New Yeastar UCaaS; Are 8×8 and RingCentral in Trouble?

Yeastar, a Chinese UC, gateway and phone player just announced its Yeastar Cloud PBX will be unveiled at ITEXPO next month in Florida. “We are excited to be back at ITEXPO East again this year,” said Alan Shen, CEO of Yeastar, “We deem ITEXPO a great platform to launch our brand new offering, Yeastar Cloud PBX, to the world. Having been field-tested in the beta program, this profitable multi-instance hosted business voice solution could be a perfect fit for most of the ITEXPO attendees.”

When we learned the news, the first thing that came to mind was a similar competitive situation last decade. Asian players Huawei and ZTE were competing hard against Nortel in the carrier equipment space. Nortel was outcompeted and went bankrupt. The courts sold their enterprise voice business to Avaya who also went bankrupt.

Asian cloud vendors aren’t very popular in the U.S. so it isn’t a given that Yeastar will take a great deal of marketshare in North America. But Yeastar is also well-known internationally. They have websites in five languages. Their distribution is greater than a lot of the domestic United States companies they compete with.

The only possible response to this new competitive threat will be for existing cloud players to go upmarket and add features and potentially cost. This is how Nortel competed with Asian competitors. It didn’t work too well for them as we know.

The UCaaS market is however a different animal because selling to companies takes a lot more resources than selling to carriers because there are so many more customers. The inertia in a company is tough to overcome and switching your UCaaS provider can be painful.

New customers however will potentially consider going to an Asian company instead of one from the U.S. It comes down to how commoditized the market is.


There is something Yeastar may need to overcome. The name of the service, Yeastar Cloud PBX uses the term PBX which many in the industry have been going away from (at least in the U.S.). It’s surprising to hear it used for a new product, even if it is preceded by “cloud.” Moreover, software is harder for non-U.S. companies to do well. We’ll see how their offering looks. Finally, from a feature perspective they don’t seem to have left much out. Take a look.


Business Features



 Dial by Name


 Do Not Disturb (DND)

 Custom Prompt

 Emergency Number


 Fax to Email

 Distinctive Ringtone

 Feature Code



 Music on Hold

 Ring Group

 One Touch Recording

 SIP Forking



 PIN List

 Speed Dial

YMP Features

 Time Condition

 Alarm Notifications

 Video Calls

 Branded Company Name and Logo


 Create/Delete PBX instance

 Voice to email


 Web access to voicemail

 Multi-level User Access


 Schedule Backup

 Backup and Restore


 Event Center

Call Features

 Image Upgrade

 Attended Transfer

 Import/Export Extensions

 Automated Attendant (IVR)

 Multi-language System Prompt

 Blind Transfer

 Multi-language Web GUI

 Call Back

 Multi-level User Access

 Call Detail Records (CDR)

 Phone Provisioning

 Call Forwarding

 Schedule Backup

 Call Monitor


 Call Parking

 User Portal

 Call Permission

YMP Security

 Call Pickup


 Call Routing


 Call Transfer

 Dynamic Defense

 Caller ID

 Limited Country Access


 Static Defense

So domestic cloud players may be safe for now but whenever new competitors come into a market and they have been successful in adjacent spaces, you need to be concerned. Especially when they have a different cost model. The threat to the market is downward pressure and commoditization. Fighting it is likely best done by adding integration and features and touting solutions as business transformation enablers.

This new offering is available as a private or public cloud solution and can be white-labeled. Moreover, the company will be running pre-show seminars on the solution in English and Spanish. The seminar will be on February 13th and ITEXPO starts on the 14th.

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