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Survey: MSPs View UCaaS as ‘Necessary Evil’

Cloud UC

A new survey shows while UCaaS is now widely utilized for competitive reasons, the managed IT service community still sees it as a “necessary evil” rather than a business booster.

LANtelligence and Corlea Group have released the results of the second annual MSP survey, “UCaaS as a part of IT business” conducted from Oct. 29-Dec. 24, 2018. It gathered data from more than 100 MSP respondents to identify challenges and pain points that they face when dealing with cloud-based communications projects.

Martin Tracey, LANtelligence’s CEO, tells Channel Partners that solution providers and manufacturers need to pay closer attention to their MSP partners’ needs.

LANtelligence's Marty Tracey

LANtelligence’s Martin Tracey

“MSPs operate differently from agents; therefore, they need different channel programs,” he said. “Also, MSPs need reliable partners that will not compete with them, but will provide the necessary demo, solution design, project management and deployment.”

Eighty-nine percent of MSPs surveyed already sell or plan to sell UCaaS, up 6 percent compared to the previous survey. These MSPs see the need to offer UCaaS only as an essential measure to stay competitive, so two-thirds of them sell only one or two UCaaS solutions.

The toughest parts of the UCaaS solution for MSPs to provide themselves, the survey revealed, are demonstration and offering design (44 percent), and project management and deployment (35 percent).

“The most surprising fact is that while more and more MSPs are embracing cloud unified communications as part of their business portfolio[s], MSPs still don’t see enough value in it and offer it to stay competitive,” Tracey said. “However, most of them are planning to add more solutions in their portfolio within six to 18 months.”

For MSPs that currently don’t sell UCaaS, the main obstacle remains lack of partners with the technical and project management resources to properly execute the deployment and support of the UCaaS offering. MSPs expressed the need for a more proactive and sophisticated partner that not only will help them win business, but also will be able to support the more complex needs of their customers.

“The challenges selling UCaaS and CCaaS mostly stayed the same as last year: high level of competition; lack of ability to integrate with other customers apps; and poor sales support from [the] provider,” Tracey said. “However, we had noticed that MSPs’ concerns about UCaaS providers also selling competing services has grown by 27 percent.”

The survey indicates that 62 percent of MSPs see UCaaS revenue as an important goal for growth of their organization in the next six to 12 months; however, they are likely to search out the right UCaaS partner.

The five leading global UCaaS companies are West, 8×8, Microsoft, Fuze and Cisco, according to a recent report by Transparency Market Research. The market is expected to reach $79.3 billion by the end of 2024.


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