Comparing Perceived Competition and Key Strategic Initiatives in the Cloud Communications Market: 2019 v. 2020

Given a huge push by the pandemic, the worldwide unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market is expected to reach $24.3 billion by 2026¹ . That is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4% from 2019; and UCaaS is just one faction of our ever-expanding cloud communications market. How are cloud communications service providers reacting? A new research report from the Cloud Communications Alliance (CCA) provides unique insight into the mindsets of cloud communications providers as they navigate the evolving business environment, changing interests of customers and partners, and the heightened demand for their services. Through side-by-side comparisons between 2019 and 2020, you'll learn about big changes in how services providers view the competitive landscape.  You'll also gain insights into how cloud communications service providers’ plan to expand on their own phenomenal growth in 2020 with acquisitions, partnerships, new products, and other strategic initiatives over the year ahead. Below are just two of the data comparisons the research report makes, in detail:

Perceived Competition 

Back in 2019, cloud service providers were most concerned about megacloud players such as Google, Amazon, and Slack since these companies were already deployed to customer sites. Google, for one, had been talking about some services that did not end up materializing in the market – hence its slide in perceived competition in 2020. With Amazon and Slack as popular as they are, providers were worried their household names would give them a leg up.  Yet by the time the 2020 survey took place in mid-July, perceptions of Google, Amazon, and Slack as competitors had all slid among cloud communications service providers. Fears surrounding Cisco's purchase of Broadsoft – with worries about direct competition – had likewise subsided. Service providers now viewed Cisco more as a potential partner. Meanwhile, Zoom persisted in its perception as a major competitor – an opinion likely to rise as the company touts the Zoom Phone to tie in with its collaborative service. At the same time, perceptions of Microsoft as a competitor increased by 10% because of Teams.

Key Strategic Initiatives 

Also back in 2019, cloud communications service providers set their sights on mobility as well as mergers and acquisitions (M&As) as two key areas for strategic initiatives. By 2020, however, these providers moved to a state of “we’ve got to execute” on already achieved growth through a number of different means. Although still quite present, M&As diminished as priorities in 2020. Cloud communications service providers are focusing more on the race to scale, whether by stepping into new geographies and vertical markets or moving beyond UCaaS with new integrations, products, or partnerships. A total of 35% now seek to offer client Microsoft Teams integration. Cloud   platform providers should note that 28% of cloud service providers are looking to differentiate through collaboration and are willing to switch platforms to accomplish that goal.

There’s Much More, Too

The CCA’s new research report, “The Cloud Communications Market: A Comparison,” also drills down into service providers’ perspectives on platforms, sales channels, market size focus, and a whole lot more. For example, in 2019, almost one-third of cloud communications service providers used their own proprietary cloud platforms, while many leveraged multiple platforms. By 2020, the percentage using their own cloud platforms had grown still higher. To check out the research report, download the document today.   ¹
Cloud Communications Alliance

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