Ribbon Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: RBBN), a global provider of real time communications software and IP optical transport solutions to service providers, enterprises, and critical infrastructure sectors, today unveiled the latest findings in its annual Unified Communications (UC) survey, which measures the UC purchase drivers and buying behaviors of leaders from small-to-medium sized business (SMB) and enterprises around the world. Responses from over 4,500 technology decision makers across 18 countries in the Americas and Europe indicate that companies both large and small are accelerating their adoption of UC technology in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and there is significant opportunity for growth in the IP-based communications market.
Compared to the previous year’s results, the data showed a 103% increase amongst small businesses (less than 100 employees) who have either deployed, are in the process of deploying or are planning to deploy Microsoft Teams. Respondents from large companies (more than 1,000 employees) reported an increase of 36%. Additionally, the survey found that 76% of small companies; 67% of medium-sized companies (100 – 1000 employees); and 61% of large companies had yet to invest in IP-based communications solutions.
“The data reveals that there is still a significant market opportunity for IP communications and the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated interest in adoption of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) tools across the board, but particularly amongst small companies,” said Steven Bruny, EVP of Sales for the Americas at Ribbon. “The demands of the shift to remote work, and the widespread availability of popular platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom are key drivers in the increased interest in adopting UC&C.”
The survey found that the three most popular UC&C platforms for supporting remote workers during the pandemic for large companies were Microsoft Teams (27%), Zoom (27%) and Skype for Business (21%). Other key findings included the number of companies planning to institute some form of remote working post-pandemic increased by approximately one-third across all business sizes: large (36%); medium (35%); and small (31%). In addition, the number of small businesses planning to invest in UC&C solutions over the next two years increased 2.5 times from the previous year to 38%. Two-thirds or 66% of large companies plan to invest in some form of UC solution within the next two years.
Approximately 70% of respondents who intend to deploy Teams for calling say they will use Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams, which allows them to keep their existing dial tone provider and leverages Microsoft-certified Session Border Controllers (SBCs) to connect their existing phone system to Teams. The remaining respondents indicated they planned to use Microsoft Phone System and Business Voice calling plans, which allows them to make Microsoft their dial tone provider.
Bruny added, “Ribbon’s market-leading portfolio of Microsoft-certified SBCs and our Ribbon Connect Teams Direct Routing as a Service offering enables companies, especially those who intend to use Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams, to maintain their investments in legacy phone systems, keep relationships with their existing service providers, and support specialized groups like contact centers.”