UCaaS in 2022 (made way for things) to look a lot different in 2023. For starters: following two years on the job, 8×8 CEO David Sipes got removed and replaced by Samuel Wilson, who previously acted as the UC firm’s CFO. Avaya also updated its executive roster, appointing Alan Masarek as its new CEO; back in August 2022.
Following the successful transition of Vonage from a customer focus to business services as CEO and board member starting in 2014: Masarek was tapped from his previous role on the Avaya board – to lead the firm. Masarek’s goal is to make cutbacks on employees to protect potential revenue and avoid chapter 11 bankruptcy again, which the new leader has managed to do thus far.
There’s much more going on in the world of UCaaS, including many mergers and acquisitions – and even some speculation as to which UCaaS firm will get purchased next. I will cover that below.
Few Mergers/Acquisitions set to Shake up 2023
In 2021 8×8 said it would acquire Fuze, and in 2022 it finalized that deal. And in a deal worth just over six billion USD – Ericsson entered UCaaS, acquiring Vonage. And HP bought Poly, consolidating the already slim UCaaS market to make the present-day market players ‘larger’ than life.
Alliances Set to Improve Various UCaaS Offerings
And providers like RingCentral racked up countless partnerships, notably adding Spectrum to its list of operators.
Together, the pair launched Spectrum Business with RingCentral and Spectrum Enterprise Unified Communications with RingCentral. Combining RingCentral MVP with Spectrum’s internet services and network solutions, it now has more might to compete with other powerhouse operators, AT&T, Vodafone, BT, and Telus.
They all now grace RingCentral’s portfolio as operators.
Finally Saying Peace Out to Legacy Technology
It seems that enough enterprise leadership has been convinced of the elasticity and overall flexible nature of the cloud. Though it took a while, we seem to be turning a corner in changing the mindsets of some of the old-school thinkers.
Many of those who previously thought “the cloud just isn’t for us, we made a big investment on this on-premises technology and we plan to leverage it further,” may finally start to have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. This is, expressly, following three years of hardships and changing customer expectations to craving fast, convenient, self-service options.
All this: according to Gartner, which found that: in 2022, more than $1.3 trillion in enterprise IT spending is
“At stake from the shift to cloud, growing to almost $1.8 trillion in 2025.”
5G/Satellite Look to Fuel Work-from-Anywhere
Since the onset of the pandemic, many service providers have paired with UCaaS providers to bring high-quality WFH (work-from-home) options to workers in an increasingly remote working world. With an attempt at penetrating 5G technologies into the world of business: that push is even more prevalent in 2023.
After all, it is not merely working from home: but rather the ability to work from anywhere that 5G hopes to deliver. Satellite technology, while less typical, extends up similar capabilities like the ability to access communications from anywhere in the world.
Vonage, T-Mobile, and Verizon are among the many UCaaS and service providers who introduced some form of UCaaS paired with 5G – looking to capitalize on the widespread availability of the bleeding edge technology for offerings like Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Contact Center, etc.
AI to Improve Processes, Increase Efficiency
This has always been the aim of AI in the workplace, but folks are getting more serious about it as of the onset of the pandemic. People just realized they needed to be more efficient and didn’t have to perform repetitive tasks – over and over.
Meetings now have automatic captioning and translation: and there are even voice assistants who can start, stop, pause, and schedule meetings – eliminating occurrences like sending the proverbial “when is everyone free?” email. There is also self-service, which folks crave in (larger) numbers, thanks to the pandemic creating greater than usual customer queues.
Consumers want the ability to leverage AI to perform simple and complex tasks like canceling and rescheduling flights without speaking to a human. Even getting a refund should be made simpler – according to customers who learned an abundance about what they can/can’t, should/should not demand from businesses.
And for the most part – intelligent enterprise leadership is listening. In 2023, it seems only natural for AI to continue to penetrate well into the UCaaS feature set to make everything simpler. That includes low/no-code offerings, like what Vonage launched last year that help build these kinds of AI experiences for customers with little-to-no effort.
UCaaS in 2023, Poised for Excitement, Growth
It seems that 2023 will be a year that UCaaS sees many advancements and the kind that lend themselves to helping businesses and employees do some of their best work.
That is clear from the myriad of advancements in 2022 that set the industry on that trajectory – and that momentum appears to show no signs of sling down. That is not to say that there will not be some hiccups and a lot of learning (along the way) for those in the UCaaS industry.
In any case, nothing good ever happens without a bit of trial and error, but too much may prove costly for those looking to (insert buzzword) the industry and overall enhance customer/user experience in the process.
It also goes without saying: that there are likely to be some shakeups that come in all forms in 2023, as UCaaS tends to be a small yet exciting area to follow. In general – lots of expectations and much more waiting to see what is to become of an industry that looks so vastly different than it did before the pandemic.
What’s your take? We’d love to know what you think in the comments section and on social media as well. For now, it will be fascinating to follow and see the trend that continues to merge in an industry where anything is possible – and I do mean anything if that hasn’t been made clear during the past few years I don’t know where you’ve been.