Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) refers to a cloud-based model of delivering communications solutions where businesses can choose an integrated set of features and pay for them per monthly usage. Typically it combines messaging, voice and video on one platform, sometimes with optional add-ons like virtual events.
The UCaaS market has grown over the past two years due to the pandemic. It supports delegated communication and collaboration by providing users with the same cloud-based tools on any device. Because of this, UCaaS has seen a market growth rate of around 29 percent year over year, a trend that will continue well into the hybrid work era. In this highly competitive market, there are 10 vendors companies need to consider when choosing a UCaaS platform.
Cisco offers UCaaS services as part of its Webex solution suite. With Webex, organizations can manage calls, share files, send instant messages, host meetings, host events, and more while relentlessly focusing on security. Administrators can use Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) to monitor UCaaS deployment, including people, processes, and tools.
8×8 is a recognized UCaaS market leader. The company recently took its solution to the “next level,” so to speak, by reimagining it as an Experience Communications as a Service (XCaaS) solution. This means businesses can benefit from contact center capabilities alongside UCaaS delivered via the cloud. The UCaaS-only component of 8×8 includes a business phone system, team communications, and advanced call analytics.
In 2022, 8×8 further strengthened its UCaaS capabilities with the acquisition of industry leader Fuze. The company announced in December 2021 that it would acquire Fuze for $250 million to accelerate its growth in the as-a-service segment. Fuze (now part of 8×8) is a recognized UCaaS provider and combines calling, meetings, chat and contact center functions on one platform.
RingCentral offers a UCaaS solution for small and medium-sized businesses called RingCentral MVP. It combines messaging, video and phone capabilities on one platform, complete with national, international and toll-free calling. This makes it easier for companies to scale their business without tearing up and replacing their existing communication systems. Like 8×8, it offers optional contact center capabilities.
Google offers UCaaS capabilities through its team collaboration suite, Google Workspace. The offer is available in several different plans and tiers, including a free Starter Essentials plan. Starter Essentials includes video and chat capabilities, while other plans include built-in minutes. Google Workspace is ideal for those who need collaboration-focused UCaaS.
Originally popular only as a video conferencing platform, Zoom is now a full-fledged UCaaS service thanks to Zoom Chat, Zoom Phone, and Zoom Webinars. It also has a physical meeting room solution called Zoom Rooms, which allows for quick and easy meeting hardware setup for hybrid workspaces. Organizations can benefit from this provider’s UCaaS capabilities by signing up for the Zoom United plan.
Dialpad is an AI-powered cloud communications platform that can be deployed as UCaaS, for contact center use cases, or as a standalone AI tool. Dialpad Business Communications is its UCaaS offering for small and medium-sized businesses. It supports local calling, video conferencing, SMS, chat and other essential features you would expect. Interestingly, it is one of the few solutions that promise 100 percent availability as part of the enterprise license.
Vonage offers more than 50 voice and unified communication capabilities as part of its UCaaS solution. It includes a full-featured video collaboration platform, as well as voice and chat. For large organizations in the US, Vonage offers an SD-WAN solution called SmartWAN, which further boosts UCaaS performance by prioritizing communication traffic on a software-based network. In 2022, Vonage is set to be acquired by communications giant Ericsson to boost its 5G capabilities.
Ericsson initiated the transaction to acquire Vonage in November 2021, which is expected to close this year. Enterprises can continue to purchase and benefit from Vonage’s powerful UCaaS products, and the company retains its branding and workforce.
8. Go to
Operated by the same company as LogMeIn, GoTo offers a range of solutions to streamline UCaaS and CCaaS for small and medium-sized businesses. Offerings include GoToMeeting for video conferencing, GoTo Webinar for virtual events, GoTo Room for physical meeting rooms, and GoTo Training for remote corporate training. GoTo Connect is the provider’s all-in-one UCaaS platform that works with any device and enables basic contact center functionality.
Microsoft is one of the top UCaaS providers thanks to its Teams collaboration platform. According to industry analysis, it is the second largest UCaaS provider in the world. Users can rely on Microsoft Teams to accomplish various tasks, from calling, chatting, and video to running end-to-end contact centers or industry-specific communications use cases like healthcare and education. It is extremely versatile and can be customized to fit virtually any UCaaS need.
Sangoma offers a Communication-as-a-Service solution to companies worldwide, including UcaaS, CPaaS and CCaaS. It is best known for its business phone systems, complemented by features for sports team collaboration, video conferencing, and connected workspaces. It also has a dedicated solution for companies that provide cloud-native voice services through Microsoft Teams. In March 2022, Sangoma acquired NetFortris Corporation for $68 million to strengthen its offering as an MSP.
These are the top 10 UCaaS providers for 2022, and the list of notable names includes Sangoma, Wildix, and Windstream. As the cloud becomes the preferred delivery model for communications and other services, UCaaS is becoming an integral part of the business. Luckily, there are options in every price range to suit every enterprise use case. Be sure to read the latest UCaaS Magic Quadrant, which lists Gartner’s top UCaaS providers for 2021.