The Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) market made massive strides in 2022 as organizations across the globe continued to evolve with the ever-changing nature of hybrid work.
We know the global UC&C market will only continue to expand as Gartner projects spending will grow at a 3.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $53.5 billion in 2026.
So, what innovations and developments can we expect in 2023? Here are the top three trends we predict will define the UC&C space in the next 12 months.
Trend 1: Tech devices designed specifically for the hybrid worker
Today’s workforce is well and truly adapted to hybrid work, and it is now up to organizations to solve remote work challenges for their employees. Organizations must consider how employees want to work when considering how to evolve their infrastructure for hybrid work success.
Around 51% of respondents in our 2022 Voice of the Employee Study reported they want to choose their work location – whether at home, in the office, or a combination of both.
Workers want to get the most out of their hybrid workday, but they need the right tools. In fact, according to Jabra’s Hybrid Ways of Working: Global Report, 85% of knowledge workers believe technology is critical to successfully working from anywhere.
To accommodate this shift in mindset and deliver superior technology experiences, UC&C vendors will focus on creating devices to support people where they want to work. Think of the big players here like Cisco, Jabra, and Logitech, they’re all working towards ensuring the expansion of devices in this environment works well.
Vendors like Cisco have already begun to develop their own devices, traditionally designed to support Cisco products only, to now support platforms from several vendors. For example, Cisco recently announced native support for Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTRs) and Hybrid Microsoft Teams User devices across its Webex device portfolio, allowing registration to either the Webex or Microsoft Teams communications platforms.
This cross-platform technology will allow the end user to use their preferred devices and platforms to seamlessly remain connected to everyone they work with, no matter where they are.
Trend 2: Top Unified Communications and Collaboration vendors will move into the contact center market
Gartner projects that contact center spending will grow to $34.6 billion by 2026. This market growth can be credited to the rising adoption of contact center technology to sustain better business continuity, streamline customer interactions, and provide higher customer satisfaction.
Gartner reports that the contact center market has seen a sizeable increase in demand for systems that can support greater levels of sophistication in:
- support of digital channels
- interaction and journey analytics
- artificial intelligence
- machine learning to provide greater levels of automation.
However, current vendor support for these capabilities can often lack the functional maturity required to meet customer demand. As a result, vendors rely on technology partners to deliver the depth of solutions that customers expect.
In conjunction with this, as contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions are becoming more refined and offer a greater value proposition, along with cutting edge technologies, large enterprise and higher complexity organizations are increasingly merging their contact center platforms across multiple regions with a single provider.
Combining these two factors creates an opportunity for typical UC&C vendors to enter the market. In 2023 we will see vendors like Microsoft and Zoom actively looking to move into the CCaaS market to capitalize on this shift. These new cloud-based offerings will take on the likes of Amazon Connect, Genesys, NICE and Webex Contact Centre.
Trend 3: We will see more mergers and acquisitions in the Unified Communications and Collaboration marketplace
Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are nothing new in business, but with the rapid advancement in hybrid work over the last few years, M&As have accelerated in the UC&C space.
With organizations fully adopting hybrid work, we’ve seen the change in user behaviors and a reliance on flexible UC&C platforms create growing momentum in the market. Recently, HP acquired Poly, a video and voice solutions leader, for USD$3.3 billion. HP indicated that its acquisition of Poly will benefit its revenue and operating profit in 2023 as it aims to create new opportunities in hybrid working solutions. Poly brings several hybrid working solutions to strengthen HP’s position, including software, video conferencing devices, cameras, voice, headsets, and more.
As UC&C providers look to consolidate their offerings, we will continue to see these types of M&As in 2023. We expect the more prominent players, like Microsoft, for example, will make more active moves. Whereas the mid-size players will explore new market segments to capture new audiences.
How IR can help
IR Collaborate simplifies the complexity of modern Unified Communication and Collaboration environments, providing the insight you need to ensure your most essential business systems provide seamless communication and collaboration experiences.