2013 UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS AND COLLABORATION (UCC) CHANNEL PARTNERS SURVEY

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1 2013 UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS AND COLLABORATION (UCC) CHANNEL PARTNERS SURVEY THE TRUE VALUE OF UCC TO SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESS CUSTOMERS: WHY THEY CAN T THRIVE WITHOUT IT NBF5-64 April, 2013

2 Research Team Lead Analyst Contributing Analyst Rolando Barrera Industry Analyst/Project Manager, Customer Research Elka Popova North American Program Director, Unified Communications & Collaboration, ICT Research Director and Strategic Review Committee Leader Tonya Fowler Global Director, Customer Research NBF5-64 2

3 Contents Section Slide Numbers Research Objectives and Methods 4 Executive Summary 7 SMB Customers UCC Strategies, Adoption, and Purchasing Behaviors Channel Partner Sales Approach and Requirements for Vendor Support Conclusions: the Future of UCC for SMBs 38 Corporate Demographic Profile 39 Appendix 42 About Frost & Sullivan 49 NBF5-64 3

4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES AND METHODS NBF5-64 4

5 Research Objectives The primary objective of this research is to assess channel partners opinions regarding perceived benefits and adoption of unified communications and collaboration (UCC) tools among small and medium-sized business (SMBs) customers. Supporting this primary objective, this research will also: measure strategic focus on and adoption of UCC tools among SMBs identify the key barriers to advanced UCC tool adoption in the SMB segment measure adoption of various types of communications endpoints among SMBs determine the perceived benefits and importance of UCC tools to SMB customers identify the key decision makers in UCC investments and determine their key investment criteria measure partner expectations for future demand for UCC tools in the SMB segment identify partner strategies for success and partner expectations for better vendor support in serving SMB customers discover some key differences in UCC perceptions by type of partner and by world region NBF5-64 5

6 Methods Methodology A Web-based survey methodology was utilized. The data were collected in November 2012 February Sample Surveyed 315 global channel partners. Reporting Notes Frost & Sullivan defines SMBs as entities and organizations with five to five-hundred employees. Due to rounding, percentages in charts and tables may not equal 100 percent. UCC Definition Frost & Sullivan defines unified communications and collaboration (UCC) as an integrated set of voice, data, and video communications applications, all of which leverage PC- and telephony-based presence information. A UCC solution may comprise of the following applications: telephony, voice/unified messaging, presence, instant messaging (IM), audio, web, and video conferencing, , mobility, teamspaces, file sharing, social networking and more. In this study, UCC refers to both integrated and disparate deployments of the various communications and collaboration applications that comprise the UCC stack. NBF5-64 6

7 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY NBF5-64 7

8 Executive Summary This study confirms previous Frost & Sullivan findings that SMBs have a more conservative approach than larger businesses when it comes to UCC investments. Smaller budgets, limited internal IT resources, and a more concentrated workforce represent typical barriers to UCC adoption among SMBs The study also confirms, however, that UCC adoption is on the rise in this customer segment. Significant opportunities for vendors and partners exist among distributed SMB organizations where UCC tools can help connect remote teams and enhance productivity. One-third of partners believe that their SMB customers are placing a somewhat large or very large focus on their UCC strategy. Partner perceptions vary, however, based on partner degree of involvement and type of engagement with end-user organizations. IT consultants are most optimistic with 61 percent of respondents in this group stating that SMBs have a large focus on a UCC strategy. Partner perceptions and actual UCC adoption also vary by region. In emerging markets, the main opportunity for partners is to migrate the SMB customer base to IP telephony and converged networks. In developed markets, some SMBs are ready to adopt more advanced UCC tools such as unified messaging (UM), fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), and web/video conferencing. The most widely deployed UCC tools are audio conferencing (83 percent) and VoIP/IP PBX (81 percent). Web conferencing (47 percent), room video conferencing (44 percent), and desktop video conferencing (41 percent) are reported to have the lowest penetration. NBF5-64 8

9 Executive Summary (continued) Majority of partners (71 percent) state that TDM phones are used among their SMB customers and more than half rank them as the most common communications endpoint in that segment. Mobile phones are the second most popular type of communications endpoint (62 percent). Half of the respondent identify IP phones as being used by SMBs. However, only 6 percent believe that business soft clients are used by their SMB base. An opportunity exists for partners to help SMB customers realize the full benefits of convergence and UCC by migrating customers to IP endpoints. Similarly, partners can help customers more effectively address challenges related to mobility and the bring-your-owndevice (BYOD) trend. One-third of partners state that the most common approach among SMBs is to extend existing investments in voice systems. Another third state that most commonly SMBs are replacing existing systems with new ones. A very small percentage of partners report that SMBs are looking to switch to hosted, managed or cloud UCC services. However, with increasing availability of compelling hosted/cloud UC offerings, this is likely to change and partners need to be prepared to address the trend. More than half of surveyed partners believe that the main barriers to SMB adoption of advanced UCC tools are integration costs (54 percent) and license costs (51 percent). Cost is a particularly large barrier in South America (88 percent). NBF5-64 9

10 Executive Summary (continued) Among partners, IT consultants are most optimistic about future adoption of UCC tools (83 percent); distributors express the most conservative outlook (57 percent). This is a positive sign, since consultants are typically involved at the early stages of UCC deployment. Majority of partners (52 percent) identify the business owner as the key decision maker in UCC investment decisions. Partners must ensure that the business owner is part of the sales and implementation process. Almost three-quarters of partners believe that the main benefits SMBs seek to realize with the deployment of UCC tools are cost reduction and enhanced productivity. Only 12 percent believe SMBs deploy UCC tools for their green benefits. According to 81 percent of partners, ease of use is the top UCC purchasing criterion for SMBs. Only 39 percent think that the technology roadmap is a key concern for SMBs. In order to drive accelerated UCC adoption, partners must employ a consultative approach that helps SMB customers understand the benefits and use cases for the various UCC tools. Partners must also help train customers on how to use UCC tools more effectively to ensure greater customer satisfaction. Vast majority (83 percent) believe that the IT vertical is showing high demand for UCC tools. Only 20 percent expect the hospitality vertical to adopt UCC tools in the near term. In their relationships with vendors, distributors are most focused on discounts and better/more extensive training. Consultants place the largest focus on training. Partners should demand more extensive training from their vendors in order to be successful in this rapidly evolving market. NBF

11 SMB CUSTOMERS UCC STRATEGIES, ADOPTION, AND PURCHASING BEHAVIORS NBF

12 SMB Focus on UCC Strategy by Type of Partner Only 33 percent of partners believe that their SMB customers place a very/somewhat large focus on a UCC strategy. However, 61 percent of consultants seem to believe this to be so, which may be due to their early involvement in SMB UCC tools considerations and implementations. Amount of Focus SMB Customers Place on UCC Strategy Very/Somewhat Large Focus: Global, % 49% 33% 35% 32% 14% 13% Average of all responses Consultant Service provider Distributor System integrator Value-added reseller Reseller Note 1: Responses include very large focus and somewhat large focus ; Base: All respondents (n=315). Q1: Please rate how much focus your SMB customers put on a unified communications and collaboration Strategy Note 2: Partner types were self-selected by the survey participants. Frost & Sullivan definitions of the different partner categories are available here. NBF

13 SMB Focus on UCC Strategy by Region Surprisingly, a large number of South American partners state that their SMB customers place a large focus on a UCC strategy. The other partners opinions are more aligned with regional adoption trends. As expected, few Asian and African partners see their SMB customers as placing a large focus on UCC. Amount of Focus SMB Customers Place on UCC Strategy Very/Somewhat Large Focus: Global, % 33% 35% 34% 20% 17% Average of all responses South America North America Europe Asia-Pacific Africa Note: Responses include very large focus and somewhat large focus Base: All respondents (n=315). Q1: Please rate how much focus your SMB customers put on a unified communications and collaboration strategy NBF

14 UCC Tools Adoption SMB adoption of the various UCC applications and tools reflects the different technologies maturity levels as well as the different degrees of customer familiarity with the tools and their respective benefits. UCC Tools Deployed, Currently Deploying or Planned for Deployment by Majority of Customers, Global, % 81% 69% 66% 63% 56% Audio conferencing VoIP / IP PBX Unified messaging Fixed-mobile Telephony presence Instant messaging 51% convergence and PC presence 50% 47% 44% 41% UC client Contact center Web conferencing Room video conferencing Desktop video conferencing Note 1: Responses include already deployed, currently deploying, and planning to deploy in next 12 to 24 months., Base: All respondents (n=315). Q2: Please select the approach taken by the majority of your customers with reference to the applications listed below Note 2: Further details on each UCC tool deployment status are available here. NBF

15 UCC Tools Focus and Adoption Analysis Relatively few partners (only 33 percent) believe that their SMB customers place a somewhat large or very large focus on a UCC strategy. Several factors may be contributing to this perceived low level of interest in UCC tools among SMB customers. The key reason is SMB s slower transition to IP telephony systems and endpoints, which are foundational for UCC adoption. Furthermore, SMB organizations typically look for simple, easy to use and manage, lower-cost communications and collaboration solutions. The concept of UCC as an integrated set of systems and applications remains confusing and is frequently associated with high costs and complexity, which creates opportunities for channel partners to educate customers and thus accelerate adoption. Finally, the recent economic downturn in Europe, which affected other regions as well, may have also caused SMBs to de-emphasize UCC in their investment decisions. As macro-economic conditions improve SMBs are likely to switch their focus from more tactical (e.g., immediate cost saving) to more strategic objectives (e.g., competitive advantage through enhanced productivity and accelerated decisionmaking). Demand for more mature (and therefore more familiar and more affordable) UCC tools such as audio conferencing is perceived by partners to be higher than demand for more advanced technologies such as web and video conferencing that have been traditionally perceived as costlier. Furthermore, most businesses acknowledge the need to converge networks and migrate to IP telephony in order to lay the foundation for future deployment of other UCC tools, which is driving IP PBX adoption. Partners need to focus on first enabling the migration to IP telephony and converged networks and then helping SMBs add more advanced tools for additional benefits. NBF

16 UCC Tools Focus and Adoption Analysis Unified messaging is also maturing and becoming table stakes in infrastructure upgrades. Demand for fixed-mobile convergence is already relatively high, but as the technology matures and the BYOD trend presents additional challenges, FMC adoption will accelerate. In addition to cost and awareness factors, perceived value is also impacting UCC tool adoption. Small businesses, in particular, may not see much value in conferencing technologies as their employees are typically concentrated in fewer locations and do not require so many tools for remote collaboration. There are, however, opportunities for greater adoption of conferencing and collaboration tools among multi-location SMBs looking to improve collaboration among geographically distributed employees. Furthermore, technology evolution and increasing competition are driving prices down, which will make these technologies more affordable for SMB customers. NBF

17 Types of Communications Endpoints Used in SMB Customers Organizations Most SMBs are still deploying legacy infrastructure including TDM phones. The limited adoption of IP platforms and IP phones also partly explains the low penetration of soft clients. As expected, mobile devices are increasingly prevalent in the SMB space. Types of Communications Endpoints Used in SMB Customers Organizations: Global, 2013 TDM phones Company mobile / cellular phones DECT phones IP phones Personal devices Headsets Business softphones and web comm portals Consumer softphones Wi-Fi phones Desktop video phones Other Base: All respondents (n=315). Q3b: Please rank the following top three communications endpoints for the most used in your SMB customers organizations. 3% 2% 2% NBF % 6% 18% 24% 50% 57% 62% 71%

18 Top-three Most Used Communications Endpoints in SMB Customers Organizations While TDM phones clearly rank the highest as the most widely used communications endpoint in the SMB market, mobile phones, DECT phones, and IP phones compete for the second and third most used type of device in this customer segment. Top-three Most Used Communications Endpoints in SMB Customers Organizations: Global, 2013 #1 Ranking #2 Ranking #3 Ranking TDM phones 11% 5% 20% Company mobile / cellular phones 22% 21% 13% IP phones 20% 17% 5% Personal devices 10% 10% 4% DECT phones 23% 1% Headsets 5% 13% 1% Consumer softphones 2% 4% 1% Business softphones and web comm clients / 2% 3% 1% Wi-Fi phones 1% 1% 0% Desktop video phones 0% 2% 0% Other 0% Base: All respondents (n=315). 1% Q3b: Please rank the following top three communications endpoints for the most used in your SMB customers organizations. NBF % 55%

19 Communications Endpoints Adoption Analysis Many businesses are making the switch to converged or pure-ip communications systems, but few have replaced their TDM phones with IP ones. The more conservative approach to communications endpoints is due to the ability to deploy newer converged systems with legacy terminals, end-user familiarity and satisfaction with the capabilities of TDM phones (i.e., they simply work), and the higher cost of IP phones. SMBs have lagged behind larger businesses in the adoption of next-generation systems and endpoints. It is not surprising, therefore, that TDM phones are the most widely deployed communications endpoint among SMBs. In fact, other Frost & Sullivan studies show that IP phones account for only 19 percent of installed endpoints in the SMB segment compared to 47 percent among large businesses. In line with other findings, this study shows that mobile phones are increasingly being used for business purposes. However, today, they are mostly used as secondary or tertiary devices in conjunction with a desktop phone. With the growth of the BYOD trend and advancements in fixed-mobile convergence technologies, mobile devices are likely to become even more prevalent in the SMB market where every incoming call may be a sales opportunity. Softphone and UC client penetration among SMBs is lower than their penetration among larger businesses. This fact can be attributed to perceived limited value and reliability of soft clients as well as the cost and complexity associated with the implementation of a fully integrated backend infrastructure that would justify the use of a unified client at the desktop. Greater opportunities for UC clients adoption exist among businesses with remote and highly mobile employees. Overall global softphone and UC penetration is lower than their penetration in the North American market. Other regions have lagged behind in IP migration as well as in the adoption of IM and presence. Also, communications vendors have marketed soft clients more aggressively in North America. NBF

20 Communication Investment Approaches in SMB Customer Base Most SMBs appear to be either extending their existing infrastructure or replacing it with next-generation solutions. Few appear to be currently deploying or looking to switch to hosted communications services. Top Three Most Common Communication Investment Approaches in SMB Customer Base: Global, 2013 Looking to switch from premises-based solutions to hosted PBX or Centrex Most common Second most common Third most common Investing in extending existing voice systems Rip and replace Wait-and-see Currently using hosted PBX or Centrex Looking to deploy managed UCC services Looking to virtualize your UCC infrastructure Looking to deploy cloud-based UCC Other 7% 8% 4% 6% 5% 3% 4% 8% 1% 5% 9% 1% 1% 1% Base: All respondents (n=315). Q4: Which top three communication investment approaches are the most common in your SMB customer base? 4% 4% 10% 10% 14% 14% 17% 19% 23% 27% 30% 32% 32% NBF

21 Barriers to Advanced UCC Tools Adoption A primary barrier to UCC adoption among budget-strapped SMBs is the cost of integrations and application licenses. Technology and provider business model maturity appear to be of lesser concern to SMB customers. Main Barriers Preventing your SMB Base from Investing in Advanced UCC Tools: Global, 2013 Cost of integration Applications license cost Limited awareness 47% 51% 54% Other priorities Limited value of majority of workforce 42% 40% Difficulty of implementation Limited staff expertise to deploy and manage applications 30% 30% Waiting for technologies to mature Waiting for business models and portfolios to mature 20% 19% Other Base: All respondents (n=315). Q5: What are the main barriers preventing your SMB customer base from investing in advanced communications and collaboration tools? Please select all that apply. NBF %

22 Barriers to Advanced UCC Tools Adoption by Region Cost is the biggest adoption barrier in emerging markets such as those in South America and Asia. Limited awareness and (perceived) value of UCC tools present the biggest challenge in Australia. Main Barriers Preventing your SMB Base from Investing in Advanced UCC Tools: Global, 2013 Africa Asia-Pacific Europe North America South America 0% 50% 41% 53% 54% 58% 48% 51% 38% 25% 44% 54% 58% 70% 42% 45% 42% 43% 38% 22% 25% 67% 52% 40% 17% 21% 30% 32% 50% 42% 31% 27% 49% 38% 8% 27% 20% 22% 13% 17% 21% 19% 25% 88% 88% Cost of integration Applications Limited Other priorities Limited value to Difficulty of Limited staff Waiting for license cost awareness majority of implementation expertise to technologies to workforce deploy and mature manage Base: All respondents (n=315). applications Q5: What are the main barriers preventing your SMB customer base from investing in advanced communications and collaboration tools? Please select all that apply. Waiting for business models and portfolios to mature NBF

23 Investment Approaches and Barriers to UCC Tool Adoption Analysis Most partners believe that SMBs are taking a proactive approach to their UCC infrastructure and are either extending and upgrading existing solutions or replacing them with new technologies. Only 19 percent of partners state that the majority of their customers have adopted a wait-and-see approach, which is a positive indicator in view of ongoing economic challenges and rapidly evolving technologies. Few partners see the majority of their customers either currently deploying hosted solutions or looking to deploy hosted, managed or cloud communications. This may be due to the fact that these partners have contacts primarily with businesses that are deploying or looking to deploy premises-based solutions. However, other research provides further evidence that hosted, managed, and cloud services have so far gained little traction outside of North America due to limited availability, low customer awareness, and established business practices to deploy UCC tools on the premises. Furthermore, in spite of the hype around cloud and hosted solutions, most businesses continue to have security, reliability, and functionality concerns. Other Frost & Sullivan studies show, however, that going forward, more SMBs are likely to consider and make the switch to hosted/managed/cloud solutions. Not surprisingly, cost is a primary barrier to SMB adoption of advanced UCC tools. Smaller IT budgets and more limited access to additional capital make SMBs more conservative buyers. It is reassuring, however, that partners do not believe that SMBs are concerned about UCC technology or vendor business model maturity. Adoption barriers are likely to vary by region based on macro-economic, regulatory, technological, and demographic/cultural factors. Countries with higher GDP tend to have more developed communications markets and are at the forefront of advanced UCC tool adoption. Cost, perceived value, and even awareness are likely to be bigger barriers in developing regions. NBF

24 Expected Change with Regard to Demand for UCC Products and Services by Region An encouraging 62 percent of partners expect demand for UCC tools to increase in the near term. Australia s optimistic perspective on future demand may be due to low current penetration. European partners more conservative approach is most likely due to the tough macro-economic climate in the region. Expected Change with Regard to Demand for UCC Products and Services, Significantly/Some Increase: Global, % 84% 84% 62% 67% 59% Average of all responses South America Asia-Pacific North America Africa Europe Note: All responses are compared to past 12 months; responses significantly increase and some increase Base: All respondents (n=315). Q6: Thinking about the next 12 months, how would you summarize your expectations with regard to the demand for UC products and services in your country? NBF

25 Expected Change with Regard to Demand for UCC Products and Services by Type of Partner It is reassuring that consultants are most optimistic about future demand for UCC tools as they are closest to end-users technology consideration and deployment plans. Expected Change with Regard to Demand for UCC Products and Services, Significantly/Some Increase: Global, % 76% 62% 59% 58% 57% 53% Average of all responses Consultant Service provider System integrator Reseller Value-added reseller Distributor Note: All responses are compared to past 12 months; responses significantly increase and some increase Base: All respondents (n=315). Q6: Thinking about the next 12 months, how would you summarize your expectations with regard to the demand for UC products and services in your country? NBF

26 Key Decision Maker with Regard to UCC Investments Business owners continue to be the primary decision makers when it comes to UCC and other technology investments in the SMB segment. External consultants are, however, almost as important as internal IT staff, mostly due to limited in-house IT expertise in many small organizations. 52% Key Decision Maker with Regard to UCC Investments Global, % 14% 13% Business owner C-level executive IT/Telecom staff External consultant Other 1% Base: All respondents (n=315). Q7: Thinking about the majority of your SMB customers, please choose the type of key decision maker with regard to UC investments. NBF

27 Importance of Potential UCC Benefits to SMB Customers In a tough economic climate, most SMBs are focusing on cost reduction and productivity enhancement, whereas a green ICT policy is the least of their concerns. Less than half of surveyed partners believe that SMBs expect UCC tools to help them gain a competitive advantage. Importance of Potential UCC Benefits to SMB Customers Very/Somewhat Important: Global, % 73% 71% 68% 60% 59% 59% Reduce operating costs (e.g. reduce travel, lower mobile costs, etc.) 53% Enhance productivity 42% Increase ability to reach remote and mobile employees Increase customer satisfaction with a better handling of their calls 35% 34% Ensure business continuity Enhance virtual team collaboration across different sites 25% Be able to integrate personal devices such as smartphones and tablets 12% Facilitate home working Gain a competitive differentiator Accelerate decision making Improve data and telecom security Note: Responses include very important and somewhat important Base: All respondents (n=315). Q8: Thinking about the benefits that each type of UC technology can offer to the majority of your SMB customers, how important are the following potential UCC benefits to your customers? Meet specific vertical requirements Implement a green ICT policy NBF

28 Key Customer UCC Tool Purchasing Factors Limited or no IT staff in SMB organizations is the primary reason why SMB customers care strongly about the ease of use of UCC technologies. As SMBs have less complex infrastructure that requires additional integrations, open standards appear to be of lesser importance to them. 81% Most Important Factors to Win Customers to Implement UCC Tools Very/Somewhat Important: Global, % 69% 69% 67% 67% 63% 62% Ease of use System efficiency and reliability Level of service and support Existing vendor relationship Ease of implementation and management Return on investment Price Cutting-edge features and functionality 62% 59% 56% 55% 53% 53% 39% Vendor reputation Part of a broad technology portfolio that allows one-stop shopping Existing in-house expertise in technology and solutions offered System security Open standards and interoperability with 3rd-party applications Technology maturity (broad market adoption) Technology evolution roadmap Note: Responses include very important and somewhat important Base: All respondents (n=315). Q9: Which factors help you to win the customer over to implement UCC tools? NBF

29 Demand for UCC Tools by Vertical The IT industry has been at the forefront of UCC adoption as technology vendors seek to develop relevant skill sets as well as showcase the new tools with customers and partners. Knowledge workers (e.g., professional services firms) who can benefit the most from UCC tools are also among the early adopters. Verticals Most Interested in Deploying UCC Applications Very/Somewhat Interested: Global, 2013 Professional services (legal, real estate, consulting, accounting, HR, etc.) IT Financial Services 54% 65% 83% Manufacturing 43% Public sector and local government Healthcare Retail Education 35% 33% 31% 29% Hospitality 20% Note: Responses include very interested and somewhat interested Base: All respondents (n=315). Q10: Thinking about your SMB customers, which verticals do you believe are most interested in deploying UCC applications? NBF

30 Demand for UCC Tools by Vertical by Region Regional economic, regulatory, and cultural factors determine the varying demand for UCC tools by vertical in each region. Verticals Most Interested in Deploying UCC Applications Very/Somewhat Interested: Global, 2013 Africa Asia-Pacific Europe North America South America 75% 90% 84% 84% 88% 58% 70% 65% 68% 50% 53% 59% 83% 80% 75% 25% 35% 45% 43% 50% 42% 52% 31% 59% 75% 50% 38% 30% 46% 63% 14% 25% 32% 32% 50% 31% 26% 58% 46% 88% 21% 18% 42% 35% 50% IT Professional services Financial Services Manufacturing Public sector and local gov. Note: Responses include very interested and somewhat interested Base: All respondents (n=315). Q10: Thinking about your SMB customers, which verticals do you believe are most interested in deploying UCC applications? Healthcare Retail Education Hospitality NBF

31 Future Demand Analysis More than half of the partners in all regions expect demand for UCC tools to increase. The more conservative outlook in Africa, Asia, and Europe is most likely due to macro-economic factors. In both Asia and Europe cost ranked the highest among potential barriers to adoption. The positive outlook on future demand in Australia is an indicator that partners expect awareness barriers to be overcome in the near term. Consultants appear most optimistic about future demand for UCC tools, which is probably an indication that many SMB customers are actively inquiring about UCC tools and their benefits. VARs and distributors, on the other hand, are more conservative in their assessment of future demand most likely due to low amount of current purchase orders. Since the business owner is clearly the key decision maker in UCC investments, vendors and partners need to engage the owner in discussions of key pain points that can be addressed with advanced technologies and the benefits of specific UCC tools. Consultants also play a critical role in investment decisions since most SMBs lack extensive internal IT expertise. As the survey shows that SMBs seek to mostly reduce costs and improve productivity through the implementation of UCC tools, vendors and partners should help decision makers understand how each tool can address these specific objectives. According to most surveyed partners, SMBs do not see UCC tools as a means to gaining a competitive advantage. That may indicate the need for more education on the side of vendors and partners. Technology adoption is highly correlated with customer perception of how different tools can ultimately lead to a more competitive market position. NBF

32 Future Demand Analysis (continued) In addition to the specific benefits of each tool, SMBs also base their investment decisions on the ease of use of the solution. Lack of internal IT staff and the need to focus on core business tasks compel them to seek plug-and-play solutions that require little training and ongoing maintenance and support. The same factors also explain SMB s focus on system reliability and superior customer service on the part of channel partners and vendors. Budget and staffing limitations are also preventing some SMBs from seeing the big picture and developing a more long-term approach with regard to UCC investments. This is apparent from the lack of focus on open standards and technology roadmap. Partners and vendors must help their customers understand the importance of these factors and thus make more sustainable technology investments. A significant portion of future UCC demand is likely to come from the IT, professional services, and financial services verticals. Most of the organizations in these verticals are geographically distributed and also employ a large number of knowledge workers two factors that create the need for advanced collaboration tools. Businesses in the IT sector are also deploying UCC tools in order to first test and then showcase the advanced technologies they pitch to their customers. Demand for UCC tools by vertical is likely to vary in the different countries as the various industries are subject to different regulatory, cultural, and other country-specific factors. For example, instant messaging (IM) is considered impolite in some Asian countries, which may impact demand for IM and respectively UC clients in some Asian verticals that would typically show high demand for these tools on other continents. NBF

33 CHANNEL PARTNER SALES APPROACH AND REQUIREMENTS FOR VENDOR SUPPORT NBF

34 Partner Strategies to Address Industry Trends and Better Serve SMB Customers Most partners are focusing on expanding their expertise and (re)training staff, as well as applying a more solution-centric sales approach in order to better serve customers. Strategies Employed to Address Industry Trends and Better Serve SMB Customers, Very/Somewhat Important: Global, 2013 Expanding areas of expertise Applying a more solution-centric sales approach Staff (re)training Adjusting sales and marketing pitch Diversifying product and services portfolio 76% 75% 74% 70% 69% Entering new markets Specializing and becoming more focused 59% 58% Developing vendor partnerships Exiting certain markets Note: Responses include very important and somewhat important Base: All respondents (n=315). Q11: What strategies are you employing to address industry trends such as network and application convergence, virtualization, etc. and better serve your SMB customers. 32% 53% NBF

35 Partner Requirements for Vendor Support in the SMB Market Partners require better discounts and lead sharing from their vendors. Somewhat surprisingly, they do not consider managed and hosted services critical to their success in this segment. Vendor Strategies to Better Support Partners in Selling UCC to SMBs: Global, % #1 Ranked #2 Ranked #3 Ranked 15% 13% 13% 11% 13% 12% 12% 13% 12% 12% 10% 10% 10% 10% 6% 9% 6% Greater discounts Lead sharing Better and / or more extensive training Sharing a clearer vision and product roadmaps Developing vertical specific sales and marketing strategies 11% 8% 6% 7% 5% 6% 6% 6% 7% 5% 4% 4% 6% 4% 5% More extensive product portfolios 2% 1% 1% Developing vertical specific products Enabling you to provide managed UCC services Additional marketing collateral Enabling you to provide UCaaS Base: All respondents (n=315). Q12: Please select the top three ways your vendor partner can support you better in selling UCC to SMBs? Please select all that apply. More creative leasing programs Other NBF

36 Partner Requirements for Vendor Support by Type of Partner Partner skill sets and market positioning determine their requirements for vendor support. 18% 26% 10% 5% Vendor Strategies to Better Support Partners in Selling UCC to SMBs: #1 Ranked Responses: Global, 2013 Total Sample Distributor Reseller Value-added reseller System integrator Service provider Consultant 18% 16% 17% 15% 9% 15% 10% 19% 14% 11% 12% 26% 15% 5% 11% 3% 22% 12% 9% 13% 5% 13% 16% 6% 10% 6% 13% 14% 10% 14% 17% 6% 6% 10% 14% 5% 5% 6% 6% 6% 3% Greater discounts Lead sharing Better and/or more extensive training 14% 6% 5% 0% Developing verticalspecific products 5% 0% 8% 5% 5% 8% 0% Enabling you to provide managed UCC services 5% 0% Sharing a clearer vision and product roadmaps Note: #1 Ranked responses only Base: All respondents (n=315). Q12: Please select the top three ways your vendor partner can support you better in selling UCC to SMBs? Please select all that apply. 5% 14% 5% 5% 0% Additional marketing collateral 4% Developing verticalspecific sales and marketing strategies More extensive product portfolios 2% 0% 0% 5% 2% 0% 6% NBF % 3% 5% 3% 3% 11% Enabling you to provide UCaaS 4% 0% 8% 5% 3% 11% 6% More creative leasing programs Other

37 Partner and Vendor Strategies Analysis With the increasing complexity of UCC technologies and architectures, partners understand that expanding their skills and expertise and applying a more solution-centric sales approach are critical to their success in the SMB segment. It is both more convenient and more cost-effective for SMBs to work with a single partner for all of their communications and collaboration needs. Therefore, partners are looking to provide a one-stop shop for their SMB customers and to also present a complete solution during the sales process. Depending on channel partner expertise, market maturity in UCC tool adoption, and other regionspecific factors, staff (re)training, a new marketing message or new vendor partnerships may also prove critical for partner success in the different regions. Overall, partners consider greater discounts and lead sharing most helpful in dealing with SMB customers. At this stage, they do not appear highly interested in developing managed or hosted services capabilities. That is likely to change, however, as managed and hosted technologies and business models mature and SMB customers acknowledge the flexibility and other benefits of outsourcing their UCC solutions from a third party. The different types of partners have different expectations about how vendors can better support them in serving SMB customers. It appears that some types of partners are really underestimating the importance of training. It is also interesting to note that, among all partners, distributors and consultants are most interested in being enabled to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Vendors must tailor their strategies to their different partners needs to help them become more successful in the SMB market. NBF

38 Conclusions: the Future of UCC for SMBs 1 The true value of UCC to SMBs is in reducing costs, enhancing productivity, and enabling mobility. SMBs will first lay the foundation with IP PBXs and then gradually add IP phones and more advanced UCC tools. 2 Increasing competition and maturing technologies will eliminate the key barriers to SMB adoption of UCC tools: high integration and licensing costs. 3 A solution-centric partner sales approach focusing on ease of use aided by greater vendor discounts and continued partner training will boost demand for UCC tools in the SMB market. NBF

39 CORPORATE DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE NBF

40 35% 17% 16% 10% 6% 5% 5% 3% 3% 3% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% NBF % Germany France Spain Sweden United Kingdom Canada Switzerland Denmark Finland United States Australia Mexico Norway Belgium Brazil China Czech Republic Italy Turkey Other Corporate Demographic Profile Base Country of Organization: Global, 2013 Note: Multiple response question Base: All respondents (n=315).

41 Corporate Demographic Profile (continued) Percentage of Organization s Revenue from UCC Products and Services in 2011: Global, % Less than 5% 3% More than 5% but less than 30% More than 30% but less than 50% More than 50% but less than 80% 18% 26% More than 80% but less than 100% 100% 48% 50% Type of Partner in Terms of Delivery of UC Products and Services: Global, % 12% 11% 7% 6% 3% System Integrator Base: All respondents (n=315). Reseller Service Provider Distributor Value-added Reseller Consultant Other NBF

42 APPENDIX NBF

43 UCC Tools Investment Approach Approach Taken by Majority of Customers with Regard to UCC Tools Global, % Already deployed Planning to deploy (next months) No plans to deploy 40% Currently deploying Planning to deploy (after 24 months) 14% 18% 4% 12% 19% 22% 9% 10% 29% 14% 21% 10% 27% 25% 17% 27% 10% 21% 23% 11% 16% 10% 39% 21% 18% 27% 12% 21% Audio conferencing VoIP / IP PBX Telephony presence Unified messaging Contact center Fixed-mobile convergence Base: All respondents (n=315). Q2: Please select the approach taken by the majority of your customers with reference to the applications listed below NBF

44 UCC Tools Investment Approach (continued) Approach Taken by Majority of Customers with Regard to UCC Tools Global, 2013 Already deployed Planning to deploy (next months) No plans to deploy Currently deploying Planning to deploy (after 24 months) 17% 15% 24% 16% 28% 15% 11% 18% 12% 43% 14% 11% 22% 17% 36% 9% 12% 29% 17% 32% 9% 8% 24% 17% 43% Instant messaging and PC presence Room video conferencing Web conferencing UC client Desktop video conferencing Base: All respondents (n=315). Q2: Please select the approach taken by the majority of your customers with reference to the applications listed below NBF

45 Types of Communications Endpoints by Region Types of Communications Endpoints Used in SMB Customers Organizations Global, 2013 Africa Asia-Pacific Europe North America South America 50% 62% 46% 63% 76% 58% 59% 63% 65% 75% 42% 25% 27% 38% 63% 38% 47% 57% 67% 63% 25% 21% 55% 41% 50% 17% 20% 17% 32% 0% 8% 13% 4% 11% 25% 4% 0% 17% 27% 14% 8% 7% 3% 0% 0% 8% 7% 1% 5% 13% 0% 0% 1% 3% 0% TDM phones Company mobile / cellular phones DECT phones IP phones Personal devices Headsets Business softphones and web based comms Consumer softphones (Skype, Google) Base: All respondents (n=315). Q3b: Please rank the following top three communications endpoints for the most used in your SMB customers organizations. Wi-Fi phones Desktop video phones Other NBF

46 Partner Strategies by Region Strategies Employed to Address Industry Trends and Better Serve SMB Customers, Very/Somewhat Important: Global, 2013 Africa Asia-Pacific Europe North America South America 75% 66% 75% 70% 75% 75% 74% 75% 81% 88% 84% 73% 70% 75% 83% 73% 70% 76% 75% 58% 67% 69% 73% 75% 67% 56% 58% 65% 75% 67% 70% 55% 65% 88% 58% 62% 50% 65% 88% 33% 33% 30% 43% 50% 100% Expanding areas of expertise Applying a solution centric sales approach Staff (re)training Adjusting sales and marketing pitch Diversifying products and services Entering new markets Specializing and becoming more focused Developing vendor partnerships Exiting certain markets Note: Responses include very important and somewhat important Base: All respondents (n=315). Q11: What strategies are you employing to address industry trends such as network and application convergence, virtualization, etc. and better serve your SMB customers. NBF

47 Partner Type Definitions Consultant A n IT or telecom consultant is a business that delivers professional services to end-user organizations and assists them in analyzing their technology needs, designing a solution, and selecting a service provider or vendor. Consultants may also resell products or services but do not typically provide maintenance or managed services themselves. Service Provider The term service provider here refers to a telephone company, also known as a telco, telephone service provider, telecom carrier or telecommunications operator. It provides telecommunications services such as telephony and data communications access. Service providers also typically resell communications products and services. Distributor Distributors usually store a large number of inventory for telecommunications vendors and then deliver the products to end users either directly or through other channels such as system integrators, VARs or resellers. System Integrator A systems integrator is a person or company that specializes in bringing together component subsystems into a whole and ensuring that those subsystems function together, a practice known as system integration. NBF

48 Types of Partners (continued) VAR A value-added reseller (VAR) is a company that adds features or services to an existing product, then resells it (usually to end users) as an integrated product or complete "turn-key" solution. Reseller Resellers here refers to businesses that resell communications products or services at a price markup. Unlike VARs, resellers do not typically provide additional product enhancements or related services. NBF

49 ABOUT FROST & SULLIVAN NBF

50 The Frost & Sullivan Story Pioneered Emerging Market & Technology Research Global Footprint Begins Country Economic Research Market & Technical Research Best Practice Career Training MindXChange Events Partnership Relationship with Clients Growth Partnership Services GIL Global Events GIL University Growth Team Membership Growth Consulting Visionary Innovation Mega Trends Research CEO 360 Visionary Perspective GIL Think Tanks GIL Global Community Communities of Practice NBF

51 What Makes Us Unique Focused on Growth All services aligned on growth to help clients develop and implement innovative growth strategies Industry Coverage Continuous monitoring of industries and their convergence, giving clients first mover advantage in emerging opportunities Global Footprint More than 40 global offices ensure that clients gain global perspective to mitigate risk and sustain long term growth 360 Degree Perspective Proprietary Team Methodology integrates 7 critical research perspectives to optimize growth investments Career Best Practices Career research and case studies for the CEOs Growth Team to ensure growth strategy implementation at best practice levels Visionary Innovation Partner Close collaboration with clients in developing their research based visionary perspective to drive GIL NBF

52 TEAM Methodology Frost & Sullivan s proprietary TEAM Methodology ensures that clients have a complete 360 Degree Perspective TM from which to drive decision making. Technical, Econometric, Application, and Market information ensures that clients have a comprehensive view of industries, markets, and technology. Technical Econometric Application Market Real-time intelligence on technology, including emerging technologies, new R&D breakthroughs, technology forecasting, impact analysis, groundbreaking research, and licensing opportunities. In-depth qualitative and quantitative research focused on timely and critical global, regional, and country-specific trends, including the political, demographic, and socioeconomic landscapes. Insightful strategies, networking opportunities, and best practices that can be applied for enhanced market growth; interactions between the client, peers, and Frost & Sullivan representatives that result in added value and effectiveness. Global and regional market analysis, including drivers and restraints, market trends, regulatory changes, competitive insights, growth forecasts, industry challenges, strategic recommendations, and end-user perspectives. NBF

53 Our Global Footprint 40+ Offices Scanning the Globe for Opportunities and Innovation NBF

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