The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly shifted the way we communicate and interact with each other. Moreover, with 80% of people not wanting to return to the office in a full time capacity (CNET), businesses are having to rethink how technology can support this new working ecosystem.
This is why we’ve seen a surge in Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) during the pandemic, with the industry sized at $47.64 billion in 2021 and projected to reach $210.07 billion by 2028 (Grand View Research). The benefit of UCaaS is that it leverages the cloud to bring together disparate enterprise communication channels such as telephony, web, audio, video conferencing, text and instant messaging, all in one place.
However, the movement doesn’t just stop at simple UCaaS adoption. There are other micro trends that will impact which UCaaS providers are more successful than others.
Here are 5 trends to watch:
1. Collaboration Enablement
With more team members working remotely, businesses are seeking a UCaaS solution that facilitates the best possible collaboration between teams.
There’s nothing worse when a productive video conference meeting is in session and the participants get booted out mid-way, only to waste valuable resource time. In fact, poor conference calls are causing companies to lose $34 billion in wasted time (Loopup). Therefore platform reliability is key.
Furthermore, it is essential that audio and media sharing capability is high in quality, so as to replicate the experience of physically being in a meeting room together.
Lastly, with more employees recognizing that some tasks don’t require formal meetings and could instead be discussed via instant messaging, UCaaS providers with strong messaging, coupled with task management capability will increasingly become the standout solutions.
2. Increased Consolidation
The pandemic has also caused many businesses to reassess the cost of running disparate solutions to enable their communications channels, versus using a single UCaaS solution that covers their core needs.
Therefore UCaaS providers have increased pressure to be the ‘jack of all trades’, providing a consistent and connected user experience across all channels such as telephony, web, audio, video conferencing, text and instant messaging.
This also requires reliable contact and workflow management between touchpoints so that employees can flexibly switch between these channels and reach their colleagues via the mode they wish to connect through at the time.
3. Remote Troubleshooting
With the fragmentation of working locations comes greater responsibility for IT functions to be able to remote troubleshoot any technical issues.
Furthermore with employees working from home and blending both their personal and work devices and applications, managing security and data integrity is crucial.
Therefore it becomes essential that IT teams increase their focus on securing, authenticating and supporting users who will increasingly use their personal devices versus corporate devices to access applications and documentation.
This calls for UCaaS solutions to come supported with advanced remote troubleshooting capabilities and help desks that are supported in the cloud.
4. AI Enablement
Businesses will also be increasingly exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) can be leveraged to increase productivity. This means that tasks that typically require manual human effort could be automated through AI or predictive collaboration analytics could be utilized to minimize duplication of work.
Furthermore, communication workflows between teams could be predicted through analysis of past behavior where the application prompts the employee with what actions should be taken once a task is completed.
In fact 54% of executives say that implementing AI in their workplace has increased productivity (Semrush). Furthermore, 79% of executives think AI will make their jobs simple and more efficient.
Therefore, businesses will be seeking out UCaaS solutions who are adopting AI to streamline actions, tasks and workflows across their suite of communication tools.
The pandemic has caused many businesses to reflect on the assets, overheads and resources they use to deliver their products and services.
They will be assessing how business tools can be consolidated to achieve the best outcome to support internal processes. Therefore, for UCaaS providers, it’s not just about providing a solution that bundles communication channels, but also pays attention to the unique consumption needs of the business at hand.
This implies that billing for UCaaS services will become significantly more complex, as ‘one-size-fits-all’ subscription-based solutions will be less desired and businesses will want to shift to paying for what they actually consume and need.
To learn more about how your UCaaS business can deploy highly customized bundles of services, leverage AI to automate workflows and accurately bill based on consumption, book a demo to discover OneBill today.
OneBill is an intelligent revenue management platform, where businesses can scale complex product and pricing offers, automate the service activation process, accurately manage billing and accounts receivables, configure unique offers for partners, and provide a superior experience for customers through their product journey.