These findings have not changed in 2015, with the market continuing to be forecast at a value of $61.9 billion by 2018. But of course, analysts being analysts, they’ve made some drastic alterations to how they see this happening though they have highlighted some key factors that have restricted growth.
The most important factors are that high initial investment costs, uncertainty over ROI and the complexity of solutions are causing adoption to lag behind their previous forecasts.
Here at Node4 we couldn’t agree more.
This is the same view of the market that informed our unique “Unified Communications as a Service” (UCaaS) proposition. It’s even better to hear an independent analyst making these claims, given many of the major UC providers have tended to gloss over the real issues holding back UC – preferring to hype up the hypothetical ways UC could revolutionise the world in the future.
So what makes our UCaaS offering different?
Firstly it’s not just the fact that it is cloud-based. Every UC provider sees the cloud as a way to help reduce costs and complexity, offloading the expense of hosting and managing a solution to an outside party. But the cloud alone is not the solution, as a recent piece by Robin Gareiss of Nemertes Research countered.
Robin found that, whilst the cloud is obviously ‘a good thing’ and eventually proves beneficial, it takes a number of years for many businesses to see these benefits due to the additional upfront operational costs involved.
A main component of these costs is the expense involved in equipment purchase and maintenance – but if customers have purchased UC as a Service, is there really any need for them to do this?
For our solution, we took a different approach, which I believe this research vindicates. There’s little need for customers to purchase handsets outright, so we have made it possible to rent these from ourselves, permitting a purely OPEX based UC solution.
The subscription cost also covers everything from deployment in our N4Cloud servers, through enabling connectivity to the site, provision of routers and switches, and on-going management of the system.
Our approach also helps mitigate concerns over the complexity of UC solutions. In fact, we’re proud to be one of the few end-to-end providers of UC on the market.
Customers can rent a solution from us and deal solely with us; no need for a separate contract with a third party handset provider, no third party SIP trunk platform, no third party Data Centre hosting the system.
After all, can you really describe a UCaaS solution ‘as a service’ if only some of its components are being provided to you via a service model?