Industry Analysis – Australia, the wave of Unified Communications is coming our way.

This annual cloud collaboration industry analysis is conducted by BroadSoft, and it’s combined of 1,005 enterprise IT decision makers and seven countries on all continents – USA, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, UK, Germany and France. It’s covering Health and Social Services, IT/Communications, Manufacturing, Professional Services, Education, Retail Trade, Finance and Insurance sectors.

The key finding – massive Cloud Unified Communications adoption is happening right now

There are few groundbreaking changes in the world’s history, and one of them is happening over the last 20 years through the digital world, according to Seth Godin, worldly recognised because of the idea of making information available for everyone through the global conversation on business and its marketing.

Key findings of BroadSoft’s analyses are showing Unified Communications are a part of this momentum, calling this adoption ‘A once-in-a-generation transition’.

80% of companies are considering moving to Cloud Unified Communications, 92% of buyers will select a vendor in the next 24 months, and when being asked when they plan to migrate, 45% said in the next year, while 47% said in next two years.

‘The usual suspects.’

Current costs, functionality and risk, are main worrying factors influencing this migration – with their figures showing 68% of respondents saying their current system is too expensive to maintain, 69% is troubled by the lack of advanced features, and 76% is questioning what would happen if their phone system fails.

The following is worrying businesses and teams:

  • too much email reduces employee’s productivity,
  • too many incompatible communication apps,
  • employees use personal and unauthorised apps,
  • if their current phone system fails, it may be to too long and costly to restore the service,
  • they might have several locations with incompatible communication systems,
  • it’s difficult to communicate and collaborate online with people outside our company,
  • communication with remote and mobile users is not very reliable,
  • it takes too long to find information and documents,
  • meetings are inefficient due to missing information and documents.

Cloud Unified Communications, priorities and benefits of implementation

The Survey is showing that Cloud UC addresses core business priorities;

  • Productivity 78% – a general improvement of employee productivity
  • Mobility 79% – better service for mobile and remote users
  • Agility 78% – no need for upgrades – the service will always be up to date

Operation

  • 70% Reduction in IT staff effort
  • 79% we are worried about continuing support for their premise system.

Survey respondents would like to use all devices (76%) but one experience (78%) – Unified Communications for all communication should be the same on desk phones, smartphones computers and tablets.

Contact Centers – Digital world redefined the consumer

You might already have heard about ‘the micro-moment’. Defined by Google, it’s describing a moment of instant decision making; we have a new consumer who is ready to share even less but demands even more (or everything) in that particular moment. If you had any doubts yes, space is pretty tight, and you don’t want to miss the opportunity or the momentum of your potential customer either by not knowing enough of providing information in advance.

Another big step coming with the wave of Unified Communications is that Contact Centers are becoming accessible to small and mid-size businesses, opening the whole new scope for improvements of internal business processes. When it comes to benefits of integration between communication, team collaboration and contact centre, this is why users want a complete and integrated solution;

  • 78% higher overall productivity
  • 79% single vendor reduces cost and complexity
  • 70% more effective customer interactions.

Survey says how 68% of contact centre users are actively evaluating CCaaS, and 33% of non-contact centre users are willing to consider CCaaS.

End users ARE READY for digital channels, and service providers need to provide a digital buying journey.

  • 53% use at least one digital channel in supplier selection,
  • 57% want full or partly digital onboarding and service management,
  • 61% already use at least one SaaS service.

All devices – but one experience.’

The list of benefits and multi-device integration is long:

  • lower cost of ownership,
  • reduction of IT staff effort,
  • more advanced functions and user experience,
  • no need for equipment/software upgrades – the service will always be up to date,
  • better service for remote and mobile users,
  • service is accessible from multiple devices, not just phones,
  • general improvement of employee productivity,
  • service will not be disrupted by premise system failure,
  • internal communication and collaboration functions interoperate with other external systems at clients, suppliers, etc.

Multiple location support

  • service will be identical at all locations,
  • the service will scale better as the number of users at each location changes,
  • communication and collaboration between locations will be better,
  • users will not need to maintain a special network between locations,
  • their total cost and effort for all locations will be lower.

 Features

  • Users can answer calls on any device – desk phone, mobile phone or computer/tablet communication app,
  • fixed and mobile phones should have the same number,
  • the user interface for all communication should be the same on desk phones, smartphones, computers and tablets,
  • the business phone number and communication features should be available on employees’ personal mobile phones,
  • the employee should use just a desk or a mobile phone; they shouldn’t need both,
  • we shouldn’t need desk phones at all – all communication functions should be available on a computer,
  • close integration with office applications such as Microsoft office or O365,
  • integration with social media,
  • integration with Google, SalesForce and other business applications.

Tailored for digital nomads – and Australia is the champion!

Upwork, the world’s biggest online work platform claims we are witnessing the constant growth of remote workers in sales, marketing, graphic design, but customer service, administration, translation and writing are booming as well. Information also shows that Australia is the world’s biggest supplier of online freelance workers!

BroadSoft’s survey showed how 80% of companies have some remote or mostly mobile employees and 40% of companies have 1% – 25% of employees that have remote or mostly mobile employees.

Consultants-influencers are challenging the work-life balance myth as well, saying that we need to feel safe at work, to feel good in both places. And that safe place is created by good, flexible, transparent and collaborative workspaces within the companies. It’s needless to say, that will attract and retain top candidates as well.

Conclusion – The Cloud Momentum and priorities

A large majority of businesses are considering Cloud Unified Communications, and their buying decision is expected in next 24 months. Unified Communications addresses digital priorities and premise systems are poised for cloud migration.

Key points

1) Cloud unified communications (UC) adoption is accelerating; buying decisions are imminent.

2) Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is core to customers’ digital transformation strategy.

3) Customers want complete, integrated and innovative service bundles.

4) Service providers are strongly positioned to capture the cloud transition opportunity.

5) Digital engagement and delivery channels are essential.

Source: BroadSoft Cloud Collaboration Survey 2017, conducted in Q4 2017. End User Perspective on the UCaaS, CCaaS and Team Collaboration Market.