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Infographic Highlights Expected Explosive Growth of Unified Communications-as-a-Service

August 10, 2015

The unified communications-as-a-service market (UCaaS) has been growing so faced it’s as if it was electrified by lighting years ago, and its atmospheric rise shows no signs of slowing down. It’s hard to pin numbers on it – different analyst group use different measurement methods and they don’t often measure precisely the same components. But it’s a fact that the cumbersome, premise-based UC installations of years past are on the wane, and more companies are finding the cost savings, flexibility, ease of implementation and broad feature sets that come with UCaaS undeniably attractive.

Just for the sake of argument – so we know which fruit we’re comparing to which fruit -- Wainhouse (News - Alert) Research defines UCaaS as a hosted service that delivers a unified end-user experience including IM, presence, audio, video, desktop/application sharing, and group collaboration. A recent infographic produced by Jabra attaches some helpful numbers to the growth of UCaaS, and they are astonishing.  

Source (News - Alert): Jabra.  Click here to see entire infographic

Three analyst groups – Transparency Market Research, Wainhouse Research and Technavio – put the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for UCaaS over the next few years at 23.4 percent, 24 percent and 28 percent (respectively). Overall market size estimates vary – since once again, analysts are measuring slightly different things – but in general, it has been valued as currently worth between 5.6 billion and $13.1 billion globally, and those are baselines for future explosive growth. The good news for the U.S. is that nearly half – 48 percent – of UCaaS companies are based in the U.S., and according to the data in the infographic, that figure is expected to remain steady, at least for a few years.

Taking the baseline market size and applying the different CAGR predictions to growth yields some very different results:

  • Markets and Markets estimates that the UCaaS market will be at $23 billion annually by 2019.
  • Transparency Research predicts that by 2022, the UCaaS market will have grown to $37 billion per year.
  • Wainhouse Research offers an outlying estimate: $5.3 billion by 2018, but as noted in the infographic, this group has a tight definition of what UCaaS is, and if you project out to 2022 with their CAGR, they come in at over $12.5 billion.

So what’s so compelling about UCaaS that it will see growth rates like this in the years to come?

For starters, many organizations are eager to get their hands on the kind of functionality that UCaaS can provide minus the giant capital outlay and the months of installation and integration. Also, companies are eager to take advantage of the kind of benefits standards like WebRTC (Real-Time Communications) can provide for easy browser-to-browser collaboration.

Many companies have watched their employees abandon legacy UC platforms in favor of easier, lighter Web-based collaboration apps, and they’re eager and willing to co-opt those applications for their formal communications and collaboration strategies. The bottom line is that regardless of what estimate the future market size will be reality is that for a variety of reasons it is poised for impressive growth. 




Edited by Peter Bernstein

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