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True Unified Communications Software Market Untapped

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July 27, 2012

True Unified Communications Software Market Untapped

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

There’s still plenty of growth opportunity for the unified communications and collaborations (UCC) market, according to a new report by industry consultancy UCStrategies.

Trends such as worker mobility, the virtual workforce, the consumerization of IT, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and virtualization have helped to advance the UCC market, according to Blair Pleasant (News - Alert), author of the UCStrategies report, “Unified Communications & Collaboration Market 2011-2016,” but there’s a difference between true UCC solutions and elements of UCC solutions that are used as standalone products.

“There is a large untapped market for UCC products and services, with many customers that have elements of a UCC solution but not complete solutions,” Pleasant wrote in a summary of the report.

The outlook for worldwide, premise-based UCC by 2016 is an estimated $20.8 billion, according to the report.

Overall, the total worldwide market for premise-based UCC in 2011 was roughly $12.2 billion, UCStrategies noted, an eight percent gain over 2010. It predicted that the total worldwide market for premise-based UCC will expand to $20.8 billion by 2016.

This is not the “true” UCC market, however.

The vast majority of UCC products are being used in a standalone way, Pleasant said. She estimated that the true UC market was a comparatively smaller $2.7 billion in 2011, up 20 percent. The component growing at the highest CAGR is conferencing/collaboration, growing at 50 percent CAGR, while the UC Server/IM/Presence “represents the largest portion of revenue each year,” she wrote. Professional services also add on over 27% of revenues for both vendors and resellers in the coming years.

“The difference in revenues between the Total UC-capable market and the Net or True UC market means that there is a huge opportunity for UCC vendors and resellers to seize upon,” Pleasant explained.

There’s also a large opportunity for hosted services, the report found.

“The next big opportunity for UCC is hosted services, but expect to see the majority of enterprises opting for hybrid solutions, or a mix of premise and hosted,” Pleasant forecast. “Over the past year or two, we’ve seen most of the premise-based UCC vendors add hosted services to their offerings, while offering more choices for customers and a way to stave off hosted competitors.” She predicted this battle will continue as organizations look to vendors for UCC solutions that increasingly meet the organization’s needs.

This benefits UCC solution providers such as Fidelus, which add UCC value with solutions such as its Provisioning Manager Express, software that reduces the operational costs and deployment time of the Cisco Unified Communications (News - Alert) Manager by simplifying and collecting many of the administration tasks with an easy-to-use web interface, templates and automation routines.

Provisioning Manager Express lets administrators add line, device profile, phone, user, and voice mail profiles, according to the company, among others. Using the application, IT administrators also can quickly provision new users into the system and check for errors without having to manually verify each user during setup.

Differentiation of service will be more crucial than ever as the UC market continues to evolve.

“End user organizations need to understand the differences between the vendors and their product offerings,” Pleasant concluded.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Technology Marketing Corporation

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