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World Unified Communications Markets Set For Growth: Report

April 05, 2010

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan has revealed that the world unified communications markets are set for growth as technologies mature and businesses acknowledge the value of integrating disparate communications and collaboration technologies. The analysis named World Unified Communications Markets has revealed that the installed base of fully-integrated UC users will touch 50 million by 2015.

At present, UC is being offered in two distinct business models, all-in-one suites and best-of-breed integrations. Free UC clients, attractive bundling and low-cost or no-cost pilot programs will help users experience UC and its benefits. This is expected to help end users to specifically require UC capabilities and make informed decisions about what to deploy, how and from which vendors by the time they are ready to rebuild their infrastructure.

According to Melanie Turek, Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst for Unified Communications and Collaboration, by itself, UC may not be a major source of additional revenue for communications vendors. However, it offers the potential to drive growth in related markets and encourages companies to upgrade their equipment sooner.

Vendors are expected to aggressively promote UC clients to their customer base in the next 5 to 6 years. This will help to create opportunities for future application integration. Growing adoption of session initiation protocol (SIP) and service-oriented architecture (SOA), application enablement technologies and vendor strategies will have a major impact on vendor interoperability. Hence, improving technology standardization and openness will help to eliminate some of the hassles and cost related to application integration and UC implementation. Moreover, as the pool of UC-related professional services skills expands, it will facilitate UC adoption.

In the short-term, fully integrated UC implementations are driven usually by vendors offering a one-stop shop for all UC components and related services. Multi-vendor implementations are typically constrained by limited vendor interoperability, the cost of integrating disparate applications, and the limited availability of required professional services skills.

According to the Frost & Sullivan analysis, UC uptake is expected to remain limited to specific end-user groups such as knowledge workers and marketing and sales people until business models make it compelling for the average communications user to own a UC solution. Another way to tap into new customer bases is through joint product development and marketing with another vendor.

World Unified Communications Markets from Frost & Sullivan is part of its Conferencing & Collaboration and Enterprise Communications Growth Partnership Services programs. The research covers the application enablement, enterprise telephony, messaging, conferencing and collaboration market sectors. Frost & Sullivan enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership.

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Calvin's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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