E-Handbook:

UCaaS providers and market are headed in new directions

BACKGROUND IMAGE: Maksim Pasko/Fotolia

In the current market, UCaaS providers need to regenerate

Unified communications as a service has finally matured, and the market is crowded with UCaaS providers who offer similar, overlapping features. For the next generation of UCaaS, providers will need to find ways to differentiate -- or take a page from Doctor Who and regenerate.

For over 50 years, the classic British sci-fi show has followed the same formula. The Doctor, the titular alien, and his human sidekick go on adventures through time and space, visiting new worlds and facing classic villains, such as the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master. When the Doctor dies from injury, illness or old age, he regenerates into a newer, male body and continues his time-traveling journeys.

But Doctor Who is changing up the formula in its latest season with a first: The 13th Doctor will be female. The show will also tread new territory with entirely new villains, aliens and worlds for the Doctor and her friends to visit, in the hope of attracting new fans to the series while still appealing to long-time fans.

Many UCaaS providers are finding themselves in a similar boat as Doctor Who, following the same formula of cloud telephony, conferencing and messaging capabilities. In a market that's rife with competition and vendor consolidation, how can UCaaS providers break the mold and attract new customers while supporting their current customers?

For many UCaaS providers, the answer lies in open platforms that use APIs to connect to other business applications. But open UCaaS platforms and APIs carry new security risks, which providers will need to address. As the next generation of UCaaS emerges, the words of the 13th Doctor ring true -- "This is gonna be fun."

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