The UC Buyer is one year old today and it also happens to be World Gratitude Day. I love the idea of a day dedicated to gratitude, as the more time we take to be grateful about the things we do have in our lives instead of stressing out about the things we don’t, the happier we tend to be. So take a few minutes to be grateful...you’ll be happy you did. One thing I am spending time being grateful for today is all of you who have become part of The UC Buyer community since we launched.
Our traffic is skyrocketing, more and more of you are signing up to be part of our community every day and we love being part of this industry. Speaking of that, the enterprise communications space has been a blast to cover and it seems to me as if it is changing more quickly than at any time since Alexander Graham Bell kicked the whole thing off. Here are a few of the trends impacting the space that we’ve been talking about at the water cooler at Buyer Media.
UCaaS Growing Like Crazy, Ready for Consolidation
Unified Communications as a Service is growing like crazy, as we have covered several times (take a look at this handy infographic to quickly get all the details you need). This was evidenced by all the businesses offering UCaaS solutions at Enterprise Connect earlier this year, as well as all the discussions I had at the event that went something like this - “Wow, there are a LOT of UCaaS vendors...this market is ripe for consolidations.” We agree, and as our news roundup article notes (which will be published tomorrow), it is already happening.
Believe it or Not, Some Things Are Slowing Down Unified Communications Growth
As fast as the UC market is growing, the number of UCaaS vendors is creating some questions for businesses. As I noted in this article about the recent UCaaS Gartner Magic Quadrant, there are over 250 UCaaS vendors worldwide and while that is great, it is also causing some hesitation as businesses are presented with what can seem like an overwhelming number of options. While many businesses are pulling the trigger and jumping into a UCaaS contract, others, especially midsized and larger businesses, are slowing things down and taking their time to make a decision.
Another factor impacting the UC and broader enterprise communications market is a name change. Microsoft shifting from Lync to Skype for Business is causing a lot of companies to put the brakes on further deployment while they wait for more details to become available. As we covered in this post, businesses are still struggling to define the best approach for migrating to S4B and we’ve spoken to a number of companies that were going to move forward with wide scale deployment of Lync, but have put the brakes on for a few months until they get clarity and comfort. This slowing down can be seen by the impact it is having on the growth of businesses, like headset makers, that rely on the UC market’s continued rapid growth.
Corporate Culture is Evolving With Unified Communications
For those businesses that have deployed enhanced communications capabilities, it is having a significant (mostly positive) impact on corporate culture. Some of these changes that we are hearing about and seeing first hand include:
Seamless mobility is changing the “where” of work, from an office / desk / cubicle, to anywhere you happen to be.
Working from home is the same as working in the office for many people and teleworking is growing like mad (another handy infographic, btw)
Desktop and mobile web and video conferencing makes team meetings with local and remote workers easy and effective. Video collaboration is finally hitting the bigtime as it moves beyond the big conference room, which has led to the need for me to shave more often than I had been.
Open office spaces with more collaboration and huddle rooms are on the rise as business look to support a changing, mobile, geographically dispersed workforce.
Presence management is now a critical component of the modern work environment. If you haven’t remembered to change your status to “Do Not Disturb” when working on an important project, don’t be surprised when someone from the other side of the country or world IM’s you or calls you to get your take on something.
I could go on all day, but I’d rather just say “Thank You” to all of you who are reading the UC Buyer, those of you who have subscribed for updates, the thousands of you who are interacting with us on social media, and especially those of you who are asking questions and leaving comments. We’re going to keep cranking out the story of the evolving enterprise communications marketplace, and we’re happy you’re along for the ride. Let us know what you are seeing and what we can do for you in the comments section below.