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Unified Communications Market Sees Demand for Customized Offerings

TechTarget talks with Derrick Monahan and Derek Lohmann about new ways to use APIs, such as provisioning UC services for hybrid deployments.

Posted by TechTarget on January 4, 2019:

Channel partners can use unified communications APIs to help customers simplify business workflows. Learn about this niche opportunity and what trends will shape the market.

While channel partners in the unified communications market have traditionally profited from selling IP PBXs, phones and video conferencing systems, a new opportunity has become available: using APIs to extend UC functionality into business apps and workflow.

UC APIs let developers embed functionality like telephony and videoconferencing into applications, effectively eliminating the need for users to switch to a dedicated UC app to communicate, according to Nemertes Research. This enables partners to tap into UC APIs to create customized, value-added services for their customers.

This is a niche to explore: The market for services is projected to rise to 66% revenue share of the $39 billion unified communications and collaboration (UCC) market in 2019, as software, platform and endpoint revenues continue a steady decline, according to Frost & Sullivan. In 2018, hosted and cloud IP telephony and UC services dominated at 39% share of global UCC services revenue, the firm reported.

The biggest opportunity for partners using APIs is in customizing or building offerings that meet specific customer needs, said Irwin Lazar, vice president and service director at Nemertes.

Simplifying customer workflows

Services provider World Wide Technology (WWT), based in St. Louis, sees an opportunity in looking at new ways to use APIs for automation and analytics, such as provisioning UC services for hybrid deployments, said Derrick Monahan, practice manager of unified communications at WWT.

"Some customers want a simple workflow that expands outside of a traditional UC application," he explained. "When we are helping customers with UC API engagements, we tend to look at the larger picture typically through an ideation process. As a result, we may help investigate ways to build a custom digital transformation outcome that may include... UC, mobility and customer experience."

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