In a week that saw Verizon announce the discontinuation of its BlueJeans unified communications (UC) and conferencing platform, another significant shift occurred in the digital events landscape.
Former pandemic sensation Hopin, once valued at an impressive GBP 7 billion, made headlines by selling its digital events business for a mere GBP 39 million. These developments underscore the evolving dynamics of the UC market, with Microsoft emerging as the undisputed leader at the expense of its competitors.
Revenues in the Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) market rose 7.2 percent, reaching $15.4 billion in the first quarter of 2023, IDC report said.
GlobalData, a renowned data and analytics company, has released its latest report titled “BlueJeans’ Demise Highlights Microsoft’s UCaaS Market Dominance – How Should Competitors Respond?” Verizon has spent around $400 million to buy BlueJeans to add more revenue from enterprise clients.
This report delves into the challenges that competitors to Microsoft face and explores potential strategies to counter Microsoft’s growing influence. It also emphasizes the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and communications platforms-as-a-service (CPaaS) as avenues for differentiation.
Gary Barton, Research Director for Enterprise Technology and Services at GlobalData, pointed out that the UC market has continued to expand at a remarkable pace, maintaining double-digit growth rates post-pandemic. This growth trajectory is expected to continue until at least 2026, despite the gradual return to physical office spaces. However, Microsoft’s strategic move to integrate Teams with its broader suite of services, including Microsoft 365 and Dynamics, has granted the tech giant a significant market advantage. Even industry heavyweights like Cisco and Zoom have felt the impact of this competitive shift.
One of Microsoft’s innovations, the Microsoft 365 Copilot AI tool, has attracted attention for its potential to reshape how businesses operate. Although Microsoft’s Copilot offers valuable support to human workers in their day-to-day tasks, some of its reseller partners have expressed disappointment over the limited range of “ready-made” use cases beyond transcription services. This opens an opportunity for rivals in the UC market, especially those with AI partnerships, to step in and create innovative use cases that truly enhance productivity.
The integration of AI and CPaaS holds tremendous potential, particularly when combined with employee- and customer-facing applications. This combination can reshape internal communication and customer engagement for businesses. Competitors aiming to challenge Microsoft’s dominance are urged to explore innovative approaches in this realm, as it represents an area where substantial commercial value can be unlocked.
In the midst of these transformative changes in the UC landscape, the message is clear: embracing AI and CPaaS is key for rivals aiming to stay competitive and offer differentiated solutions. As the UC market continues to evolve, strategic innovation and technology integration will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of collaboration and communication tools.