ICYMI: ETR Observatory for Unified Communications as a Service Tools

Exclusive Market Array Data for UCaaS Vendors

Jake Fabrizio | ETR Research

| May 03, 2024

This Observatory report features the most comprehensive and current end-user and evaluator data and feedback on the Unfiied Communications as a Services (UCaaS) marketplace. Backed exclusively by ETR's new Market Array data, the vendors covered in this report are positioned in Leading, Advancing, Tracking, or Pursuing vectors according to Momentum and Presence in the market. The plotting of the vendors in the subsector is based exclusively on the data, not opinions or vendor influence.

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Beyond product-level spending intentions, the full ETR Markey Array data for UCaaS tools also tracks key competitive intelligence such as usage expansion, ROI, Stickiness vs. Churn, Vendor Strengths, Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and much more. The syndicated Market Array data is a new debut product for ETR and is only available to premium subscribers; reach out to our service team at service@etr.ai to gain access to the full, accompanying data set.


The progression of modern enterprise communications traces back several decades from switchboard operators and clunky hardware installations to instantaneous, cloud-based collaboration platforms available anywhere, on any device. Early innovations in the space include private branch exchange (PBX), interactive voice response (IVR), and voicemail in the late twentieth century; the dawn of the millennium brought about increased adoptions of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, or IP telephony) and the introduction of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), enabling communications over the Internet. Mass adoption of cell phones, and eventually smartphones, along with increased utilization of video and chat-based communications and cloud computing, gave rise to increasingly integrated platforms that could be accessed on the go, a trend only heightened in recent years with the COVID-19 pandemic, further driving the demand to support distributed work. Today, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platforms seamlessly integrate a range of business functions into a single, cloud-hosted platform.

Modern UCaaS provides businesses with comprehensive cloud-based communication solutions that enhance productivity, reduce costs, and support flexible work styles. These platforms allow for synchronous and asynchronous communication across devices, integrating features of basic enterprise telephony alongside robust communication and collaboration features such as video conferencing, instant messaging, scheduling and calendar features, transcription, and much more on a single platform. Most vendors utilize a subscription-based, per-user licensing model, and the various platforms encompass comparable core offerings, with functions like business telephony, collaboration, video conferencing, and meeting features. Beyond the core set of communications functionalities, these platforms also provide managed solutions for security and infrastructure, offloading some of the burden from internal IT teams.

As UCaaS platform features continue to expand, product lines blur between formerly distinct areas of IP telephony, contact center, video conferencing, and other collaboration and productivity functions. The future of UCaaS will be fueled by the need to support a distributed workforce and the further consolidation of communication services. Many of these vendors have also begun to dip their toes into AI, increasingly infusing it into their marketing copy and, ostensibly, their products. With the floodgates open, AI has the potential to be a differentiator in the space for vendors if they can integrate the technology in a way that saves time and money.

This report examines current end-user and recent evaluator data for UCaaS tools and reports on each vendor's data set against the backdrop of a crowded marketplace where providers compete to offer the most complete and effective solutions for today's instant and critical communication needs.

The Observatory Scope

The plotting of vendors across the Observatory Scope is supported wholly by ETR’s exclusive market intelligence and spending intentions data sets (see Figure 1 above). The Leading vector in this period is populated by Microsoft (Teams) and Google (Workspace). Teams leads the duo (and all peers) with the highest overall Presence and Momentum in the survey set. The Tracking sector carries two vendors with strong Presence in the UCaaS space, Cisco and Zoom. The vendors’ Presence metrics are in line with Microsoft and Google, but Cisco and Zoom lag the two in spending trajectory Momentum.

Meanwhile, the Advancing and Pursuing vectors hold three names each. Within the Advancing vector, Amazon (Chime), Dialpad, and RingCentral register solid Momentum but relatively lower Presence. Finally, 8x8, GoTo, and Vonage occupy the Pursuing vector, with Presence and Momentum that is relatively lower than sector peers. This report will break down the four vectors and the vendors in more detail in the following sections.

The figure above shows Market Array Net Score for select vendors within the UCaaS marketplace, tracking forward-looking spending trajectory for each vendor’s UCaaS-specific offerings. This differs from ETR’s TSIS, which tracks overall spending projections at the company- and sector-wide levels. The data visualized in this figure will be referenced throughout this Observatory report.

Microsoft Teams leads peers with an elevated Net Score of 69%, driven by the highest level of increasing spend intent (68%) and the lowest indications of negative spend (2.5%) across the data set. Dialpad’s Net Score comes in second, though it is important to note that citations for the vendor are materially lower. Nonetheless, Dialpad’s Net Score of 57.1% is impressive, with more than 65% of respondents indicating a net positive or flat spending intention for the vendor. Google Workspace and Amazon Chime round out the top four in spending intentions, with Workspace coming in at 26% and Chime at 21.1%. Amazon Chime’s sample lacks new adoptions but registers healthy levels of customer expansion or increasing spend indications at (32%). Amazon also displays steadiness with 58% of respondents indicating flat spend on the vendor for the year. Further, no users indicated plans to churn the vendor at this time. Overall, these top four vendors share notably low levels of churn and moderately low decreasing spend metrics. This is especially true for Teams.

Following Amazon Chime in spending intentions are RingCentral, 8x8, Cisco, and Zoom. These vendors hold similar levels of negative spend intent to one another, though Zoom and Cisco registered slightly more flat vs positive spending driving their Net Scores down compared to 8x8 and RingCentral. Negative spend indications here are moderately high and in a tight range of 27% to 29% among these four vendors. These vendors exhibit more replacements than adoptions. On a positive note, increasing spend for each vendor ranges from moderate to outright strong, ranging from 24% to 36%. GoTo and Vonage round out the bottom of the Net Score metric, driven by higher levels of decreasing and churn indications. Similar to Dialpad, it is important to note that spend metrics for GoTo and Vonage users are based off of a low citation base.

Across the board, adoption levels are low for all vendors, while flat and increasing spend indications are elevated, which suggests a certain amount of buy-in when choosing to spend on a given platform. Dialpad is an exception with 22% of users indicating they are new adopters, but, again, at lower citations. Workspace and RingCentral show the next-highest levels of adoption at 5% and 4%, respectively.

The above article is only a brief synopsis. The full report is a more comprehensive analysis of Unified Communications as a Service tools and includes the following vendors:

8x8 | Amazon (Chime) | Cisco | Dialpad | Google (Workspace) | GoTo | Intermedia | Microsoft (Teams) | RingCentral | Sangoma Technologies | Vonage | Wildix | Zoom

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Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) is a technology market research firm that leverages proprietary data from our targeted IT decision maker (ITDM) community to provide actionable insights about spending intentions and industry trends. Since 2010, we have worked diligently at achieving one goal: eliminating the need for opinions in enterprise research, which are often formed from incomplete, biased, and statistically insignificant data. Our community of ITDMs represents $1+ trillion in annual IT spend and is positioned to provide best-in-class customer/evaluator perspectives. ETR’s proprietary data and insights from this community empower institutional investors, technology companies, and ITDMs to navigate the complex enterprise technology landscape amid an expanding marketplace. Discover what ETR can do for you at www.etr.ai