The European web conferencing software and services markets are seeing substantial growth, driven largely by increasing capabilities and acceptance by users of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, coupled with the ongoing efforts by Microsoft, IBM Lotus and others in delivering real-time, unified collaboration as a viable, on-premise software option.
Under the hosted service or SaaS model, web conferencing is benefiting from further developments in technologies coming under the umbrella term 'Web 2.0'. The technological advances within Web 2.0 have effectively overcome many of the barriers to use that organisations encountered with earlier versions of Web conferencing.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (conferencing.frost.com), European Web Conferencing Software and Services Markets, finds that revenues in this market totalled $136.3 million in 2006, and are projected to reach $878.7 million in 2013.
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"With the continuing globalisation of business operations, organisations are increasingly looking to reduce their carbon footprints and travel cost," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Prarthana Somal. "Here, web conferencing is a one shot solution that helps organisations in reducing travel costs, increasing productivity and improving environmental credentials."
Furthermore, real time collaboration is being rapidly recognised as a key tool for better productivity as well as improved cost efficiency. Web conferencing, as a key element of real time collaboration, can help organisations make faster business decisions and realise their business goals sooner. Web conferencing is now evolving from being a specialised, stand-alone solution to a mainstream collaborative tool and is being integrated with other communication solutions.
"Changing the established work culture and behaviour remains a key barrier to even greater adoption of web conferencing in Europe," explains Somal. "Despite its many potential business benefits, the future success of web conferencing as a business communications tool hinges on changing work behaviour and the willingness of executives to adapt."
Looking forward, new growth opportunities for web conferencing services will emerge: from the further expansion in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and from the general, wider deployment into large enterprises and increased penetration of the small to medium businesses (SMB) and small office/home office (SoHo) market segments across the continent.
While hosted services will remain the more popular form of web conferencing, increased activity by the large software vendors, such as Microsoft and IBM, is expected to provide momentum for the growth of the on-premise web conferencing software market as well.
European Web Conferencing Software and Services Markets is part of the Conferencing and Collaboration Growth Partnership Services, which also includes research in the following markets: audio conferencing service providers, video conferencing endpoints and infrastructures, and unified communications and collaboration services and applications. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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