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Industry Research : Frost & Sullivan: Australian Unified Communications Market to Reach $1 Billion by 2015
Government incentives for video deployments and pent-up demand following the 2009 economic slowdown helped to drive an 8.8 per cent increase in Australia's Unified Communications (UC) market in 2010. Video and mobility applications will ensure that demand remains strong over the next six years with market value forecast to reach $1 billion by 2015, rising to $1.21 billion by 2017. These are among the major findings contained in Frost & Sullivan's latest research, Australian Unified Communications Market Report 2011.
The study analyses the total addressable opportunity, market trends and the competitive landscape for all major UC application segments and enabling platforms including enterprise telephony; email; unified messaging; conferencing and collaboration; mobility; unified client, presence and integrated UC applications; and contact centre applications.
It found that government, banking and financial services institutions (BFSI) and professional services led the adoption of UC in 2010, accounting for more than half of the year's UC revenues. Education and healthcare were the other two notable verticals.
"The continuing need for cost savings given the slow economic recovery and the desire for productivity and competitive gains have been the major drivers for deployments across all verticals," says Audrey William, ICT Research Director, Australia and New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan. "The proliferation of mobile devices and the consumerisation of IT are both strong drivers for enterprise mobility and BYOD in Australia while security, ease of use and reliability will be key considerations for organisations working towards a UC mobile strategy for their organisation."
She continues, "Video adoption will also see good growth in the enterprise segment. Video conferencing is quickly approaching a stage where it is becoming pervasive and available to all employees within an organisation. This is largely due to the popularity of free and low cost applications such as Skype, ooVoo and Google Chat. This has also contributed to the high awareness of video in the Australian market."
Another contributing factor to the market's return to growth has been vendor innovations in product licensing and packaging strategies, with the introduction of greater customisation aimed at reducing the cost of acquiring, implementing and maintaining UC solutions.
Disasters turn focus to business continuity
The report notes that recent floods in Queensland have driven a change in business attitudes towards business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. As the floods caused many businesses to be cut off from customer communications, the importance of a customer contact centre being operational despite major disruptions has been emphasised. Such a trend is expected to trigger a shift away from fully on-premise infrastructure towards hosted and cloud based solutions. Consequently UC as a Service (UCaaS) will experience steady up-take over the next few years, becoming the preferred delivery model by 2015.
Top UC trends
Other trends identified by the study include:
* Conferencing and collaboration will experience strong growth through to 2017 largely due to demand for video conferencing solutions. The pervasiveness of free and low cost applications is creating a high awareness of video. This, combined with a proven business case for reducing travel costs and increasing productivity, will see this segment of the market grow at an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7 per cent over the next six years.
* The rise of BYOD (Bring your own device): Employees are increasingly using their own mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to connect to the enterprise network and this in turn is driving uptake in UC applications such as email and instant messaging. As the devices improve due to hardware and application advances, their acceptance as an enterprise device will increase, helping to grow the UC mobility segment by a CAGR of 15.5 per cent through to 2017.
* Mobility: About 55 per cent of organisations are convinced of the role of tablets as an enterprise device with a further 29 per cent planning a trial or deployment. Apple, with the iPhone and iPad, is the preferred vendor for mobility solutions followed by Google (for its Android IOS) and RIM (Blackberry).
* Social networking: Close to 70 per cent of organisations indicate they are using some level of social networking applications within their organisation.
* Enterprise telephony: Despite accounting for close to half of all UC revenues (46.7 per cent) in 2010, enterprise telephony is nearing market saturation and future growth will largely rely on organisations upgrading their existing infrastructure and migrations to IP telephony.
* SIP trunking and virtualisation are the technology enablers that will drive further uptake of UC solutions, with SIP offering fixed mobile convergence and better interoperability between multi vendor platforms, and virtualisation helping to maximise utilisation of existing computer power.
William says, "The IT managers we spoke to for this study have made their views on unified communications crystal clear. Almost unanimously, they are looking to UC for improved business processes and an ability to reduce costs. Until recently the biggest challenge was the overall cost of purchasing and running such solutions. With vendors working on ways of taking the initial sting out of deployment and as more organisations realise the benefits of UC deployments, this concern is dissipating and we anticipate strong market growth in the years ahead."
Frost & Sullivan's Australian Communications Market Report 2011 forms part of the Frost & Sullivan’s Enterprise Communications and Collaboration Research Program 2011. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, August 8, 2011