Cloud communications, specifically Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) or hosted PBX, is revolutionizing enterprise communication systems. In contrast to traditional on-premise PBX solutions, cloud PBX offers significant advantages such as reduced equipment costs, improved communication services, enhanced phone quality, flexibility, and mobility, resulting in increased productivity.
A recent study by the Eastern Management Group highlights the growing prevalence of UCaaS, with the market worth $20 billion in 2018, encompassing 54 million seats. Unified Communications has a substantial market share globally, with a 27% total addressable market in North America and 73% in other regions. The report projects a continued rise in hosted UCaaS startups/providers, reflecting the shift towards cloud-based communication solutions.
Maintaining an on-premise PBX system poses limitations in today’s dynamic business landscape, including communication challenges during outages, poor call quality, limited scalability, high server upkeep costs, and difficulties in adding new communication capabilities. The necessity of change is clear as businesses seek to enhance efficiency and adaptability. The cloud-based alternative, with a market share growth from 4% in 2010 to 18% in 2017, offers a promising solution to address these challenges.
Switching to UCaaS offers definitive advantages:
- Integration and Simplification: UCaaS eliminates the complexity of managing multiple vendors by integrating various services into a single platform, streamlining communication, and boosting efficiency.
- Scalability: Adapting to changes in the business landscape becomes seamless with Unified Communications, accommodating new offices, mergers, or expansions effortlessly.
- On-Demand Communication Features: Adding or updating communication features becomes effortless through user-friendly web portals, improving agility and adaptability.
- Enhanced Communication Quality: Robust reporting and call analysis tools allow for improved communication quality measurement, leading to better outcomes.
- Resilience during Disasters: UCaaS ensures uninterrupted communication even during unforeseen events or natural disasters, fostering business continuity.
Selecting the right UCaaS solution requires careful consideration. Key questions to ask potential providers include affordability, technical support availability, customization, and integration capabilities, offered features, security, global coverage, call quality guarantees, and the availability of reports and analytics.
Industry reports indicate a clear trend toward cloud-based communication. According to No Jitter’s 2016 report, the adoption of cloud-hosted communication increased significantly from 20% in 2015 to 28% in 2016. The future outlook is promising, with a forecasted 17% growth in 2017 and beyond. Moreover, Frost and Sullivan’s 2015 report predicts a 25-30% adoption rate increase for cloud communication from 2017 to 2020.
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