united, we communicate: what zoom & five9 show us

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Zoom’s just-announced acquisition of Five9 ☁️ is hugely exciting for those of us in the communications space. $14.7 billion is a big number—but it’s just part of the story.

This announcement makes it clear that Zoom is working to combine UCaaS, CCaaS, and online meetings into a trifecta—and, I believe, an entirely new category in our space: unified communication and collaboration (UCC). The leaders in cloud communications, like Zoom, RingCentral, Vonage, Five9, 8×8, etc., are quickly adding to their platforms to deliver the full UCC suite. RingCentral launched video meetings to compete with Zoom. Zoom launched a cloud phone service to compete with RingCentral. Microsoft bought Skype and leveraged it to create Teams. The list goes on.

But the lesson here is obvious. Offering just one or two methods of communicating and calling it “unified” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Bouncing between different voice, messaging, and video apps might have been the norm years ago. But people are demanding better. And they’re forcing the communications industry to take “unified” to the next level to keep up.

Voice 🗣 and video 📹 will continue to be important (especially in B2B), but the world is quickly shifting to messaging-first. What do I mean by messaging? It’s not about simple text messages but rather a rich combination of textual plus vocal plus visual content in a streaming conversation between individuals and groups. When messaging doesn’t cut it, they default to video, which is quickly becoming the next modality of choice. Voice-only has been relegated to the last resort.

Leading the way to a messaging-first world are Gen Y, Gen Z, and Generation Alpha. These generations engage primarily using text-based messaging and video apps in their day-to-day interactions. They expect communicating to be fun and collaborative—and for it to be content-rich while including plenty of memes, emojis,😻 stickers, giphys, files, pics, 🖼 and more.

In this new communication revolution, simply bundling services is an initial, stopgap step toward truly unified communications. At illumy, we think that email, messaging, group chat, calling, and conferencing should be a single, rich experience that offers every mode of communication natively through software—and with a lot more capability. We call it ⚡️hyper-communications.

I can’t wait to see how the industry keeps evolving. The challenge (and the opportunity) will be to go beyond individual modalities to focus on how the whole, truly unified experience is delivered.

Kudos to Zoom and Five9! I’m as thrilled as ever to be a part of this industry! 🤩

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