The Effects of COVID-19 on the UC Market

Some thoughts on how the coronavirus pandemic has effected the UC industry…

  • We’ve been catapulted into the future of work, digital transformation is a priority for today, not tomorrow.
  • Digital transformation has been an overused term for some time now, but the impact of coronavirus has certainly helped business leaders to realise it was very much worth every penny of investment made. 
  • Every bit of connectivity has been put under pressure from company networks and internet services to people at home sharing connections with family members. We’re just lucky this wasn’t 10 years ago.
  • However many haven’t embraced cloud, saas and with 2019’s stats showing less than 20% market penetration of cloud communications, many companies have had to race to adopt UCaaS and cloud video conferencing almost overnight to ensure business continuity. 
  • From a vendor perspective, its been highs and lows. On the high side, vendors like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Webex’s daily active user numbers grew to unimaginable levels within days of the lockdown. Microsoft 20m DAU end of 2019. Now its 75m and growing. Zoom went from 10 to over 200m and is now a household name and a common verb in the English language!
  • The lows were; security, overload (platform outages and interruptions) COVID-19 was a magnificent test for vendors in the UC and Collaboration space.
  • From a customer perspective, homeworking technology raced into focus for almost all business leaders. Some were prepared and cloud-enabled, some had disaster recovery plans but I don’t think anyone was quite prepared for a pandemic of this magnitude. 
  • Key observations; video is the new voice, meetings over calls, it’s now proven to be accessible, high quality and easy to use. It’s free to try and as we go forward vendors are accelerating their development roadmaps to further innovate and make the experience even more acceptable. 
  • Vendors releasing video products ahead of time, acquisitions, we may see video in the contact centre sooner than we thought