Survey: Cloud-Based UC Set to Dominate by 2020

Adoption of unified communications as a Service (UCaaS) and hosted PBX will increase nearly sixfold, or 41 percent, over the next five years.

A survey BroadSoft shows that by 2020, the cloud UC market penetration is expected to grow threefold in the large enterprise segment, seven times in the midmarket segment, and almost fivefold in the small business segment, according to survey results. All in all, it signals a rapid shift away from traditional premise systems across all market segments.

Amidst all of this, BroadSoft expects UC and mobility will become synonymous. According to the survey, 42 percent of respondents believe that more than half of UC interactions for businesses of all sizes will occur via mobile devices by 2020, while one-third of small businesses will opt for mobile-only UCaaS/hosted PBX solutions, eliminating their need for desk phones.

Email is also on the way out: A full 82 percent of survey respondents expect OTT integrated messaging and collaboration applications to disrupt the business email market, while only 18 percent feel email will remain the primary business-messaging tool.

“Enterprise UCaaS is proving disruptive due to its superior value proposition — reduced complexity, lower total cost of ownership and greater productivity and mobility for the increasingly millennial and distributed workforce,” said Taher Behbehani, CMO at BroadSoft. “Importantly, this opportunity is not lost on service providers and industry leaders as 90 percent of survey respondents rate UCaaS/hosted PBX as their preferred technology solution strategy, while only 10 percent are leading sales efforts with premise PBX.”

Some in the industry say that the wholesale movement to the cloud will be an evolution, however.

“Cloud communications are certainly seeing a rise in adoption, with new exciting applications and services coming online quickly,” said Eugenia Corrales, senior vice president of product at ShoreTel. “At the same time, we see the move to the cloud happening gradually, with some services being better suited for a premise usage model. Most companies will continue to leverage their existing on-site platforms and will prefer to adopt a hybrid consumption model that provides the most flexibility with a mix of on-premises and cloud solutions. With a hybrid solution, companies can still take advantage of new capabilities and applications in the cloud.”

She added, “For example, companies may want to keep control of their voice systems on-premises, but have their contact center application in the cloud. As they grow, companies may add new sites and remote offices in the cloud, and still have a single directory and set of user profiles across the entire enterprise.”