It’s been about 15 years since Broadsoft rolled out to service providers in the hopes of selling more than SIP Trunks, but IP Centrex. Then it became Hosted PBX. Then Cloud Comms. Not its UCaaS or UC&C.
Quite a few providers have re-launched platforms. Shoretel bought M5 then launched Connect before the MITEL acquisition.
Broadvoice just launched b-hive based on an acquired platform, replacing Metaswitch.
Dialpad isn’t like most offerings on the market.
Ooma buys Canada’s Voxter and Magicjack sells out. Changes.
Even VZ chose to try something new with OneTalk instead of re-vamping VCE.
So many providers have entered the fray. But things have changed in 15 years. Cloud is all we talk about – for everything. Smartphones and 4G made that possible. Ubiquitous broadband (3G, 4G, wi-fi) has changed things. Computing is cheap and mobile.
Mobile phone penetration in the US is more than 100%.
Freelancers became a big chunk of the economy.
Yet, we think everyone is a mobile worker or knowledge worker or freelancer. Many businesses are pretty traditional – landscapers, drugstores, dry cleaners, chinese take-out, pizza joints, home repairs, etc. These places still use traditional phones or need auto attendant in cloud. A softphone is going to help a forklift operator.
Maybe platforms are being re-tooled because of the 29.5 Million businesses in the US, “Around 23.8M of these businesses are considered “non employers” – they have no paid employees and their average revenue is around $46,000/year”. That leaves 5.72M businesses with employees (payroll).
4.5M have less than 10 employees;
700K have 11-25 employees;
250K have 26-50 employees;
118K have 51-100;
83,000 have 101-500;
18,000 have more than 500+ employees.
At best you can capture 5% of a market. Which market do you want to capture 5% of?
Most providers are running up the chain to chase the 101K companies with 100 or more employees, which is actually 4 segments with varying buying personas. They will be fighting with Microsoft and Cisco (and their certified brand ambassadors) in these companies. But have it!
The largest untapped market is the 11-25 person segment. What most don’t realize is that it requires (as it stands now) buyer education then user education UNLESS you package a product that is an easy to use as an iPhone app.
The 4.5M in the VSB segement would gladly buy business-in-a-box if someone would package it right.
Even at the enterprise level, UCaaS adoption is a big issue. If the users aren’t using the features, the company is over-paying for dial-tone. That looks more and more like folks just need CPaaS. [I’m not certain any provider has worked out the business case for training and re-training customers on their product.]
Cloud Comms 2.0 will be a cross between CPaaS and Cloud PBX.
With new platform announcements from Vonage and RING, this may happen sooner than later.