A ResearchAndMarkets study provides an in-depth analysis of trends, growth factors and growth opportunities in the European UCaaS market.
UCaaS providers will pursue untapped opportunities among new customer segments, including SOHOs and micro-businesses, frontline workers, mid-market and large enterprises. International providers will enter the European markets and European providers will seek to expand internationally, creating new levels of competition.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across Europe and worldwide
It has considerably impacted supply chains and commerce patterns, GDP growth rates, travel, employment and technology investments.
In 2020, the European Union (27 countries) experienced a GDP decline of 5.9%; the Euro Area (19 countries) GDP declined by 6.3%; Spain and Italy were among those most severely impacted with 10.8% and 8.9% GDP declines, respectively.
The data show that for 68% of European businesses, COVID-19 has either accelerated or has had no impact on digital technology investments. However, many businesses are delaying purchase decisions and solution rollouts due to continued economic challenges and the need to rationalize technology strategies in view of drastically changing work styles.
Businesses and individuals limiting travel and shifting to work from home to avoid contagion have been key to the growth of certain applications, such as soft clients, video conferencing and team messaging. Cloud calling services have not received the same boost as a temporary solution to ensure teams and workflows remain productive. However, it is likely that greater awareness of the agility and functionality that cloud communications services can deliver bodes well for future growth.
European UCaaS market seeing growth during pandemic
Truly economical and agile UCaaS solutions – from packaging and pricing to provisioning and management – have seen growth during the pandemic to support remote work and the distributed workforce. SMBs and small/temporary remote teams adopted plug-and-play solutions via digital channels or bundled with connectivity services.
UCaaS bundled with mobile services, such as those common in the Nordic countries, or included as part of broader productivity and collaboration suites, such as Microsoft 365, experienced more rapid adoption throughout the turbulent months of 2020 and 2021.
As various trends set in motion by the pandemic offset each other, UCaaS user growth will be slightly less than anticipated in 2021 due to the lagging impact of the recession on the telecom sector. Most likely we will revert to a stronger growth trajectory sometime in 2022 as businesses adopt UCaaS for its compelling agility benefits and reduced CAPEX requirements.
Technology developers and UCaaS providers will continue innovating at a rapid pace and deliver new features and services, as well as leverage new business models to raise UCaaS appeal among a larger customer audience and drive adoption. Agile development, cloud architectures, containerization, micro-services, mobile-first and video-first solutions will represent key enablers of accelerated innovation and more cost-effective provider operations.