#1 UCaaS Goes Up-Market
The Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market is experiencing exhilarating growth, with the overall market growing at more than 20% per year. We see the greatest growth opportunities in 2016 within the mid-market (100+ employees) and the enterprise (1,000+ employees). The SMB has been rapidly adopting UCaaS for several years now, but more and more large organizations are now deploying hosted solutions and looking to UCaaS to address their communications needs. With so many mission-critical applications already in the cloud, such as CRM, ERP and data storage, the initial fear around “will it work” for real-time communications has almost completely dissipated. There are too many good case studies and proven deployments in the mid-market.
#2 Collaboration Takes Hold
We will see more businesses looking for integrated collaboration tools that enable natural flow of instant messaging, phone and conference communications, video as well as desktop and file sharing – without the need for opening multiple applications and remembering multiple passwords. The collaboration tools have improved to the point where they are living up to the promise of being easy to use, and therefore, we expect adoption to increase dramatically. Companies continue to search for ways to rein in costs and increase productivity, and we see this as a win-win for employer and employee alike. Video, in particular, will grow and an outsized pace in 2016.
#3 Bandwidth Build-Out
Although Google Fiber gets all of the attention, almost every major carrier has plans to deploy high-speed fiber networks, particularly in high-density markets. Many of the previously announced expansions from Google, AT&T U-verse and other service providers will come on-line in 2016. While we are already seeing capacity increasing and prices decreasing, as these projects complete we expect this trend to accelerate. Traffic is rapidly moving away from legacy networks and architecture towards an all-IP grid, which is increasingly utilized over-the-top. We think the public cloud deployment model will continue to gain traction in the minds of business customers nationwide.