Unified Communications Featured Article

Huawei Could Disrupt the UCaaS Market

September 08, 2017

When it comes to unified communications solutions, we hear a lot about companies like Cisco and Microsoft, RingCentral and 8x8, and BroadSoft, Mitel, Vonage, Nextiva, West. But beyond Cisco, there’s not a lot of chatter about what the big network infrastructure suppliers ­– like Huawei – are doing around UC.

Perhaps that’s because Huawei is a smaller player in this particular product category. It may also be due to the fact that Huawei’s other business initiatives drown out its unified communications messaging.

But the company lately has been promoting its Huawei Cloud Enterprise Communications solution. And, given this company’s dominant and growing position in the communications and networking space, competitors and customers in the UC arena will want to take notice. This will be especially noteworthy for the many UC solutions providers, like No. 1 unified communications-as-a-service player RingCentral, which are working to go global and upmarket.

Huawei Cloud Enterprise Communications supports an array of communications capabilities, including conferencing, contact center functionality, HD video, instant messaging, IP telephony, and more. And in promoting it, Huawei mentions that it supports all the important trends we’re hearing about now.

For example, as the company explains, Huawei Cloud Enterprise Communications is agile, in that it enables service providers to create and deliver services within minutes. It does that through the automatic orchestration of services. It is based on an open architecture. As its name suggests, it is cloud-based, enabling enterprises and service providers who use it to do so with low upfront costs. It is extensible, allowing users to enable different capabilities through the platform’s SDK interfaces. Huawei offers it via on-demand subscriptions. It allows for remote operation and maintenance. And it is scalable and can be used to serve cross-regional environments.

Cloud-based UC deployments surpassed on-premises ones for the first time last year, according to IDC’s Worldwide Enterprise Communications Market Forecast 2014-2019. And cloud-based UC deployment is expected to account for up to 56.7 percent of enterprise communications solutions within a couple of years, the research firm says.

Meanwhile, a 2015 BroadSoft survey indicates UC’s cloud market share will increase six fold by 2020, when it’s expected to reach 41 percent. BroadSoft says, cloud-based UC is poised to grow by more than seven times in the mid-market arena.

Huawei, which in recent years has successfully moved into the leadership position in a wide array of communications and network categories, will be there when it does. Its existing relationships with large companies bodes well for its positioning on this front.

Huawei Enterprise, which reported 2016 revenues of CNY40.7 billion, a year-over-year increase of 47.3 percent, serves 43 Fortune 100 enterprises and 172 Fortune 500 enterprises. The company’s Smart City solution, offered by Huawei Enterprise BG, has been deployed in more than 100 cities in more than 40 countries. Huawei Enterprise says it has helped many large banks in China embrace the cloud, and outfitted financial firms around the world with communications solutions. More than 170 electric companies in 65 countries use Huawei’s Better-Connected Grid Solution. Huawei also has had success with manufacturing and transportation customers, among many other industry verticals. 

Edited by Erik Linask