Google Could Enter the UCaaS Market in 2018
Need voice and video? Just Google it
Google is one of the few communications giants that have been teetering on the edge of UC as a Service (/unified-communications/ucaas) solutions over the last couple of years, rather than diving straight in. While competitors like Amazon and Microsoft have been ploughing increasing amounts of resources into their unified strategy, Google has remained somewhat lacklustre, despite their powerful position in the industry.
The good news is that Google may have finally decided to make some changes to the G Suite productivity suite, with new and enhanced VoIP developments like “Wolverine”, intended to boost the quality of your Google voice and video calls.
Sharper Voice Quality with Wolverine
To compete against Microsoft Skype for Business, Google will be refining their UC options with “Wolverine”, a strategy for UCaaS functionality that should allow companies to host stronger voice calls over Hangouts. Apparently, Wolverine is like Skype for Business in many ways, as an efficient cloud-based PBX service. We’ll have to wait and see whether it has the power to knock Microsoft down a peg, particularly as Skype customers face the confusion of a switch to “Teams”.
In fact, the uncertainty surrounding Microsoft’s decision to merge Skype for Business with Teams could be the reason why Google has chosen this moment to make their entry into the UCaaS space. For customers who would prefer not to make the move to Teams, now may be the perfect time to start evaluating the marketplace for alternative options. If Google can prove itself to be a true competitor, then it may just snatch some customers right out of Microsoft‘s hands.
Adapting the Video Platform
Of course, as we all know, it takes more than just great voice quality for a vendor to establish itself in the UCaaS space these days. Though there’s some controversy over whether this will be the year of video or not, many experts are beginning to see an increasing adoption of video platforms for the collaboration and meeting room space, and Google is trying to get involved with the trend.
Back in 2017, Google announced that they would be launching a brand-new range of huddle room video gear, perfect for modern companies who are exploring the benefits of smaller conference rooms. We also saw the launch of the Jamboard digital whiteboard last year, which could support a stronger UCaaS experience for the conference space. Wolverine is intended not only to enhance the audio quality of conversations for people in the workplace but also deliver a stronger video strategy too, particularly through Hangouts and Meet.
With so little information available about “Wolverine” at this time, it’s hard to know just how much of a competitor Google will become when they finally make their way into the UCaaS space. However, it seems that as we progress through 2018, even the biggest technology players can no longer overlook consumer demand for stronger, more diverse communication strategies.