Author: Brendan Strain
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UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) have helped countless businesses transform how they communicate. And that transformation will only accelerate in the coming year when we look at trends in UCaaS and CCaaS. 

With new technologies being developed daily, UCaaS and CCaaS can offer businesses more functionality and cost savings than ever. Here’s what to watch for 2023. 

 

Trend #1. The Giants are Making the Move to the Cloud  

Migration to the cloud has been the cornerstone of Unified Communications for years. In fact, it’s developments in cloud technology that has allowed UCaaS and CCaaS to emerge as a must-have technology.  

Until recently, it was primarily businesses with more minor, legacy systems that moved to the cloud. These systems are relatively simple to overhaul with minimal business disruption and have seen great success in converting to UCaaS.   

What we’re seeing — and we predict will continue — is that large institutions are starting to make the change, too. Hospitals, universities, and governments with multimillion-dollar systems are finally migrating to cloud-run UCaaS systems.   

These large institutions have historically been slow to adopt cloud technology, mostly owing to their stringent compliance requirements and complex communications structures. The fact that these institutions are finally migrating to UCaaS reflects a shift in mentality.   

With more remote and hybrid work, UCaaS has become necessary for streamlined communication. In addition, the recession has organizations taking a hard look at their software expenditure. UCaaS has huge potential cost savings in comparison to legacy software.  

Many organizations have been demanding increased functionality from their legacy software, but adding features and upgrades requires significant investment. UCaaS allows organizations to design their communications systems to fit their needs, all at one monthly cost.   

We predict that one of the trends in UCaaS will be the continued migration of large, complex organizations to the cloud.  

  

Trend #2: CCaaS For One, and All  

Although we’re seeing large organizations move to CCaaS, one of the more surprising trends is how much smaller teams benefit from making the switch.   

With the advancements in the cloud that makes data collection and storage more cost-effective, we’ve seen a “democratization” of advanced CCaaS functionality.   

In previous years, it used to be large companies with large budgets that could afford features like speech-based  Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or customer self-service.   

Now, the cloud has enabled these valuable features to be available to even the smallest contact centers. We’re seeing teams as small as five people using SMS, chatbots, and mobile app integration, all at a price that makes sense for their size.   

The democratization of CCaaS improves the customer and agent experience for companies of all sizes. Smaller contact centers can integrate CCaaS tools into their CRM so agents can know who is calling and for what reason — all before they even pick up the phone.

Relying on CCaaS for smaller contact centers also allows small teams to benefit from analytics tools to continuously improve their customer service.  

  

Trend #3: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning is Also Changing UCaaS and CCaaS      

It seems that we can’t write a “trends of 2023” article without mentioning Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Trends in UCaaS and CCaaS are no different — ML and AI are shaping the future of communications.  

Currently, AI and ML are among the most asked-for and spoken-about tools in conversations with clients. The number of AI tools we use in our daily lives has grown exponentially, and now people increasingly understand that AI and ML are the future.  

With UCaaS and CCaaS, the focus is on using AI to do more with less For example, ML tools can automatically find data trends without needing a team of data analysts, allowing contact centers to quickly gain insights on how they’re serving their customers.

One of the more interesting trends is using AI to help customers without ever speaking to an agent, with the hope of reducing the number of agents required to power a contact center.  

 A massive component of the AI/ML conversation that we’re not seeing being discussed enough is that AI and ML touch on and merge with almost every other tool and service. Therefore, we believe that any conversation about the use of AI/ML for UCaaS and CCaaS warrants a larger conversation about where else AI/ML is implemented in the company’s IT portfolio.  

  

Trend #4: Microsoft Teams or Zoom? 

Microsoft Teams is everywhere lately. In 2019, there were just 20 million active Team users. That number has skyrocketed to 270 million active users in 2022.

Meanwhile, between 2020-2022, Zoom saw exponential growth as it rose from webinars and meetings to a household name. Zoom focuses on building on its success with an all-in-one approach to video, phone, chat and email.

Simply stated, both have grown exponentially with loyal followers. Microsoft is expanding from email, productivity, and chat into meetings and voice.  Zoom is moving beyond just meetings and chat to voice and contact centers.  And in many cases, customers use both platforms.  

The reality is that it would be easy to pit them as competitors and look for a showdown, but what we’re seeing is that these solutions are co-existing. A great example of this is how Zoom natively integrates into the Teams client.  Ultimately, customers need to understand how they work and what tools are the best fit for their team.

What we should really keep an eye on is how each platform develops new solutions and tools for the market and the use cases for each one.
 

As business communications needs evolve, so too do UCaaS and CX solutions. Bridgepointe’s Unified Communications and CX experts can help you plan, implement and manage your project so you can stay ahead of the trends.