IP telephony is the main launch pad for UC applications. In 2006, the total IP telephony market in Australia was worth AU$207.7 million. The current buzzword in the market place is presence; in which the integration of telephony with presence technology is where most of the trials are taking place.
New analysis from global growth consulting company, Frost & Sullivan (frost.com), Unified Communications Opportunities in the Australian Banking, Financial Services & Insurance Vertical 2006 – 2010, reveals that the total potential addressable market size is estimated to be valued at AU$148.1 million in 2006 and is forecasted to be worth AU$212.1 million by end-2010.
UC encompasses all the features that are associated with unified messaging, speech technologies, presence, video, audio and web conferencing and collaboration solutions. UC allows users to access real time information and communications via a plethora of devices and tools at the desktop.
According to Miss Audrey William, research manager at Frost & Sullivan Australia, "the major adopters in the first half of this year and more likely throughout all of 2007 will be the BFSI vertical which includes the major banks and also insurance houses. Smaller financial services companies like investment banks have been a little slower in the up-take of UC applications."
The Frost & Sullivan study found that Microsoft and Cisco have been the most active vendors making a very big play in the BFSI vertical, instrumental in the overall movement of the UC market in Australia. The other players in the UC market include Avaya, Alcatel, Ericsson, NEC, Nortel, IBM and Siemens.
"The bundling of UC applications with compelling pricing will be of paramount importance for the potential of this market to truly unfold, as the biggest challenge surrounding UC is justifying the ROI", says Miss William.
This was revealed in a survey conducted with 75 senior management-level executives, with control or insight into their business’ IT budget in which respondents rated price as being the highest important factor when choosing a UC vendor.
Moving forward, competition between telephony channels versus total channel specialist (from the voice, data and applications world) will heat up to vie for business in the BFSI segment.
Adds Miss William, "large channels such as IBM, HP and Dimension Data already have an edge over pure play telephony channels. Their expertise, ranging across desktop, enterprise and telephony applications, allows them to have a good understanding around the complexity surrounding a UC deployment exercise."
The 2007-2008 timeframe will see many of the smaller channels struggle to compete head on with these players. Other large pure telephony channels are gearing themselves up for this change by preparing their employees with IBM or Microsoft certification, as well as to train them to understand other key enterprise applications.
The Unified Communications Opportunities in the Australian Banking, Financial Services & Insurance Vertical 2006 – 2010 Demand & Supply reports forms part of Frost & Sullivan Australia’s unified communications subscription, which will also include research on the following sectors: Unified Communications Opportunities in Government (August 2007) and Unified Communications Opportunities in the Australian Healthcare Vertical (November 2007). This service can be purchased separately or bundled as a full report.
All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Analyst interviews are available to the press.
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