The enterprise unified communications and collaboration (UCC) market provides organizations with integrated, real-time toolsets including voice, messaging, fax, audio/video/Web conferencing, instant messaging (IM), presence, and enterprise social media. The market is rapidly growing, with a net expected value of $61.9 billion in 2018. But what is driving the rising demand for UCC? According to experts, many factors are, from the proliferation of mobile devices to the desire to reduce travel in these uncertain times. Regardless of the reason, value-added resellers (VARs) have a great opportunity to make sales to enterprises that have identified a need for UCC technologies. Here are some of the drivers:
Companies are looking for ways to provide flexible working arrangements for their employees, because workers, especially Millennials, are demanding this. UCC provides audio/video/Web conferencing, IM, and enterprise social media capabilities in order to connect workers in real time, allowing them to collaborate effectively anywhere they are, at any time. With UCC and flexible working arrangements, colleagues can be more efficient, get information easily, improve speed to market, and remain competitive, leading to enhanced productivity. By choosing the right UCC tool for the right type of contact, workers can collaborate more successfully.
More employees are working from home or from the road using their mobile devices. UCC provides tools for employees who need or want to work remotely. UCC features like single-number reach and softphones can provide mobile workers with a way to make and take calls as if they were at their office desk, and they offer remote workers a way to use their remote PC for communication and collaboration in the same way they would at the office. According to recent research, it is expected that by 2020, more than half of employees will be working remotely.
Mobile Device Tools
As mobility becomes more important in the enterprise, UCC is adapting to what mobile users need. This includes access to IM, presence, conferencing, document-sharing, and social media tools, most of which have not been previously available on mobile devices. In addition, companies are providing better security to mobile workers in the form of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), protecting both the corporate database and user devices. Fixed mobile convergence is also of great value to mobile employees, allowing them to use in-house resources when in the office and have calls, conferences, or sessions seamlessly handed off to the mobile network as they leave the building.
UCC can be a productivity booster and a cost-saver. Many companies are initiating or moving their voice communications and UCC to virtualized servers, meaning fewer servers are required. This in turn means fewer initial expenses, lower administration and maintenance costs, and a greener footprint. Another way for enterprises to reduce capital costs is to utilize UCC in the cloud. With unified communications as a service in the cloud, up-front costs are reduced, users and features can be easily added or removed, software can be updated inexpensively, and administration is easier and less expensive.
The demand for UCC is on the rise. VARs have an opportunity to sell UCC to customers who are interested in supporting flexibility within their mobile and remote workforce and who want their workers to have the tools they need to work efficiently while mobile and for those interested in implementing UCC in the most cost-effective manner.
What other drivers does your company see for the demand for UCC tools and services? Please comment below.