SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Scott Gode
Scott leads the worldwide product management and marketing efforts at Unify Square. On the marketing side his teams are focused...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Scott Gode | July 25, 2017 |

 
   

UC&C Leader Leapfrog?

UC&C Leader Leapfrog? How an Amazon build or Slack buy could affect the industry

How an Amazon build or Slack buy could affect the industry

Amazon, which some analysts speculate will be the first digital company to reach a trillion-dollar valuation, has confirmed during the first half of 2017 what everyone already knew -- that it's on a singular mission to expand its reach.

In the last few months alone, Amazon picked up Whole Foods for a cool $13.4 billion, announced its own "Geek Squad" to further compete with Best Buy for electronics and home installation customers, and signed on exclusive clothing brands for Amazon Prime subscribers.

With recent rumors that Amazon is looking to either create its own team chat application or purchase team chat darling Slack, the next market to be impacted by the Seattle giant could very well be the unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) industry. Here's what you need to know.

How Amazon's UC&C Story Would Change
In February, Amazon Web Services unveiled Chime for online video and audio meetings. A month later, at Enterprise Connect, the company launched Connect, a cloud contact center solution. In May, Amazon launched Echo Show, an enhanced version (adding a camera and small touch screen) of the popular consumer Echo device, to create a UC endpoint. The addition to the Amazon portfolio of Slack or a net new team chat application would provide the company with a nearly complete cloud UC&C lineup and create a strong competitor to long-standing market leaders Microsoft and Cisco.

The "new" Amazon UC&C portfolio doesn't suffer from any downstream or legacy issues, in contrast to Microsoft's and Cisco's stables of legacy, mostly on-premises platforms and their customers, as well as Cisco's gradually depreciating on-premises phone and video infrastructure. Unencumbered by these legacy issues, Amazon has the potential for quick growth. Additionally, an Amazon team chat offering wouldn't require the Microsoft Office 365 ecosystem or any specific Cisco hardware to function well.

Amazon's UC&C growth and eventual supremacy, however, is far from a slam dunk.

First, Chime, Connect, and Echo Show all suffer from lack of enterprise credibility. A Slack acquisition or new Amazon team chat entry would do nothing to dispel the notion that the Amazon UC&C portfolio still needs to prove it can handle enterprise-grade security and scalability. Second, in comparison to Microsoft or Cisco, much of the Amazon story is still more of an AWS-oriented "build" versus a full "turnkey" story with full functionality that just works out of the box. This approach won't fly for larger business organizations that are looking for as much plug and play as possible to keep costs low. Lastly, Amazon is missing any sort of a telephony/VoIP backbone. This isn't a deal-breaker at the moment, but would eventually be necessary to help slingshot Amazon into UC&C leadership contention.

To help bridge these issues, Amazon may decide to play a pricing game by offering a cost-effective UC&C "suite" bundle. This would greatly benefit the enterprise by putting pressure on competitor price points. Neither Microsoft, Cisco, nor any of the other UC&C players have introduced any sort of a UC&C-specific bundle with cost-effectiveness in mind. Amazon is well-known for employing this price tactic for consumer goods. It just makes sense it would replicate what works.

Continue to next page





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.