The global unified communication as a service market size was valued at USD 42.97 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 206.55 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 19.05% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud-based platform that provides various communication services and processes, including voice telephony, messaging, conferencing, and communication-enabled processes. Voice Telephony involves cloud-based private branch exchange (PBX) and cloud-based voice over internet protocol (VoIP). Messaging involves voicemails, faxes, and texts. Conferencing includes audio, video, and web conferencing. Communication-enabled processes allow integration with various business applications, such as contact centers.
UCaaS also enables users to share files and integrates easily with other business tools such as Customer Relation Management (CRM) and others. Hence, UCaaS allows employees to communicate and share information with various teams and customers in a structured and consistent manner, irrespective of their location and department. It also allows users to communicate and collaborate via multiple devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, promoting mobility, productivity, and job satisfaction.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Traditional UC systems are becoming expensive for businesses, especially after encountering UCaaS solutions. On-premises installation of phone systems not only costs companies in terms of initial purchases and installation charges but also requires an expenditure on a person to look after phone systems, which may cost the organizations more than USD 55,000 annually. The enterprises must incur huge capital and operating expenses to deploy on-premises UC. Incurring such a high amount on unified communication systems is not a viable option for small enterprises that are short of budget.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership is the key factor driving the demand for UCaaS in the market. UCaaS is increasingly witnessing a surge in demand as it does not require an organization to depend on multiple vendors for different communication mediums. Users get access to all communication systems on a single platform, eliminating the need to switch from one application to another. UCaaS also enables organizations to follow the pay-as-you-go model, allowing users to pay per usage. Hence, UCaaS helps save money on capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX), diving into market growth.
Remote Working and Distance Learning
Remote working and distance learning is increasingly gaining momentum, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this, demand for services like telephony, texting, and conferencing (audio, video, web) has increased. As a result, organizations started adopting UCaaS solutions that provide communication systems under a single platform to enhance communication, collaboration, and job satisfaction.
Distance learning is increasingly becoming popular, providing several growth opportunities to UCaaS vendors. 2020 has been a remarkable year for distance learning, thereby driving the use of the UCaaS platform by various educational institutions and e-learning providers to promote online learning. Hence, remote working and digital learning accounted for a significant share of the growth of the UCaaS market and are expected to drive the demand considerably year-on-year.
Lack of Technological Awareness among Farmers
UCaaS is subjected to various barriers that prevent certain end-users from adopting this solution. The barriers can be classified into technical, psychological, legal, and market. Technical Barriers include power failure, problems related to data movement between clouds, issues with call quality, network failure, etc. Furthermore, psychological barriers include the perception of its suitability, which is only meant for large enterprises, a lower level of trust, and a lack of knowledge of UCaaS specifications. Legal barriers are the barriers related to laws or regulations that are to be followed by the parties. Market barriers comprise a poor range of UCaaS solutions, lack of customer incentives, high UCaaS cost compared to expectations, etc. All the barriers mentioned above led to hindrances in the acceptance of UCaaS.
Growing Trend of Bring Your Own Device
The culture of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is increasingly becoming popular and encouraging enterprises to embrace UCaaS solutions. In today's competitive scenario, organizations must be highly flexible and provide mobility to employees to be productive and be ahead of the competitors. As a result, enterprises globally are adopting the BYOD trend. UCaaS vendors are increasingly working toward developing infrastructure by incorporating applications such as Managed Mobility Services (MMS) and enterprise social media to support BYOD trends. This is estimated to support the growth of UCaaS in the market.
Furthermore, organizations embracing the BYOD policy save more than USD 300 annually per employee. Using portable devices saves an employee around 1 hour daily and raises productivity by more than 30%. Many organizations, irrespective of their size, are embracing BYOD, which is likely to create opportunities for the growth of the UCaaS market during the forecast period.
The global unified communication as a service market is bifurcated into components, organization size, and industry verticals.
Based on components, the global market is bifurcated into telephony, conferencing, and unified messaging.
The telephony segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 16.79% over the forecast period. Telephony is one of the most important components of UCaaS and has been used across industries. The demand for telephony is expected to grow due to communication and collaboration's importance. The economy suffers a loss of around USD 35-40 billion yearly due to poor communication. Hence, communication is necessary to keep individuals connected and maintain a proper flow of information within and outside the organization. In addition, cloud-based telephony helps in saving costs related to on-site PBX systems that require installation and maintenance services. Hence, this is expected to boost the demand for telephony cloud services during the forecast period.
Messaging is increasingly becoming a popular medium of communication. It allows people to collectively share information with an individual or in a group, stay connected, and work efficiently. It is an excellent way to reach out to employees even after working hours, allowing people to reply at their convenience, which is impossible with audio and video communication. Hence, this will likely push the demand for messaging as a UC during the forecast period.
Based on organization size, the global market is bifurcated into large enterprises and small and medium enterprises.
The large enterprise segment owns the highest market share and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 18.06% over the forecast period. Large enterprises dominate the UCaaS market and are expected to grow considerably throughout the forecast period. This is owing to their wider reach and presence across multiple countries worldwide. These enterprises increasingly deploy cloud-based UC to minimize telephony costs and increase efficiency and collaboration between geographically dispersed teams. Hence, this is leading to a surge in demand for UCaaS. In addition, large enterprises seek ways to minimize their IT staff expenses and are shifting to cloud-based technology where all services are provided by the Managed Service Provider (MSP). Hence, this is boosting the demand for UCaaS from large enterprises.
Small and medium enterprises are growing significantly owing to SMEs' demand for mobility, scalability, and agility and the continuously growing SMEs globally. Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises' employees range from 5-500 depending on the country. The share of SMEs is larger (around 90%) compared to large enterprises in the total number of businesses worldwide. Developing countries like China, India, Brazil, and others are increasingly witnessing a rise in the number of SMEs, which is likely to contribute to the growth of UCaaS in the market.
Based on industry verticals, the global unified communication as a service market is divided into telecom and IT, healthcare, BFSI, retail and consumer goods, education, transportation and logistics, and travel and hospitality.
The telecom and IT segment is the most significant contributor to the market and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 14.90% over the forecast period. The continuously evolving new technologies and better connectivity infrastructure are boosting the telecom and IT industry, leading to growth in the number of employees. Hence, to help these employees work collectively and in a synchronized manner, the industry is increasingly deploying cloud-based communication systems to bring all employees on a single official platform. This platform integrates multiple communication methods that provide complete flexibility to employees to use any communication medium at their convenience. Hence, this drives the demand for UCaaS from the telecom and IT industry.
The growth in the BFSI segment is owing to the huge requirement for instant customer service and increasing efficiency and productivity of the organization. The demand for security remains higher in the BFSI sector than the other industries. Hence, the BFSI industry mostly uses private cloud-based UCaaS to ensure the complete safety and security of confidential customer data. As a result, their expenditure remains high, which is likely to grow their share in the UCaaS market.
Based on region, the global unified communication as a service market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global unified communication as a service market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 16.96% during the forecast period. North America has developed countries and a large base of skilled workforce. Countries like the US and Canada have many companies with a global presence and a large employee base. This requires platforms that bring all employees together and help in communicating, thus increasing the demand for UCaaS solutions. In addition, the region is an early adopter of many new technologies. The expansion of local industries is rising as a result of ongoing innovation and the development of new technologies, combined with high acceptability. This continuous growth of industries is likely to create more demand for UCaaS during the forecast period. The application of UCaaS is not restricted to an organization or type of industry. Instead, its finds application across sectors.
Furthermore, the healthcare sector is deploying UCaaS to connect with various doctors, nurses, and patients and instantly share data with the required parties. Hence, this is booming demand for UCaaS from the healthcare sector. Similarly, other industries in the US and Canada are increasingly using UC to increase mobility, improve communication, and meet employee expectations, thereby contributing to the market's growth.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 17.81% over the forecast period. Europe accounted for the second-highest share due to the presence of several big companies such as Volkswagen, Daimler, EXOR Group, Allianz, Prudential, and others. These companies depend on UC solutions for various prominent reasons, including a large employee base, improving productivity, and enhancing business processes, thus boosting the UCaaS market in the region. France, Spain, Italy, and Germany are the most visited tourist destinations globally and generate a lot of yearly tourism. This also boosts the hospitality sector across Europe with many national and international players. In addition, the continuously growing hospitality sector is expected to generate increased demand for UC to improve the convenience and flexibility of operations. Hence, this will likely contribute to the growth of the UCaaS market in Europe.
In Asia-Pacific, China, India, and Japan lead the UCaaS market. The major reasons for the growth in demand are attributed to many small-scale industries, which focus on reducing the total cost of ownership and increasing investments in the Indian market. The rising importance of connecting virtually makes the process smoother and more efficient. Investments in the Indian IT sector are growing continuously, and companies in the industry are expanding their footprint globally.
The Middle East and Africa region experiences positive and negative factors impacting the demand for UC services in the market. The presence of several extremely impoverished countries in Africa is affecting the demand for UCaaS in the market. However, the increasing investments in digital infrastructure and the development of data centers are likely to push the demand for UCaaS in the region. The Internet usage rate is not very high in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), which will likely hamper the market. However, countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia are better placed in terms of connectivity than Turkey, South Africa, and Egypt. Hence, the demand for UCaaS is likely higher in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Latin America garnered the lowest revenue-generating region mostly due to the sluggish economic conditions, lack of awareness of cloud-based technology, low investment in data centers and cloud implementation, and, most importantly, tough competition from other developed nations. However, the region is expected to grow substantially during the forecast period, supported by the growing manufacturing sector and government initiative to boost digital infrastructure. The market offers tremendous potential and opportunities to UCaaS vendors, owing to the growth potential in developing economies, including Brazil and Mexico.
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