions. These changes have implications as enterprises establish new working models.

Challenges exist around scaling user access and facilitating mobility in working environments. This is true for remote working, the general needs of globally distributed enterprises, and for working flexibly within on-premises solutions. The predominant use of on-premises telephony and an overreliance on email provided little insight into how an enterprise communicates and how it can be improved. But that’s not to say that simply embracing digital meetings and messaging solves all problems. Collaboration without physical presence can make it difficult to exchange ideas, gather information, gauge reactions, and create a sense of enterprise or team culture.

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions can reduce the time and effort required to deploy communication services to users and manage them. They can improve productivity through more fluid discussion of work items and facilitate sharing of assets connected to these discussions. High-quality face-to-face meetings with low latency provide more natural conversations leading to better business outcomes. Usage analytics help team leaders understand the frequency and quality of internal and external interactions and can drive process improvements.

This report guides decision-making around current UCaaS solutions in the market, addresses core communications functionality, and explores how solutions differ in terms of experience for users and how they drive business value through communication and collaboration.

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.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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