Frost & Sullivan's new research, Australian Unified Communications (UC) Services Market 2013, which includes hosted and cloud based UC and managed services for UC, reports that the UC services market in Australia is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.9% from 2012 to 2019. Going forward, the following factors will drive the growth in the overall UC services market in Australia:
• Demand for managed services for UC;
• Demand for hosted voice and contact centre solutions;
• Uptake from SMB segment;
• Uptake from Government and Banking & Finance sectors.
Audrey William, Head of Research, Australia and New Zealand, ICT Frost & Sullivan says,"On-premise deployment remains the predominant model for UC deployment in Australia, with the cloud based alternative still at an early stage of growth. This is expected to change in favour of the cloud based model in the future, albeit at a gradual rate. Many organisations also remain concerned about the reliability and security aspects of hosted and cloud based solutions. Although such factors are expected to limit adoption of cloud based solutions in the short term, the lack of flexibility and scalability of an on-premise model will cause organisations to consider alternatives. While the hosted and cloud based UC market in Australia is at an early stage of growth, the segment is poised for strong growth over the next five to seven years
Managed services has emerged as an attractive model for handing over the complex service and maintenance overheads while holding full control over the actual hardware and applications. Demand for managed services is particularly strong for videoconferencing endpoints, where a third party provides a range of services including maintenance, support, troubleshooting and scheduling. "As the uptake of videoconferencing endpoints continues to grow, there will be a corresponding demand for video related services. Managed services accounted for about 35% of overall UC services revenues in 2012 and is expected to experience strong growth as organisations prefer to use managed services for their audio and collaboration infrastructure", she states
In terms of applications, voice based solutions and conferencing solutions together accounted for the majority of UC services revenues in 2012. For hosted conferencing solutions (audio, video and web), Australia remains one of the largest markets within APAC, with hosted audio conferencing generating majority of the revenues.
The cloud based UC model represents a major shift for UC channel partners who were previously focused on professional services and support services. Cloud based UC is demanding a new way of delivering services to the customer, making the channel partner the main point of service delivery. Many channel partners are realigning their strategies to be in a position to capitalise on future customer demands. Channels that have a significant dependence on traditional hardware and on-premise UC solutions risk becoming irrelevant as demand for cloud based UC gathers momentum.
Anand Balasubramanian, Industry Analyst, Australia & New Zealand ICT Practice explains Channel partners and service providers are beginning to strengthen their local data centre capabilities. Over the next few years a number of vendors and service providers are expected to build or acquire data centre capabilities. Such capabilities will also serve as a competitive barrier for global service providers and telcos looking to enter the Australian market without a local data centre capability. Telstra, NEC, Optus-Alphawest and Dimension Data are the major channel partners in the UC services market in Australia, and hold majority market share. Other specialised players such as Electroboard, Amcom and Broadreach are also strengthening their portfolio through a combination of hosted and managed UC solutions.
Given their market reach and breadth of solutions, Cisco and Microsoft have established themselves as the main vendors in the hosted and cloud based UC market and have significantly distanced themselves from the competition. Channel partners will look to align themselves closely with Cisco and Microsoft to capitalise on the market opportunity. In addition, vendors such as Google will also be well positioned to increase their footprint in the cloud based UC market, and will emerge as major competitors to Cisco and Microsoft.
Over the few years, another key factor that will serve as an enabler for growth in the UC services market will be mobility. The widespread use of consumer devices such as smart phones and tablets has driven trends such as Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) in the enterprise segment. Organisations are also realising the benefits of using smart devices to enhance collaboration and communication among employees. The increasing advances in the capabilities of smart devices are also making them well suited to extend the reach of UC solutions within an enterprise.
As the market for cloud based UC matures, a number of new vendors will enter the market as organisations seek the flexibility and the "any device" accessibility advantages of cloud based solutions.
Frost & Sullivan Australian UC Services Market 2013, includes survey results and statistics of 210 IT decision makers Frost & Sullivan interviewed in Australia to understand market behaviour and views towards Unified Communications overall and hosted and cloud based UC. Respondents were senior management level executives, IT managers and IT decision makers with control of or insight into their technology budget and strategy of their organisations.
Frost & Sullivan Australian UC Services Market 2013, forms a part of the Frost & Sullivan Enterprise Communications Research program. All research services included in this subscription provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. For media queries and more information please send an email with your contact details to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at djeremiah[.]frost.com.
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