Brian Riggs
Brian is a member of Ovum's Enterprise team, tracking emerging trends, technologies, and market dynamics in the unified communications and...
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Brian Riggs | August 15, 2017 |


UCaaS, CCaaS, IaaS: Amazon's Many Roles in the UC Market

UCaaS, CCaaS, IaaS: Amazon's Many Roles in the UC Market One way or another, looks like Amazon Web Services will play a role in cloud communications.

One way or another, looks like Amazon Web Services will play a role in cloud communications.

Amazon is poised to play an important -- perhaps even a fundamental -- role in the UC market. But perhaps not in the way you expect.

Amazon Web Services has made several very interesting moves into -- or at least toward -- the UC space. Chime, introduced earlier this year and based on technology stemming from its 2016 acquisition of Biba Systems, marked Amazon's debut in the market for business communications services. Meanwhile, Connect, also introduced this year, delivers a cloud-based contact center service.

Both are targeted at businesses. Both tap into the growing popularity of simple, straightforward cloud-based communications and customer support services. But I fear neither is likely to have a noticeable impact -- certainly not in the near term but perhaps not even down the road. Despite being billed as UC, Chime is more about online conferencing. This is less of a market segment and more of a monkey house that's teeming with not one but several 800-pound gorillas, the likes of Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Skype for Business.

The same can be said of Connect. The market for cloud-based contact center services is alive, thriving, and populated by established providers such as inContact, Five9, and others. Seeing new challengers appearing on the field and prepared to do battle is always great. But AWS faces an uphill battle to dethrone the princes of the Web conferencing and cloud contact center markets.

AWS Powering UC Services
While Amazon may be new and unproven as a provider of conferencing and contact center services, it is considerably more established as a platform provider of others' UC services. Not so many years ago I remember seeing cloud communications services running on AWS infrastructure while in development. But in no way would the providers trust the company's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) with those services after launch.

That's now changed. As others note, AWS lets providers quickly launch services that are scalable, reliable, backed by powerful analytics tools, and running on a platform that's global in scope. AWS is also cost effective compared with leasing data center space for the virtualized servers that typically run cloud-based UC and contact center services. In addition to Chime and Connect, which of course run on AWS, UCaaS and CCaaS offerings also relying on it include:

Interestingly, the proposition isn't always all-or-nothing, where AWS is the sole platform on which a UC service is based. Avaya's Enterprise Cloud for BPO service, for example, is based on Avaya contact center software running in traditional data centers in four -- soon six -- locations around the world. As the company expands into new countries it plans to run the software underpinning the service on AWS.

AWS isn't the only IaaS used in this way. Genesys PureEngage runs on Azure, as does Polycom RealConnect for Office 365, which launched earlier this year. LifeSize provides videoconferencing as a service for 2,500 customers on software running on IBM Cloud. And though not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, BroadSoft introduced a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) option earlier this year. Rather than build out and maintain the infrastructure on which their UC services are based, providers can install either the BroadWorks call control software, the UC-One application, or both on BroadSoft's PaaS. The result is a quicker time to market for providers launching new BroadSoft-based services.

Continue to next page: AWS as Private Data Center Alternative


Check out this recap of Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017, and register now to join us in 2018 and save $200 off or get a Free Expo Plus Pass.

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

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

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
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 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.