Industry Research : Increasing Collaboration, Deployment of Cloud and Remote Access Drive Market
According to a recent report issued by Frost & Sullivan entitled "UCC Market Predictions for 2013 and Beyond", growth in the unified communications and collaboration (UCC) market in the next few years can be expected predominantly in the field of mobile technologies, videoconferencing and social networking business solutions. The research firm had previously predicted that the Unified Communications (UC) market in the Middle East will reach US$235 million by 2014.
According to the survey, UCC will be driven by growing virtualization of communications platforms and cloud-based delivery, and the migration of enterprises to single-vendor solutions as opposed to the current scenario of deploying disparate technologies from multiple vendors.
"The integration of disparate solutions not only creates a complex IT environment, but also makes the rapid adoption of new technologies almost impossible. As the modern workforce now pushes for the integration of mobile devices, better connectivity and more services to be delivered though the cloud, having a tightly integrated end-to-end Unified Communications solution can well be the competitive edge that businesses are looking for," said Shaheen Haque, Regional Manager, Middle East & Turkey at Interactive Intelligence.
Research done by Frost & Sullivan against more than 700 US companies found that around 50% of firms apply a large number of poorly integrated applications from different vendors to serve their communications needs. This percentage will have dropped to 24% in 2014.
Most respondents stated that their organizations currently provide employees mobile access to a small number of unified communications and collaboration applications, of which the most popular, implemented by 45% of the respondents, are mobile mail clients and PIM tools. Access to corporate telephony through mobile devices remains relatively uncommon with only 19% of respondents stating they have already deployed this capability.
Approx. 30% of those surveyed declared having a policy of business exposure in social media; and a similar number of respondents use social media to analyse customer feedback, while 25% use them for marketing purposes. The survey also revealed that while videoconferencing is gradually gaining popularity, most organizations still mainly apply inexpensive and flexible solutions such as desktop and mobile video.
"Nearly a third of CIOs in the Middle East have included the private cloud in their IT budgets for 2013. These private cloud deployments will be driven by continued adoption of IP communications and collaboration applications and the need to consolidate and centralize the management of UCC infrastructure," said Shaheen Haque.
"There is also a clear shift toward mobile and remote workers. As they account for a growing portion of the total workforce, businesses will need to provide them with communications and collaboration tools that help them stay connected and productive regardless of physical location. Businesses need to invest in UCC and other technologies that enable the use of personalized services, devices, and applications."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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