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Unified Communications Presents ‘Huge’ Partner Opportunity in Europe

Unified Communications

European SMBs and enterprises are hungry for unified communications (UC) solutions and will shell out big bucks during the next two years.

That’s according to Ribbon Communications‘ research on what drives businesses in Europe to buy UC products and services. It includes responses from nearly 2,700 IT decision-makers representing multiple industries in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Patrick Joggerst, Ribbon‘s chief marketing officer and executive vice president of business development, tells Channel Partners that 73% of companies with more than 1,000 employees and 72% of those with 100-1,000 employees who have not yet adopted UC expect to do so within the next two years.

Ribbon Communications' Patrick Joggerst

Ribbon Communications’ Patrick Joggerst

“This represents a huge opportunity for European channel partners,” he said. “Overall, our European channel partners are experiencing increased interest and demand in UC, network management and security solutions. For example, we just recently expanded our relationship with one of the region’s largest distributors, Westcon-Comstor. They will be reselling our Network Edge Orchestration, a hybrid cloud/edge solution.”

Security continues to be a dominant concern with nearly half (48%) of respondents reporting attacks including robocalls, telephony DDoS, UC registration hijacks and toll fraud; and 81% of respondents said they believe it’s the UC provider’s responsibility to provide protection from these threats.

“Some of the most surprising results for me included the high number of respondents who have already been victimized by security attacks and the huge opportunity that exists in the UC market in the coming years,” Joggerst said. “Our survey showed that respondents are seeking solutions that will not only protect mission critical voice, data and video communications from mounting threats … but they also invest in solutions that will help eliminate blind spots in their networks, while delivering comprehensive visibility into their network operations.”

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

UC adoption rates vary significantly according to company size, with 43% of companies with more than 1,000 employees already leveraging UC, and only 10% of companies with one to 20 employees having taken the plunge.

Forty-one percent of UC adopters bought their service from a traditional provider, while companies still considering adopting UC services plan to buy from a wide variety of providers including OTT (9%), phone resellers (10%), equipment vendors (11%), IT service providers (12%), cable companies (13%), mobile (15%) and traditional providers (16%), highlighting the diversity of available options.

“The survey found even higher interest in their plans to adopt UC over the next two years from European respondents compared to North American respondents,” Joggerst said. “Contrast these data points with North American responses, where the figure was 64% for both large and medium-size companies. The results are similar but show that there is a real appetite for UC adoption in the European market.”

“These findings will help European providers gain a greater understanding of the current UC/UCaaS market landscape in order to offer the most compelling solutions to solve customer challenges,” said Jennifer Adams, Poly‘s senior director of go-to-market strategy.

Ribbon plans to offer a deeper dive into the survey data as part of a road show that Poly is co-sponsoring.


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