Raking in 41% growth and continued adoption in the pandemic era, it was a harvest year for the sector: report

With the last year causing an explosion in video conferencing and remote-working collaboration solutions, one tech sector that benefited was Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS). The subscriber growth rose by 41% in 2020, according to recent research: up from 27% in 2019.

While the market share of RingCentral held steady at around 20%, it was the rapid growth of Microsoft Teams and Zoom that drove the increased growth rate. Their market shares were almost negligible in 2019, but in 2020 the Microsoft subscriber base quickly grew to over a million with Zoom about to achieve the same milestone.

The survey by market intelligence firm Synergy Research Group indicates that other UCaaS firms such as 8×8, Mitel and Cisco all saw strong double-digit subscriber growth in the year, but each lost market share as their increase in scale lagged overall market growth.

Additionally, expanding subscriber bases at Fuze and LogMeIn were broadly in line with the overall market.

Will the growth hold?

According to the survey findings, total UCaaS subscriber numbers are now well over 15 million and have doubled since mid-2018: “While growth is strong in all regions, the worldwide market continues to be dominated by the USA which accounts for over three quarters of all UCaaS subscribers. Market development is still in the early days in most other countries, with only the UK, Germany and Canada having a reasonably substantial base of UCaaS subscribers.”

Said Jeremy Duke, the research group’s founder and Chief Analyst: “Due to (the pandemic), companies of all size have accelerated their digitalization efforts which have helped to drive more aggressive growth in UCaaS. This is not just a short-term boost and our forecasts show continued rapid expansion in the subscriber base. UCaaS still accounts for less than 5% of on-premise or hosted PBX subscribers, clearly demonstrating the long-term growth potential.”