Programmable services are the way forward for UCaaS providers, says Frost & Sullivan

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UCaaS vendors that deliver programmable services and partner with third-party software firms are thriving in the marketplace, the latest analysis from Frost & Sullivan has found.

The report, which discusses key trends and opportunities in the market, concluded that European UCaaS providers are enhancing their portfolios and engaging in mergers and acquisitions in order to find an advantage amongst intense competition.

Adopting a more consultative sales approach, vendors have been placing cloud communications at the heart of digital transformation, embedding communications into popular third-party software in order to streamline workflows.

"While sophisticated, feature-rich UCaaS solutions are critical for service provider success, the future is programmable communications," said Elka Popova, unified communications and collaboration programme director at Frost & Sullivan. "Providers need to deliver flexible application programming interfaces (APIs) and Communications Platforms-as-a-Service (CPaaS) to hold their own against the next wave of innovations from non-UC companies.

“Meanwhile, competitors that employ analytics tools to combine workflow/business app data with communications stats will be able to present clients with deeper insights into business issues such as productivity bottlenecks and business process disruptions."

Frost & Sullivan’s analysis predicts that the Benelux and Nordic countries – the earliest adopters of hosted IP telephony and UCaaS – will see the highest market penetration, while the Central and Eastern European nations will experience the highest growth rates.

Opportunities for growth can be found in a number of areas and vendors that focus on these will see the greatest success, the report predicted. This includes enabling service enhancements such as mobility, advanced conferencing and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as harnessing broadband, multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) and SD-WAN.

Providers are also advised to focus on tailored solutions for different business types, operational improvements across the board, competitive pricing, mobile-first solutions, as well as advanced features and flexible customisation.

"Given that the European market is not as fragmented as the US market, the entry barriers are high for smaller competitors that could potentially present innovative solutions," Popova added.

"The consequent feature parity in hosted IP telephony offerings compels service providers to differentiate themselves through value-added capabilities such as analytics, advanced contact centres, extensive regulatory certifications, engaging interfaces, or creative services packaging and pricing."

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.