NEW YORK, USA: Latest global unified communications (UC) market forecasts from ABI Research show that the value of the premises-based integrated UC market is set to reach $2.3 billion by 2016. In 2010, the market registered 22 percent year-on-year growth to reach $674.4 million. That growth heralded a market recovery that began from the second quarter of 2010 and accelerated thereafter.
The need for newer communication platforms has been growing among enterprises as their transactional boundaries become extended and businesses become more complex, diverse and distributed. However, that does not mean vendors have cleared all the stumbling blocks that confront this market. Though interoperability, network performance and UC security continue to cause concerns, the demonstrable ROI and newer UC implementation options that can radically reduce IT sprawl are spurring adoption.
The number of moving parts in a UC environment is high, pushing the case for more centralized services and federation across different network protocols, devices and LoB (line-of-business) applications. Fixed-mobile convergence and video collaboration are emerging as critical applications among the growing number of mobile employees demanding seamless access to enterprise resources as well as deeper and more productive meeting experiences irrespective of their location.
“UC vendors are rapidly expanding capabilities and are entering into technology and marketing partnerships to bridge gaps in product portfolio and market presence,” says senior analyst Subha Rama. “Many of the vendors are making the transition to software-based UC platforms, supporting virtualization and centralized implementations in a private cloud environment. Centralized management and multi-modal support eliminate many of the complexities associated with UC in these scenarios.”
The UC vendor landscape is also seeing some rapid change in terms of market leadership and vendor growth. “Microsoft is consolidating and rapidly growing its presence in the UC market with the launch of Lync including enhanced functionality and presence in both the CPE and cloud markets,” says practice director Dan Shey. “We believe that the ability to integrate across mobile devices and platforms, coupled with lower costs, will prove to be the most compelling factors influencing choice of vendors.”