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June 23, 2008

Infonetics: UC Market Grew 20 Percent in 2007

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

The unified communications market, including messaging and software, increased 20 percent in 2007, following a 19 percent jump in 2006, a Campbell, California-based market research firm is reporting today.
The IP contact center also grew by 24 percent in 2007, according to Infonetics Research (News - Alert), after a 26 percent increase in 2006.

According to Matthias Machowinski, Infonetics Research’s directing analyst for enterprise voice and data, sales of communicator software clients are taking off as a key component of unified communications.
“The Nortel/Microsoft (News - Alert) alliance drove growth in 2007, and Microsoft captured close to half the communicator market,” Machowinski said. “Market share will likely bounce around in the coming years, as vendors from different backgrounds try to establish themselves as the leader in the nascent UC market and promote their offerings aggressively.”
The report, “Unified Communications (News - Alert) and IP Contact Centers,” finds that UC and IPCC sales grew 22 percent, taken together, to hit $1.05 billion worldwide in 2007, “and healthy growth is expected through at least 2011.”
Infonetics officials say their study tracks add-on applications for IP PBXs that provide communication features in addition to basic IP PBX functionality, including unified messaging and communicator, and IP contact centers, including automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, and computer telephony integration.
Company officials say the report provides worldwide market share and regional market size and forecasts for North America, Europe-Middle East-Africa, Asia Pacific and Caribbean/Latin America.
Companies tracked include 3Com, Aastra (News - Alert), Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, CosmoCom, IBM, Interactive Intelligence, Microsoft, Mitel, NEC, Nortel, Siemens, ShoreTel, Vertical, and ZTE, according to Infonetics.
According to the report, unified messaging forms the bulk of the UC market, led by Avaya (News - Alert), at about 33 percent. The report also found that sales of the still-small communicator segment rose 164 percent between 2006 and 2007.
Infonetics officials also say that Microsoft in 2007 became the worldwide leader in communicator revenue, and that the transition from TDM to IP is causing the IP contact center market to grow more rapidly than the overall contact center market.
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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