Managed Unified Communications Services Buyers' Guide 

Managed Unified Communications Services Buyers' Guide 

  • May 2016 •
  • 92 pages •
  • Report ID: 3911813 •
  • Format: PDF
2016 Managed Unified Communications Services Buyers' Guide : Leveraging Third-party Expertise and Resources for Better Communications Asset Management

Businesses are increasingly seeking to outsource various information technology (IT) tasks as well as end-to-end IT infrastructure management in order to improve operational efficiencies, leverage a partner’s stronger technology expertise, and gain a competitive edge. Managed customer premises equipment (CPE) services, including managed Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions, deliver compelling value to businesses looking to delegate day-to-day infrastructure management tasks to a trusted partner so they can focus on more strategic projects.

This Buyers’ Guide provides an overview of several managed premises-based IP telephony and UCC services providers and solutions. Due to the diverse and fragmented nature of the North American managed premises-based IP telephony and UCC services market, Frost & Sullivan has selected leading providers in key market participant groups, including IP telephony and UCC solution vendors, telecommunications carriers, value-added resellers and systems integrators, as well as specialized managed services providers. In addition to merit, the providers were selected based on their willingness to participate in this research.


Executive Summary

Businesses are increasingly seeking to outsource various information technology (IT) tasks as well as end-to-end IT infrastructure management in order to improve operational efficiencies, leverage a partner’s stronger technology expertise, and gain a competitive edge. Managed customer premises equipment (CPE) services, including managed Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions, deliver compelling value to businesses looking to
delegate day-to-day infrastructure management tasks to a trusted partner so they can focus on more strategic projects.

Demand for managed CPE services remains strong, although it has been negatively affected by the gradual shift of IT to the cloud. More specifically, managed IP telephony and UCC services have been impacted by customer adoption of hosted IP telephony and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions. Other factors negatively affecting managed services as well as the broader UCC market include tough global macro-economic conditions and a more conservative IT investment
climate. However, these trends are being offset by businesses’ need to right-size existing communications infrastructures and more effectively leverage IT assets and staff to achieve broader business goals and a competitive advantage. Many organizations with substantial premises -based communications investments turn to partners owning greater capabilities to manage complex communications infrastructures.

As businesses evaluate managed services solution and provider options, they face a number of challenges. The top priority is to find a managed services provider with the right technology expertise.
However, solutions vary based on scale, services provided, price, service level agreements (SLAs) and other factors. Service provider attributes such as financial stability, geographic reach, customer service and support, and ability to balance consistency and standardization with flexibility and a customized approach, can also impact customers’ managed services options.

Many providers of varying background—UCC developers, telcos, value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators, and others—continue to pursue opportunities to deliver customer value through managed IP telephony and UCC services. Typical scenarios where market participants can provide considerable benefits to a customer organization include:

- Sunset asset management as the business migrates to newer technologies and solutions, including UCaaS
- Infrastructure rationalization (e.g., reducing the number of vendors and technologies currently deployed)
- Risk management in the process of digital transformation
- Shifting priorities within the customer organization