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Research Predicts Strong Growth for Unified Communications through 2013

January 09, 2009

A recent study released by Wainhouse Research delivers promising news for Unified Communications and Collaboration. This area of the industry is expected to see significant growth delivered as a hosted service, presenting significant opportunity for those vendors operating in this space.

Such power players as Microsoft, Cisco and IBM are all making heavy investments in this area to create offerings that integrate with their existing Unified Communications products into a hosted services framework. According to Wainhouse Research, this segment will grow to $13.4 billion by 2013 with a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent.

The Wainhouse Research report, "Worldwide Unified Communications Services Forecast" predicts market expansion coming from hosted voice providers and messaging providers branching into Unified Communications offerings. The audio conferencing services market is also expected to see significant minute usage growth.

Unfortunately, audio conferencing will only experience small revenue growth due to falling average selling prices. At the same time, hosted video bridging is not expected to grow significantly at all. New advancements in technology in these areas could change the playing field, but market pressures are likely to prevail.

Overall, the growth rate of Unified Communications products is forecasted to stay around one percent, hampered by stagnation in the telephony market, as reported in the Wainhouse Research, "Worldwide Unified Communications Product Forecast."

"The hosted unified communications market is poised for significant growth. We see a convergence among providers offering hosted messaging, hosted voice, and hosted conferencing because enterprises will be asking for a bundled unified services offering.” said Wainhouse Research Senior Analyst and Partner E. Brent Kelly, in a Friday statement.

“Larger providers in any one of these individual markets will either expand organically or acquire capabilities from smaller companies offering complimentary services. Furthermore, hosted UC services are not just for the small to medium business space.

Large companies who now outsource both email and audio/Web conferencing will be looking at adding presence-enabled messaging and conferencing as well as click-to-call and click-to-conference capabilities," added Kelly.

Wainhouse Research provides insight and intelligence into the global markets for audio, Web and video conferencing, real-time Unified Communications, enterprise streaming and webcasting, and enterprise social networking. This latest research provides insight into the performance and opportunities in Unified Communications over the next few years, allowing those players within the industry to plan accordingly.
The company publishes public and private studies, speaks at industry events and private company events, and provides strategic consulting to both industry vendors and end user organizations.

The current state of the global economy is playing a significant role in the projections for UC. The technologies that make up Unified Communications deliver considerable cost savings within the enterprise. As vendors educate clients on optimizing current implementations with available advancements, revenues will grow.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for unified communications and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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