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South Asian and Middle East Market Adopt UC Applications

October 29, 2009

Enterprise end users in the South Asia and Middle East region are now considering the adoption of unified communications, or “UC,” applications, according to a Frost & Sullivan study.

A number of reasons for this trend including an increasingly complex work environment, multiple work locations, new competitive dynamics and the resulting need to control costs, report officials said.
As the largest buyer of UC applications in the region, India exemplifies better overall awareness of UC. India demonstrated the CAGR of 7.9 percent in the period from 2008 to 2015. Bangladesh, has strict regulations on VoIP, and is, thus, placed in the last position.
The recession may have slowed down the sales of many products but it seems to have a positive impact on the UC market.
Lavanya Palani Batcha, senior research analyst, ICT practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia and Middle East, said that the global economic slowdown is expected to enhance the UC growth path in the short-term.
“A few trends seen in this market are rising interest in UC applications, adoption of IP telephony, bundling of UC applications, key growth drivers namely conferencing and collaboration, and higher value proposition with integration of business processes,” Palani Batcha said.
Indian market has experienced continued adoption by several key verticals such as BFSI, IT/ ITeS, and is anticipated to survive the current economic slowdown and emerge as a strong market for UC vendors.
However, neighboring countries are not doing so well. The Sri Lankan market is still sparing using UC applications, but sales may pick up in the country as IP telephony is gaining traction, especially amongst larger enterprises.
According to Frost & Sullivan officials, IP telephony adoption is expected to grow with favorable regulations, and will soon outpace the demand for traditional telephony. The CAGR for conferencing and collaboration applications market is expected to be 12.2 percent between 2008 and 2015. 
Bangladesh is struggling with restrictive regulations on IP telephony, poor awareness levels and inadequate infrastructure. But things may change for the better as the government becomes more aware about VoIP and its various benefits. Frost & Sullivan predicts the UC market to grow at a higher rate in the forecast period from 2008 to 2015 and expects the CAGR in this period to be 17.8 percent.
In Saudi Arabia, the government and oil and gas companies spend heavily on the UC market and the region has seen a constant rise in IP telephony adoption. The research firm says that this market has been least affected by the global economic recession and had a CAGR of 5.2 percent between 2008 and 2015.
There are large-scale deployments of IP telephony in the UAE UC market and they are largely due to the presence of international business and finance organizations in the country's key business centers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But this market has been affected by recession. The CAGR projection for UC market from 2008 to 2015 is 5.9 percent.
Frost & Sullivan expects the Egyptian UC market to grow at a CAGR of 8.1 percent in the forecast period from 2008 to 2015. The Egyptian UC market, especially the Contact Center applications, is anticipated to grow at a brisk pace thanks to the huge potential in the domestic IT/ITeS market and good support from the Government towards ICT initiatives. 

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Anuradha’s article, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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