Access4 | Mar 07, 2019

Access4 is proud to release the first annual Unified Communications (UC) Appreciation Index (“the UC Index”). The UC Index will track the opinions and preferences of the most senior decision-makers of SME businesses nationally regarding IT and telephony services and service providers on an annual basis. It will specifically consider SME plans to upgrade IT and telephony systems and processes, and measure the penetration of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) in the market.

What is UCaaS?

Unified Communications as a Service: Basically, it’s telephony in the Cloud. Telephony in the Cloud can deliver a number of business benefits including:

  • Standard software on a per-seat basis
  • Predictable model of cost and delivery with flexible features
  • Removes the need for front-loaded capital
  • Integrated offering that includes consulting, managed services, and integration capabilities
  • UCaaS can deliver cost control, greater business agility and improved employee productivity.

What is the size of the UCaaS market?

Unified Communications in the Cloud is predicted to grow from 8% market share in 2015 to 22% of the total Unified Communications market, by 2020 (Gartner). Though Asia Pacific will only increase total UC spend by 1.1% across the four years to 2020 (Gartner), it’s a substantial shift in the makeup of this market that will be the driver of opportunity for providers and customers; that shift is the move to Cloud.

Key findings from the research

The research identified four key drivers that need to be in place to support the take-up and adoption of UC services in the Cloud by SMEs:

The external IT service provider

The research suggests that SMEs prefer dealing with their smaller, local external IT service provider rather than a traditional telecommunications provider. They are frustrated with the service levels they are currently getting stating: “you never know who to contact, and the call centre is a million miles away”, and they know there are better solutions out there “it takes so long for someone to come to us with a solution”.

Over half those surveyed use a medium sized external IT provider for IT management. The external IT provider had the highest advocacy with senior decision makers and has the highest ranking when it comes to providing strategic advice to customers. As with IT services, external providers “can support upgrades quickly and easily over the phone”. They are already viewed as being “responsive and provide prompt service” and they communicate with their customers proactively.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Access4 will also use this survey to track its performance and the performance of its service provider partners, measuring NPS as well as what else needs to be done to ensure customers who have implemented UCaaS are enjoying the best possible customer experience.

Findings and citations

The source data used to create the report is available on request to Access4 Access4 is happy for other parties to use the information, statistics and findings from the Index, however, publication or use of the findings/results contained in the document must reference Access4 UC Appreciation Index as the source.

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