Hourly rates for VoIP workers fell from their first-place ranking in the first and second quarters of this year, according to a Boston-based company’s report on the marketplace for IT and consumer electronics professionals.
Officials from OnForce say that demand for VoIP remains steady, but that the drop to fifth place for the third quarter – behind security, peripherals, consumer electronics and wiring-and-cabling – indicates that IP telephony is entering the mainstream.
“This is reflected by the number of new professional service providers offering VoIP-related services,” OnForce officials say.
As shown on the chart below, security was the on-site market’s most expensive category for the third quarter. Here’s how OnForce breaks down hourly rates by category:
The so-called “OnForce Services Marketplace Index” highlights market trends and opportunities for growth in the on-site services industry. The OSMI report, available here, is based on more than 100,000 service events from the OnForce marketplace in the third quarter.
According to OnForce Chief Executive Officer Peter Cannone, the Consumer Electronics Association recently projected that CE sales will grow 3.5 percent this holiday season, despite the down economy, meaning that consumers will still make major CE purchases that require professional installation.
“Many OEMs, VARs and retailers have yet to figure out the last mile of the consumer electronics sale – expert installation and support,” Cannone said. “This report helps show IT and CE companies how they can make on-site services a profitable part of their business and increase their customers’ satisfaction.”
Highlights of the report include: point-of-sale was the fastest-growing category, climbing two spots from the second quarter; for the third consecutive quarter, desktop computers emerged as the highest volume category; and laptop computers and networking were the least expensive categories.
Point-of-sale, which had ranked fourth in the second quarter, rose to the number two spot and saw its average work order value gain by over $20, according to OnForce.
“This could be attributed to an increase in the use of retail technology in preparation for the holiday season,” the company said. “POS continues to be one of the more attractive categories for VARs and solution providers looking to move into new markets.”
Some of OnForce’s findings echo what’s been found in other reports.
For example, as TMCnet reported, the worldwide carrier-grade VoIP equipment market declined 13 percent year-over-year in the last quarter, according to a Bethesda, Maryland-based telecommunications research firm.
At the same time, as TMCnet reported, consumer electronics stands to get a boost from IP-enabled products associated with browsers and Web-based user interfaces, an IT market research firm is reporting.
Officials at ABI Research (News - Alert) say that the number of Web browsers embedded in devices such as game consoles, set-top boxes and digital TVs will grow from 60 million shipped this year to 214 million by 2013.
According to OnForce’s report, Hartford, Connecticut – formerly the home of literary great Mark Twain – ranked as the most expensive city for IT and CE service requests.
Of the top 10 most expensive IT and CE service cities in third quarter, two were located in Texas, including Odessa and Eagle Pass, while two were located in California, including San Luis Obispo and Santa Ana.
Only Santa Ana, California, retained a top 10 ranking in terms of being a most expensive service city from quarter two to three. Texas also finished in the top three state rankings for highest work order volume for the third straight quarter.
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan