A new Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) Asia-Pacific Enterprise Telephony Market study discovered that the market, which covers 14 Asia-Pacific countries, earned revenues of close to $2.73 billion in 2007. The research firm predicts these profits to reach nearly $4.1 billion by the end of 2014, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of six percent (2007-2014).
Last year, $1.47 billion (53.9 percent) of reported revenues were from IP telephony (IP-PBX (News - Alert)) alone. The remaining 46.1 percent is split between KTS (key telephone system) - 18.5 percent, PBX (private branch exchange) - 25.7 percent, and WPBX (wireless PBX) - 1.9 percent.
By the end of 2008, the Asia-Pac enterprise telephony market is predicted to grow by 9.4 percent (year-on-year) to reach revenues of close to $2.98 billion, with IP telephony estimated to account for 59.2 percent ($1.76 billion) of this total.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the main motivator behind IP deployments is the need to bridge present-day enterprise communication needs through the use of next-generation applications, which enables convenience, cost savings and enhanced productivity.
“Businesses, especially those in the more advanced markets, are investing in IP telephony solutions and upgrades that can be embedded or integrated with UC (unified communications) applications,” stated Shailendra Soni, senior industry analyst, Frost & Sullivan.
Soni added that in developed countries like Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, IP telephony sales already make up about 60 percent of the local telephony revenues, with the BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) sector being the biggest adopters.
“Tools such as presence, unified messaging and peer-to-peer technologies that ride on IP systems have been some of the reasons for the early deployments, and will likely continue to drive wider adoption of IP telephony,” he said.
However, in the developing nations, conventional TDM (time-division multiplexing) systems still take over the enterprise telephony market, according to Soni. On the other hand, he also believes that IP telephony will likely gain increasing traction in these countries.
The biggest challenge towards quicker and larger-scale uptake of IP telephony is the issue of legacy equipment.
“Asia-Pacific has a very large amount of legacy TDM-based infrastructure, making it difficult and costly, particularly for SMBs (small and medium businesses), to upgrade or replace the existing systems,” Soni explained.
IP telephony deployment usually involves a greater amount of vendor services such as network assessment and network optimization, further slowing down the adoption curve.
To assist in the movement towards next-generation networks, telephony equipment vendors are adopting open standards and offering solutions that are backward compatible with legacy equipment.
Vendors have started offering peer-to-peer telephony and solutions customized for the huge SMB segment, which accounted for over 53 percent ($1.45 billion) of the region’s telephony revenues last year.
According to Soni, SMBs are more inclined towards such bundled offerings, hybrid telephony and managed telephony solutions because of their limited budgets and the need for more immediate ROI (return on investment).
However, large corporations with bigger budgets are more likely to deploy a mix of IP-enabled and pure-IP-based solutions.
The Asia-Pacific Enterprise Telephony Market study is part of the Enterprise Communications (News - Alert) Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: enterprise telephony quarterly trackers and managed telephony services. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.