The proliferation of mobile technologies has changed business landscape dramatically over the past few years. As a result, business communications have changed, dominated by mobile devices and anywhere access to data connectivity.
Enterprise IT vendors have reasons to cheer, as they find fresh demand for communication, conferencing, and infrastructure solutions – commonly known as Unified Communication.
It includes voice, video, data, messaging, conferencing, mobility solutions and more. Major companies in playing in the market are – Cisco Systems, Avaya, NEC Corporation, IBM Corporation, Alcatel-Lucent, Microsoft Corporation, Verizon Communications, etc.
Factors driving the UC market
Unified Communications solution provider Broadview Networks says this technology really helps enterprises to improve customer experience. Its cloud-based unified communication (UC) solution, OfficeSuite UC promises to enhance customer collaboration.
Grand View Research says the global unified communication market is expected to reach $75.81 billion by 2020.
According to the research firm, increase in mobile workforce as well as enterprise mobility is expected to favourably impact the global market over the next six years.
Among other factors, increasing adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives by large enterprises as well as SMEs (small and medium enterprises) is a driving force for the industry.
IDC’s senior research analyst Rich Costello says this growth is being driven increasingly by technologies such as mobility, cloud, collaboration, and video, along with integrating business processes and applications with communications.
Placing UC in the cloud makes it easier for a multitude of small and medium businesses (SMBs) to adopt it. Cloud-enablement also allows larger companies to have flexibility in providing access to remote locations, or test specific application scenarios. The CAGR in excess of 10 percent through 2020 presents a remarkably bright spot for telecom stakeholders.
Insight Research says the market opportunity will be in excess of $38 billion by the year 2020 as integrated UC heads to the Cloud.
“The migration of UC to the cloud alters the competitive dynamic of the UC marketplace altogether. Companies with Internet-based business models are posing interesting questions to the traditional network-equipment and enterprise software driven camps,” says Kaustubha Parkhi, principal analyst at Insight Research.
Unified Communication as a Service is a single-user interface to access all unified communications capabilities through desktop, web, and mobile phone applications with features that support instant messaging, VoIP, and presence management.
The UCaaS market in Asia Pacific is projected to reach $3.88 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 12.5 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to a report in ReportLinker.
SMEs and UC
According to a recent survey by Jabra, which is also a UC market player, small and medium sized businesses are using cloud based UC solutions to ensure accessibility from remote places on various devices and cut in workload of IT department and users.
Industry verticals such as consumer goods and retail, BFSI, transportation and logistics, and telecom and IT are making investments in UCaaS.
Besides those, education is a promising sector from where, UC investments are expected. A latest Polycom survey found that technology a necessary tool for classroom collaboration. The enterprise IT vendor says Academic institutions are more likely to invest in Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) to improve education delivery in the future.
Polycom says classrooms will eventually make way for real-time video collaboration and mobile devices for interactive student-tailored lessons.
Among the challenges which may daunt the UC market growth, Grand View Research cites high initial investment as well as need for interoperability across various unified communication platforms may pose a restraint to the market.
Apart from the funding, Polycom points out two more reasons that may inhibit UC market in the education sector. Those are – government, which is not keeping pace with technological advancements and curriculum, which is not aligned to future workforce needs.