Six Service Provider Strategies to Win in the UCaaS Market

November 6, 2018 - 2 Comments

Telecom service providers have made great strides to raise enterprise awareness of hosted IP telephony and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions. Look no further than the market’s projected 21% compound annual growth rate in installed users from 2017-2024. But with greater customer awareness comes a savvier enterprise decision maker now courted by a diverse set of solution providers, including traditional telecom carriers, cable operators, next-generation UCaaS providers, managed services providers and resellers.

Despite the competitive landscape, a 2018 Frost & Sullivan survey of U.S. UCaaS investment stakeholders found that telecom service provider reputation plays a major role early in the UCaaS selection process. Converting this favorable brand equity into sales, according to the survey, requires that service providers compete strongly on solution features, price, service performance, security and user experience.

The Frost & Sullivan survey is particularly revealing when it comes to enterprise demand for a full collaboration solution with features such as video calling, web conferencing and screen share, many-to-many video conferencing, team spaces/team collaboration and contact center. At the same time, there is a clear need for tight integration of voice with other UCaaS features as well as core business processes to ensure a seamless end user experience.

As the chart below shows, going to market with an incomplete offering puts you at a significant disadvantage, while those able to deliver the full collaboration solution are poised to grow revenues and market share.

Most important UCaaS Features

A full collaboration solution is important as enterprises move down various paths and at varying speeds towards the cloud. While some are severing all ties with legacy communications architectures and moving full steam ahead to the cloud and full workforce mobility, others are migrating to cloud solutions gradually through hybrid cloud and premises-based architectures.

Frost & Sullivan highlight six core strategies to consider when evaluating vendors that can help solidify your market position:

1. Offer a comprehensive services portfolio. UCaaS users rank video calling, web and video conferencing, and team collaboration tools as most important to their organizations.

2. Bundle services and equipment. Some businesses perceive UCaaS as having a higher TCO than premises-based alternatives. Expand your portfolios to include a broader selection of endpoints and other customer premises equipment (CPE).

3. Deliver best-in-class mobility. Businesses are replacing their desk phones with soft clients and mobile devices to better support mobile and remote workers. By offering native mobile UCaaS, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in particular can capitalize on existing growth opportunities, create stickier customer relationships and increase ARPU.

4. Provide flexible cloud migration options. Hybrid, premise-based and cloud solutions should account for the fact that businesses need the flexibility to migrate to the cloud at their own pace.

5. Service deployment agility is key. Businesses have rising expectations for speed to market with new features and solution upgrades. The right partner will keep you at the forefront of technology innovation and allow scale without the risk of sunk costs or missed opportunities.

6. Establish a strong digital presence. Most enterprise decision makers start shopping for hosted IP telephony and UCaaS solutions online before even reaching out to one of your touch points. Expand your digital presence to reach a broader audience, reduce customer acquisition and support costs, and improve the overall customer journey.

Telecom service providers evaluating the right partner to help maximize cloud collaboration market share and revenue growth know the value Cisco and BroadSoft have separately delivered over the past decades. By acquiring BroadSoft in early 2018, we are now even more strongly positioned to help you move enterprise customers to the cloud with a complete UCaaS suite built around several key pillars:

  • Cloud calling
  • Team collaboration and advanced meetings
  • Cloud contact center
  • Leading integrated endpoints and collaboration devices
  • Flexible deployment architectures for telecom service providers
  • Flexible migration options for your on-premises customers to help them move to the cloud at their own pace cloud hybrid architectures and migration flexibility
  • Comprehensive channel support services.

With a wealth of assets at your disposal to lead in the collaboration market, the right technology vendor partner is the final piece to fully maximize this growing market opportunity. Frost & Sullivan notes that, “With its comprehensive and innovative solutions portfolio, comprised of network, security, communications and collaboration, mobility, endpoints and more, Cisco is uniquely qualified to boost service providers’ business communications services with added value.”

Download the Frost & Sullivan e-book “Service Provider Strategies to Maximize Cloud Collaboration Market Share and Revenue Growth,” today to learn why Cisco is the right partner to serve businesses moving their communications and collaboration solutions to the cloud.



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  1. While I totally agree with F&S's focus on the UC Application Suite and the staged migration approach, I do think that the following quote in your article didn't receive quite enough attention:

    "At the same time, there is a clear need for tight integration of voice with other UCaaS features as well as core business processes to ensure a seamless end-user experience."

    Automation is something that traditional Service Providers have been focused on for some time and the Communications Enabled Business Processes (CEBP) is a big part of "agility" that organizations are looking for.

    It's very clear that each industry has its own CEBP requirements and hence SPs can, with the right automation, ensure that they have the ability to differentiate by offering the best UC applications that are integrated to that industry's IT Systems (e.g. Higher Education – Learning Management Systems; Heath Providers – electronic medical record (EMR); Distribution Companies – CRM and ERP systems; etc.)

    Service Providers who adopt the Cisco UC platform have the benefit of multiple 3rd party SP automation systems available today that lead in the CEBP space.

    • Thanks for your comment. Your point is well taken, especially considering the strong up-market move we are seeing for UCaaS. Mid and large enterprises have significant business process integration needs for all our calling platforms – and service providers together with 3rd party solution providers can leverage this as a strong differentiator. We’re committed to both enabling and promoting such solutions. We just concluded our annual Connections event where more than sixty solution partners had the opportunity to highlight their solutions to our global service provider audience. If you operate in this space I’d welcome you to connect with Mark Baker via to take a close look at where we’re headed.