QoS, SLAs and Security Top for UC Buyers Says Ribbon
Discussing Ribbon's latest research
These days, the world of Unified Communications is evolving at an incredible pace. Most companies believe that the things driving the growth of UC are disruptive new tools and capabilities. However, the research seems to show that what today’s buyers are really looking for is peace of mind. Whether it’s stronger uptimes or better security, today’s UC customers need solutions that they can rely on to deliver incredible results every time.
Ribbon Communications, one of the market leaders in UCaaS security and cloud networking, recently conducted some research into the marketplace. The Ribbon Global UC Market Research for April 2019 examined the factors pushing the purchasing decisions of today’s business leaders when it comes to investing in new and improved tools for communication and collaboration.
I was keen to learn more about the findings that Ribbon had pulled from its latest study, which is why I caught up with John Macario, the Senior Vice President of Global Channel Marketing. Here’s what he had to tell me about the UC market of today.
Large Companies Lead Early Adoption of UC
Ribbon’s market research into the UC space is incredibly in-depth, offering a fantastic overview of the kind of triggers that push today’s purchasing decisions. According to Macario, one of the first things that the study draws attention to, is the changing nature of technology adoption in the marketplace. “When we asked companies how their organisation viewed technology, we found that the smallest companies were often the least likely to identify as early adopters. The larger companies were the ones that were more willing to explore the disruptive tools in the marketplace.”
According to John, smaller businesses in the UC space are the ones that prefer to wait until tech has been proven before they start spending their limited budget. On the other hand, larger companies are willing to take a risk to get ahead of the curve. This highlights the fact that there’s a big difference between how SMEs approach technology, and how other businesses enter the marketplace.
Another point to consider when it comes to adoption, is that although the actual number of customers taking advantage of new market tools is somewhat limited, purchase intent is very high. “There’s a lot of interest around the world in getting involved with unified communications, which means that there’s still a lot of opportunity out there. What’s more, people are more willing to purchase their UC from a wider range of brands too.”
When Ribbon asked companies who they would be buying their UC from, the answers were very widely split across a range of traditional, competitive, mobile, IT services, equipment company, and phone seller providers. There was even interest in over-the-top sellers too.
High Interest, Low Adoption
According to John, the findings from the latest Ribbon study offer a lot of insights into the changing opportunities in the unified communications market for resellers. Currently, the interest rates for UC are high, while adoption rates are low, which indicates that there could be a wave of adoption on the horizon. According to Macario, “The question is whether companies can scale to meet the new demand. I’ve been inside of enough service providers to know that scaling isn’t always easy.”
For John, one of the biggest questions service providers will need to face in this new environment, is how they can differentiate themselves from all the other providers out there. Customers aren’t just turning to traditional phone resellers for their UC anymore. There are plenty of different kinds of business to consider for UC adoption, which means that providers need a reliable way to stand out.
“Trying to differentiate on features today is too hard. The platforms available are very similar. There’s no huge difference available. A lot of the providers – particularly in Europe, are trying to differentiate on price and that’s not good for anyone either. The number one factor for today’s companies that we saw was that they would happily switch providers if they could find someone who would both guarantee their service levels and provide reliability that their solution wasn’t going to go down.”
John believes that the easiest way that UC providers can differentiate today is by offering a high level of reliability. At the same time, there’s also a growing demand for companies that can provide support from a security perspective too.
“We asked everyone whether their company had been a victim of SIP fraud in the past, and around 2 thirds of global businesses had. However, people just aren’t talking about these attacks”
For Ribbon, QoS, SLAS, and security are the order of the day for unified communications, based on the research they’ve conducted into the marketplace.
The good news for Ribbon is that the company already stands out as an excellent solution for security and reliability. Ribbon and its EdgeMarc solution provides excellent performance today’s UC customers. According to John, in one internal study conducted by the team, their port received 8,500 requests, but only 5,000 of those calls were identified as legitimate. Additionally, when it comes to quality monitoring, EdgeMarc can monitor 140 different parameters every ten seconds to maintain the right outcomes in a call.
Ribbon is providing more than just security and reliability for users. The company can also deliver the information that users need to make crucial decisions by helping users to see exactly what’s going on with their UC environment. “That’s how we’re differentiating in this new market. What’s more, our customers can deploy their new system easily too.”
“You can take EdgeMarc out of the box, plug it in, and be ready to go in no time. This makes it a lot easier to instantly install solutions across multiple sites and start seeing the results fast”