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Seven Predictions for the UCaaS Market in 2022

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pexels-cottonbro-3401897 (1)[originally published by Telecom Reseller 2/7/2022]

The year 2022 is already in full swing, but we are still not sure if it will be the year the pandemic comes to an end. With or without restrictions, from pandemic to endemic, hybrid working is here to stay and this has a major impact on the UCaaS industry. Here are seven predictions what 2022 has in store.

1. Rapid Cloud Market Expansion

While 2020 and 2021 were both massive growth years, market penetration across the region currently stands at around 20 per cent on average, according to the Cavell Group. So, partners have vast potential to grow their UCaaS services and revenue, particularly as Cavell’s research also found that 35% of technology decision-makers intend to change their communications provider in the next year. Local markets vary, of course, but the message is clear: the business is there for partners if they can find the right strategy.

2. Differentiation

Never has the need to stand out from the crowd been so critical. In a marketplace that is becoming increasingly competitive, partners must find ways to customize their offerings, including the creation of vertical-market specific services and packages. This means choosing UCaaS technology that gives partners the necessary control and flexibility and not simply offering UCaaS services identical to their competitors. This includes having a strong focus on an open API architecture.

3. Service, Presence and Sustainability

As well as product differentiation, offering a superior level of service is becoming more important, with businesses wanting friction-free suppliers, able to provide them with a one-stop-shop and comprehensive support. Cavell’s research also found that, apart from customer and support reviews, local presence in Europe and sustainability are the two other leading factors driving decision-making right now.

4. IT and Comms are Stronger Together

As UC continues to evolve, integrations with productivity tools, including Microsoft products, CRMs and ERPs, are on the rise. As a result, there is a chance for comms partners to expand into the broader ICT market, and conversely, IT resellers can start to explore new comms opportunities. Therefore, choosing UC platforms and cloud services with robust support for third party integrations and an open API approach is vital.

5. UCaaS and CCaaS Keep Blending

We have seen a shift towards a greater focus on the role of UC in external communications, especially as end-user businesses require ways to enhance the customer experience both in-person and remotely. However, for SMBs, this needs to be as streamlined and straightforward as possible, which is why we have seen considerable interest in the ‘casual contact center’ concept. By embedding contact center-style features within UC platforms, businesses can engage with customers from any device or location, even without leaving the app in which they are working. Similarly, marketing automation, conversational AI and other innovations are making their way into UC to enhance the CX.

6. Everywhere is Mobile

The increasing use of mobile devices for business communications has accelerated throughout the pandemic: people still chose to use their smartphones when working from home under lockdown. What is critical, however, is to integrate mobility with fixed voice services, as well as business applications. We expect focus on fixed mobile integration (FMC) to grow in 2022.

7. Long Term Planning

Now it is becoming increasingly clear that hybrid working is here to stay, businesses are looking at future-facing foundations for flexible communications and IT that supports users regardless of location or device. Partners can play a significant role in helping businesses devise longer-term strategies to respond to unpredictable events with minimal interruption while enabling a better work-life balance for employees.

Simultaneously, businesses by necessity are progressing their digital transformation journeys, with emerging areas including greater automation and self-service, as well as business process integration.

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