The 6 Hottest UCaaS Providers To Watch In 2019
As UCaaS goes mainstream thanks to abundant customer demand, CRN rounded up six of the hottest UCaaS providers that solution providers should check out in 2019.
Growing By Leaps And Bounds
The Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market first started to gain traction with smaller companies. But the evolving cloud-based technology has become much more mainstream in recent years and is taking hold across the board with customers of all sizes, such that market research firm Gartner has discontinued its Magic Quadrant report for premises-based unified communications.
The UCaaS market is blowing up. With the uCaaS market expected to reach $28.69 billion by 2021, according to research firm Markets and Markets, the space is rife for solution providers to get in on the action.
Here are six of the hottest UCaaS providers that the channel should check out in 2019.
Communications and networking player Avaya has bounced back onto the UCaaS scene following its bankruptcy filing in 2017 and the company wants the channel's help in penetrating the growing opportunity around cloud-based UC.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider has been pushing hard to recruit new and different kinds of channel partners to join in ranks. Earlier this month, Avaya introduced several new video collaboration offerings for small meeting spaces that partners can bundle with their customers' existing UCaaS offerings into one monthly bill.
Cloud communications specialist Intermedia has always been a channel-first player, but the company is pushing hard to court more MSPs this year.
Earlier this month, the Mountain View, Calif.- based provider launched its new analytics platform, Intermedia Unite Envision, which lets users monitor Intermedia Unite's UC and collaboration tools in real-time. Users and partners can use Envision to keep an eye on their voice and video call quality and identify any issues or trends that could be causing issues via a QoS Dashboard for customers and a Partner Dashboard for solution providers.
Last year, the privately-held company revealed UCaaS platform Intermedia Unite, an offering that combines cloud-based voice solutions with video technology it gained in September 2017 when the company acquired web conferencing provider AnyMeeting.
IT giant Cisco has been a mainstay on Gartner's UCaaS Magic Quadrant report and a top UCaaS player for years. Cisco completed its purchase of telecommunications software provider BroadSoft last year and since then, the provider has been able to unify disparate parts of its UCaaS and collaboration portfolio.
Today, the company offers its BroadCloud phone system, which is available with its Webex Teams collaboration platform.
Keep an eye on RingCentral, a channel-friendly UCaaS provider that has spent 2019 debuting new solutions and updating its offering. The company this month announced a partnership with Ericsson to improve provision of its voice services over cellular networks.
In other news, Belmont, Calif.-based RingCentral this month revealed RingCentral Persist, a new product that lets users maintain communications services in case of an internet failure, including emergency calling, extension-to-extension dialing, and inbound and outbound calling. The provider announced the expansion of its Open platform RingCentral Embeddable and an extended API library, which lets users easily embed communications into their applications.
Founded in 2011, Vonage offers Wi-Fi calling, video conferencing and file sharing with connections into CRM tools. The company launched its channel program last year and since then, Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage has been heads-down focused on bringing its UCaaS solutions to more business customers, instead of playing to its historically consumer-focused base.
More than 3,000 business customers a month are moving to Vonage's cloud-based solutions, according to the company.
UCaaS player 8x8 took to MWC 2019 last month to show off enhancements to its communications and contact center platforms.
The provider's X Series platform, which offers video, voice, contact center and chat, now has API integrations for Microsoft, Bullhorn and Slack. The company also added advanced speech analytics and real-time contact-center dashboards.
The provider last year told CRN that it was experiencing "astronomical" channel growth and channel bookings that had increased 50 percent year-over-year.