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Sunday, January 16, 2022

January Editorial

Telecom: Communications and Collaborations

Dear Reader,

Channel Take is happy to present to you our first editorial of 2022. Our theme for January is Telecom: Communications and Collaborations. Besides daily news, we will share theme-specific content on recent trends and developments in the coming weeks. Subscribe now to ensure that you do not miss out. We also welcome guest submissions and articles. If you have expertise in Telecom or UCaaS and would like to be published on Channel Take, please send us your submissions.

Telecom: Communications and Collaborations | A look at the premise

The changing dynamics of the modern-day hybrid workplace continue to dictate the innovations and evolution of the telecom industry world over. Businesses are increasingly dependent on technology to overcome the post-pandemic era’s unpredictability. Collaboration and communication solutions play a key role in redefining business-as-usual, enabling a seamless and uninterrupted work terrain. Rapid deployment and increased scalability remain critical factors that determine some of the choices businesses are making today. There is a resultant shift in focus from on-premises to cloud, blurring the lines between unified communications and collaborations even more. And the move to the cloud certainly makes it more affordable to smaller businesses.

Rising demand for UCaaS in SMBs

The overspill of demand for UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) beyond large enterprises has triggered the emergence of niche products and players that cater to smaller businesses. Many experienced UCaaS players are now viewing SMBs with heightened interest. Canada’s Sangoma, a leading Communications as a Service (CaaS) provider since 1984, positions its Switchvox line of Business Phone System as an enterprise-grade all-inclusive communications platform made available for smaller emerging businesses at affordable prices. A few years back, Sangoma acquired Digium and thereafter announced the release of Switchvox 7, featuring advanced conferencing features for greater collaboration and added functionality such as call pickup capabilities and improved performance and security. In early 2021, they completed the acquisition of Star2star, thereby evolving into a total provider of a fully-integrated suite of Cloud Communications Solutions. These consolidations and cloud advantages make Switchvox and other similar players more attractive to smaller businesses. Managed Service Providers and Value-added resellers partnering with smaller businesses take on an advisory role that goes beyond recommending and selling them the best suited UCaaS solution. Post-sale customer support and training and orientation capabilities are viewed as mandatory incentives.

What draws the partners?

Selling UCaaS requires lower investment and a shorter sales span compared to selling legacy voice systems. The availability of several white-label options has fanned the excitement of new entrepreneurs. For instance, the US-based leading UCaaS provider SkySwitch that launched in Canada 2 years back has offered a high-quality, white-labelled product since its inception. It is a comprehensive UCaaS solution with multiple features that require no investment in hardware, software or setup from its partners. It allows those funds to be instead used in marketing and strengthening the partner’s branding making it more attractive for the partner community.

Some key trends to watch out for as they will be analyzed at length over the coming weeks.

  • The future of PBX | yay or nay.
  • Rapid focus on API Integration/ ease of seamless integration.
  • Continued combination with SD-WAN.
  • Connectivity providers and UCaaS | Mergers and partnerships.
  • The impact of 5G on UCaaS.
  • The growing role of AI in workplace collaboration
  • Market consolidation | the resurgence of monopoly?
  • Cybersecurity and Cloud workspace | Risks and fixes.
  • The future of UCaaS | What is next?

Conclusion

It is the era of resilience. Quick adapters and re-inventors are bound to emerge winners of the decade. It is about breaking through dense competition and making a difference. It is a challenging yet interesting time for the industry!

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