Service Management Software Key to UCaaS
Gartner confirms the importance of SM tools
Leading analysts, Gartner, recently released their globally-renowned Magic Quadrant for the Unified Communications as a Service industry. Interestingly, several things had changed this year. For instance, there was no more on-prem MQ available for today’s brands, and Gartner drew particularly close attention to the demand for performance dashboards and UCaaS tools to simplify and enhance deployments.
According to Gartner’s new Magic Quadrant, administrative tools like Service Management solutions allow IT, managers and experts, to measure the performance of communication stacks and simplify provisioning too.
We caught up with one of the leaders in the Service Management environment, John Bennett, CEO of Swoop Datacom, to learn more about their thoughts on how the UCaaS market is rapidly changing. Swoop Datacom offers excellent UCaaS service management solutions through the innovative ForgeServe environment for no-touch provisioning and remote UC support.
Does the Evolution of the MQ Reflect What You’re Seeing?
Gartner’s latest UCaaS Magic Quadrant highlights the fact that on-premise investments are gradually slowing, and companies are more interested in UCaaS solutions than ever before. While Swoop Datacom agrees that there’s a higher demand for the cloud than ever before, the company also thinks that there may always be some demand for on-premise solutions too.
“Most brands have dipped their toes into the water of cloud-based UCaaS and decided that they love the experience”
“However, there are still some companies out there that prefer to keep a portion of their solutions on-prem. These are usually the mid-sized and larger enterprises that can’t afford to jump fully into the cloud, or the companies that need to keep components on-prem for regulatory purposes.”
According to John, the adoption that’s happening in the UCaaS market focuses mainly on a specific niche of customer. There’s still a long way to go before everyone embraces the cloud entirely, and we may never see a time where cloud wipes on-prem installations out altogether. However, what we can see in the current marketplace is the growing need for a cloud-based brain that controls and manages all UC deployments. That’s what Gartner has drawn attention to in its statement that UCaaS tools are becoming increasingly essential for deployment, onboarding, and adoption purposes.
Are UCaaS Tools Helping to Drive Adoption?
One point that Gartner made in the latest Magic Quadrant, is that UCaaS tools and service management solutions are improving user onboarding, driving better deployments, and strengthening the adoption of voice and video solutions. I asked Swoop if they were seeing similar results. “What we’re seeing today is that people need a central dashboard to see what’s happening with their customers. Originally, delivering a communication strategy to a business was much tougher than it is today. Now, you can deploy anything remotely, and access your entire communication system over the cloud.”
Businesses are finding that it’s much easier to access cloud-based control systems and service management tools to remotely provision and set-up their crucial communication networks. With these cloud-based UCaaS tools, leaders can control everything from the same centralised dashboard. For resellers, this cloud-deployment strategy is also a no-brainer when it comes to accessing valuable ways to add more differentiation to their offering.
As John told me: “If you look at the marketplace, the hardware environment is still just a race to the bottom. Offering communications services is a much better strategy. Businesses can now buy their kit from anywhere in the world and work with a service management company to get the support and everything else they need. It’s clear that a service dashboard is what today’s businesses are going to make money from.”
Whether you’re a partner or end-customer, the communication space is moving more rapidly than ever. To stay ahead of the curve, the UCaaS service management portal is a must-have.
The Missing Part of the Puzzle, until Now
Today’s customers are living in a new environment, where full-stack offerings are rarely the ideal option, and multi-vendor settings are more compelling and flexible. According to Swoop, the service management environment has long been the missing part of the puzzle for the UCaaS environment. Today, with the right service management tools, businesses can access the support and assistance they need in a much more flexible and affordable way.
“There’s a huge amount of opportunity here for people to access more efficiency and better cost savings through service management tools. At first, we did find that we bumped heads with some of the vendors in the UCaaS market by offering service management tools.”
Swoop did face some challenges competing with companies often had their own systems in place and wanted customers to use those instead. However, as the marketplace has become increasingly multi-vendor in nature, Swoop is finding that it’s much easier to work with vendors from all backgrounds. You can pick up ForgeServe and use it to access the same service management tools even for a customer that has five different vendors in their estate.
“We’re driving today’s UCaaS manufacturers to be better. They can’t get by on legacy or heritage anymore. They need to deliver the best of breed solutions to become a part of someone’s UC stack”