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How do you prepare if your UC provider is acquired?

The UC market is abuzz with mergers and acquisitions, but this activity creates uncertainty for organizations. Analyst Jon Arnold offers advice on how to handle vendor consolidation.

The unified communications market is currently rife with vendor consolidation. Some organizations might worry about what would happen if their UC provider was acquired. These three responses should help your organization prepare if that scenario unfolds.

1. Don't react out of fear

You should expect aggressive sales pitches from your UC provider's competitors and adjacent players to switch services while your provider is at its weakest point. This is a natural part of market evolution, but it's especially applicable to UC, where all vendors struggle to grow through new customer acquisition.

Whenever an organization has the potential to change providers, it's a prime opportunity for competitors to grow their top line quickly. You'll know that based on how hard they're charging for your business. A common tactic is to undermine the credibility and stability of your vendor.

Be prepared to hear a lot of messages from competing UC providers designed to plant doubt. These competitors will offer a quick resolution to opt for them before things go from bad to worse.

2. Consider the effect on other vendors in your organization

If your organization has been with the same UC provider for a long time and is tightly integrated with your other network elements, an acquisition could be pretty disruptive if you had to switch vendors. To prepare for that, you should consider the best-case scenarios from your current roster of network-related vendors. If the overall integration process was complex, the easiest path would be going with a UC service offered by one of those vendors, since they're already well-integrated.

3. Consider options beyond your channel partners

With so many UC offerings on the market, you shouldn't be restricted to the vendors your channel partner is willing and able to support. They, too, will be affected by vendor consolidation. If they have limited capability beyond a specific UC provider, you'll be limited in terms of alternatives. If that's the case, you should start evaluating other channel partners who can support UC providers that would be the best alternatives if a change is needed.

Do you have a question for Jon Arnold or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)

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