What Does The Mobile Unified Communications Market Look Like?
Before looking at the current mobile unified communications market and where it may be heading, let's see how this market evolved. Keeping employees in touch and communications channels open so ideas can flow has always been a challenge for any business. How do you ensure ideas spread without decreasing productivity? Meetings allow everyone to be in one place but also can take up a lot of time.
As mobile phones dropped in cost and became more accessible, companies began commissioning mobile phones for employees. This allowed them to stay in touch via voice and email, keeping the flow of ideas moving. With the introduction of the iPhone in the summer of 2007, phones took on a whole new use. They were no longer limited to voice, cumbersome keyboards, a degraded web experience, and email...assuming it was offered. With the iPhone, mobile phones took the first step in becoming a true unified communications device. The feature set would greatly accelerate over the next few years. This paved the way for mobile unified communications services.
In addition to the iPhone, other technologies began laying the groundwork for unified communications. As Internet access spread, speeds improved, and cloud services began becoming popular, more businesses started moving products into service offerings. Buying software from retail stores or downloading it from a website was starting to decline. Instead, users were paying monthly fees for their software. The days of paying for a software upgrade or new release were being replaced by a flat monthly fee that included upgrades and support.
Companies offering cloud storage were on the rise. This lead to applications that ran only in the cloud. Communications providers seized on this opportunity by offering unified communications as a software service. Given how ubiquitous mobile phones had become, a mobile version of the service was a requirement. The mobile version was limited in the beginning but now competes with its desktop counterpart.
To get an idea of returns for mobile unified communications (UC), a 2016 PWC report showed a 32% return for the group. Global Market Insights says the unified communications sector will be worth $57 billion by 2024. As mobile continues to surpass desktop use, mobile UC is on pace to overtake desktop UC.
How Are Businesses Using Mobile Unified Communications?
With an understanding of the mobile UC market and where it is headed, how are businesses using mobile UC right now? Mobile UC is all about being able to stay in touch without limitations no matter where you are. Employees aren't always in the office. Many companies are finding that to hire the best talent, they have to think differently about collaboration as more employees choose to work remotely. Mobile UC provides an optimal collaboration experience for such a geo-diverse set of employees.
Given how powerful mobile phones are, employees are able to video chat, use meeting features such as whiteboards, and view nearly everything in the mobile version of their UC software as they can on the desktop version.
Employees aren't the only driving force behind mobile UC. Customers want to communicate with companies in more ways than just voice. For call centers, they can start a customer conversation on a voice phone call and easily transition to video.
Pure play UC providers offer some of the best communications app integrations. Ensuring all apps within a UC suite work together produces the best user experience. This isn't always the case with UC service providers. When looking at UC service providers, ensure high compatibility and integration across all apps within their UC suite.
To summarize the main points in this article:
- The mobile unified communications market focuses on the growth of mobile UC services.
- Not all UCaaS applications offer an optimal UC mobile experience. But those with the highest integrations across their applications suite do.
- In addition to technological improvements, employee and customer geographic distribution has driven the trend of mobile UC.
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