ITEXPO: The UC Outlook

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

ITEXPO: The UC Outlook

The future of UC is bright says a number of executives at UCaaS providers. But is it?

I spoke with a few VoIP executives including CoreDial at ITEXPO. There are two separate layers: cheap voice or POTS replacement and people who want a comms platform.

Most aren't using the full suite since they have Slack, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. They have Office365 or Google for Work. It is a siloed approach to a comms suite.

Price points are decreasing. But then they had to since UCaaS is costing more than a SIP trunk and a small business PBX (think 3CX, FreePBX, Asterisk).

There aren't that many multi-location businesses. (And everyone is chasing them!)

There are more businesses with remote workers. There are also more workers with consultants, contractors and freelancers who are outside the federation of the enterprise system. How do they fit into the organizations' communications?

Coredial turns all features on when they sell off the Broadsoft platform. This way users know about features that they may not have been aware of, like voicemail to email or text to email.

There is training for users - and later due to employee turnover, more training for users. This is but one way to ensure that the customer's organization is getting the full benefit of UCaaS. Otherwise they could have bought the cheaper version!

Everyone is talking about softphones (especially Broadsoft and Counterpath!) Yet there were many new phone/handset vendors at the show. [There also were a couple of VoIP endpoint vendors who had devices very similar to Doorbot! ]

Are you using a softphone on your laptop/desktop/tablet? I'd be curious who is - other than folks who actually work at the VoIP provider!

8x8 is pivoting to Global! I guess they think they have taken all the share they can in the US. Or it is getting too expensive to acquire a customer in the US!

Maybe I am jaded because I have been staring at the VoIP World since 2002.I have waiting for the tidal wave of adoption but small business after small business are pretty happy with a key system, which despite the argument to the contrary is not the value of a Hosted VoIP solution (to see Key System Emulation is UGH!!!!)

I saw quite a few new logos that offer VoIP/UC. Consolidation news has quieted down. Current UC providers have to get - not only better at selling seats - but more efficient at selling them. Velocity has to happen. Yet to have that happen, the provider has to take more friction out of the sales process. The provider has to narrow its focus on who it can best serve and why - and target better for faster conversion.

During my discussion with Coredial. we talked about the market - actually we talked about the fact that the market of 1-500 employees is more like 7 markets with 7 different buying personas. UC is still triggered by an event more often than not, says Coredial. Moving, expanding, shrinking, acquiring -- these business events for the organization warrant a look at shifting from premise to Cloud Comm.

The market segments need to be addressed. The messaging, the targeting, etc. Considering many service providers barely have marketing in place for one persona, how will they market to 5 or 7 segments while addressing even half that many buyer personas?

I often talk verticals, but I also know that channel partners HAVE segmented the providers. "We use this one for 1-5 seats and this one for up to 20, etc."

It is unlikely that a partner will use the same provider for 10 seats as for 150 seats. It would be a white whale.

Just some food for thought.

One more thought: with Net Neutrality going away fast, what do OTT VoIP players do?

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