We’ve experienced drastic changes to the way we work over the past 20+ months as a result of COVID-19. There is a lot of discussion around hybrid and remote work, but the changes we’ve experienced are about more. It’s not about where you work, but when and how. It’s about flexible work. The aftermath of the global pandemic has taught us that people are able to be productive from anywhere, anytime. Flexible work has become the new norm, with 75% of workers demanding flexible work policies. In some cases flexible work has opened the door to higher productivity—86% of workers said they are more or as productive as they were prior to the pandemic.
The UCaaS market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 23.6% between 2021 and 2028. We reached out to the analyst community for their top predictions for the new year.
"I think 2022 will be defined by two challenges: Establishing equity between those who are in the office and those who are working remotely. This will lead to investments in collaboration technologies that allow distributed workgroups to more easily communicate and collaborate, regardless of location. Examples include higher quality endpoints and applications that support real-time group collaboration and ideation. The second is the need to ensure application security while allowing individuals to adapt and integrate collaboration capabilities into their workflows."
- Irwin Lazar, President and Principal Analyst, Metrigy
“As the cloud and AI continue to reshape the world as we know it, another world is emerging, namely the Metaverse. Technology evolution has been leading up to this point for many years, but 2022 will be a breakout year where we’ll start filtering everything through this lens, including collaboration. UCaaS vendors have now started talking about immersive experiences driven by AR, VR and MR, and this new way of collaborating will move closer to center stage in 2022. If you haven’t picked your avatar or created your digital persona yet, you’d better start thinking about it.”
- Jon Arnold, Principal, J Arnold & Associates
“Successful UCaaS vendors will need to provide significant differentiation from Microsoft Teams, a solid horizontal offering from a mega vendor that is easy to consume. Key differentiation trends in 2022 will include integrated customer experience, composability for business workflow, and verticalizations.”
- An analyst at a leading industry analyst firm
“The biggest trend in the UCaaS space is the integration with CCaaS to provide an integrated experience for contact center agents and knowledge workers. While most of the focus of this kind of integration has been on providing contact center agents access to knowledge workers and subject matter experts to help solve a customer’s issue, I expect to see knowledge workers provided with contact center capabilities, particularly screen pop, recording, and more. Workers outside of the contact center can benefit from many of the capabilities that weren’t typically available to them, but this will be changing in the near future as both UC and contact center capabilities are provided to all workers, bringing together the employee experience and customer experience.”
- Blair Pleasant, President & Principal Analyst, COMMfusion LLC & BCStrategies
“There is an increased focus on inclusivity, flexibility, and ecosystem of solutions. Work is no longer defined by time or place, with employees demands higher than ever with regards to collaboration, communication and ease of workflows. Organisations are seeking to enable their users to collaborate effectively regardless of personal working style, geographic location, native language, seniority level or role/function at any time, in any place, on any device. We see frontline workers, role or industry-specific offerings, intelligent solutions and ecosystems as key trends for 2022.”
- Catherine Billington, Research Analyst, MZA Ltd.