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Unified Communications market forecast to grow to $212.2M

Conferencing, Collaboration, Email and Mobility To Drive Unified Communications Market to $212.2 Million by 2017, says Frost & Sullivan

Study predicts video conferencing and mobility to register high growth over the forecast period

Auckland, 9 August 2011 - New Zealand's Unified Communications (UC) market is forecast to grow to $212.2 million by 2017 due to demand for conferencing, collaboration, email and mobility solutions. This follows a slight decline of 1.2 per cent in market value between 2010 and 2009 due to a slow recovery from the downturn, cautious business spending and longer sales cycles These are among the major findings contained in Frost & Sullivan's latest research, New Zealand Unified Communications Market Report 2011.

The study analyses the total addressable opportunity, market trends and the competitive landscape for all major UC application segments and enabling platforms including enterprise telephony; email; unified messaging; conferencing and collaboration; mobility; unified client, presence and integrated UC applications; and contact centre applications.

It found that government, banking and financial services institutions (BFSI) and professional services led the adoption of UC in 2010, accounting for more than 70 per cent of the year's UC revenues. “The continuing need for cost savings given the slow economic recovery has been the major driver for government deployments, while the BFSI and professional services segments are primarily turning to UC for productivity and competitive gains” says Audrey William, ICT Research Director, Australia and New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan . “A number of major banks and legal firms, for example, have deployed videoconferencing solutions to reduce travel costs and improve internal collaboration” she added.

However, the study notes that these verticals are approaching saturation point for traditional applications such as enterprise telephony, email and instant messaging, and that future growth within these sectors will largely come from infrastructure refreshes and uptake of mobility, conferencing and collaboration solutions.
The lingering impact of earthquakes

The economic impact of the recent earthquakes in Christchurch has been particularly strong in the South Island and non-essential IT spending is expected to be minimal in the year ahead as investment is focused on rebuilding essential platforms. For most government bodies and businesses, a key component of this rebuilding will be their communications infrastructure. Frost & Sullivan predicts that significant deployments of telephony, email and contact centres will be required as organisations replace their damaged or ageing infrastructures with up-to-date, advanced versions and that this will drive revenues for many UC vendors.

Audrey says that another effect of the earthquake is a likely shift in the preferred mode of delivery of UC services. “Currently organisations show a strong desire to own and self-manage their UC infrastructure. However, heightened awareness of the need for redundancy and resilience are expected to drive higher adoption of hosted solutions. Similarly, business continuity and disaster recovery solutions, which were not seriously considered by businesses prior to the natural disasters, are now regarded as critical in allowing businesses to stay operational despite major disruptions” she elaborated.

As these solutions gather momentum, the local service providers, mainly Telecom NZ (Gen-i) and TelstraClear, will be well positioned to leverage their carrier expertise to cater to the demand.

Top UC trends

Other trends identified by the study include:

• Enterprise telephony: Despite being one of the biggest contributors to overall UC revenues in 2010, enterprise telephony is nearing market saturation and future growth will largely rely on refresh cycles and migrations to IP telephony

• The rise of BYOD (Bring your own device): Employees are increasingly using their own mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to connect to the enterprise network and this in turn is driving uptake in UC applications such as email and IM.

• Mobility: About 55 per cent of organisations are convinced of the role of tablets as an enterprise device with a further 29 per cent planning a trial or deployment. The main business requirements of mobile devices are integration with instant messaging platforms to enable a single contact number, particularly to empower remote or mobile workers.

• Conferencing and collaboration: This area will experience strong growth (approximately 15.6 per cent CAGR) through to 2017 due to demand for video conferencing solutions as a means of reducing travel costs and increasing productivity. In addition, video conferencing will shift away from being viewed as a stand-alone solution and will increasingly be integrated with chat, email, presence and collaboration applications on the one platform.

• SIP trunking and virtualisation are the technology enablers that will drive further uptake of UC solutions, with SIP offering fixed mobile convergence and better interoperability between multi vendor platforms, and virtualisation helping to maximise utilisation of existing computer power.

William says, “The IT managers we spoke to for this study have made their views on unified communications crystal clear. Almost unanimously, they are looking to UC for improved business processes and an ability to reduce costs. Until recently the biggest challenge was the overall cost of purchasing and running such solutions. However, as more and more organisations realise the benefits of their UC deployments this concern is dissipating and we anticipate steady market growth for the next six years.”

Frost & Sullivan's New Zealand Communications Market Report 2011 forms part of the Frost & Sullivan’s Enterprise Communications and Collaboration Research Progam 2011. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.frost.com on six continents.

ENDS

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