Hosted web conferencing services are seeing growing adoption in Asia-Pacific with revenues rising 37.6 percent (year-on-year) in 2007. This growth momentum is expected to continue for the next six years with a similar high per annum growth average forecasted till 2014.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (conferencing.frost.com), Asia Pacific Hosted Web Conferencing Services Market, finds that the market - covering six sub-regions (13 countries) in Asia-Pacific - earned revenues of US$25.3 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach US$237.4 million by end-2014, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 37.7 percent (2007-2014).
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Hosted web conferencing services include those offered by service providers on a SaaS (Software as a Service) model for a pay-as-you-use fee (cost per user per minute) or fixed fee (cost per seat), as well as managed conferencing services. On-site or premised-based conferencing solutions are excluded from this study.
Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Pranabesh Nath notes, "The huge demand in web conferencing services is driven mainly by growing uptake in the SMB (small and medium business) sector in both emerging and mature markets, as well as the push by major local service providers in countries such as Japan and China.
"Service providers in China particularly have seen rapid growth with a record number of new users added each year. The number of hosted web conferencing service providers in China is also rising each year in tandem with the growing demand," he adds.
Revenues this year are expected to grow by an estimated 38.8 percent to reach a market size of US$35.2 million by end-2008, with Australia, Japan and Greater China to remain the top three revenue contributors. The high-technology and BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) sectors are expected to continue to be the main adopters.
According to Nath, government efforts in promoting the use of the Internet and the increasing use of web-enabled technologies are also fuelling the growth of web conferencing services.
Some of the more common uses of web conferencing solutions todate have been for applications such as general meetings, sales and marketing, and training purposes. "Hosted web conferencing services are also popular for specialized applications such as investor relations and web-seminars or 'webinars', enabling businesses to communicate with audiences beyond the company's firewall.
"As the web conferencing market matures, webinars are expected to gain popularity given the substantial savings in set-up costs, and the ability to join a webinar from anywhere in the world," Nath says.
Nath adds that VoIP audio integration with web conferencing is expected to drive wider adoption "as web conferencing becomes an integral part of the larger portfolio of collaboration services, incorporating unified communications tools such as presence and IM (instant messaging) to offer better enterprise communications support and productivity tools," he explains.
He says, "Service providers that are able to bundle audio, video and web conferencing services are better positioned to capitalise on the broader enterprise collaboration market.
"This is expected to have enormous potential as web conferencing services are increasingly integrated with on-premise unified conferencing clients," Nath says, adding that major vendors like Microsoft, Cisco and IBM have or are expected to deploy this very soon.
"Such solutions will give organizations the flexibility to better utilize their investments by using either hosted or on-premise web conferencing as appropriate," he concludes.
The Asia Pacific Hosted Web Conferencing Services Market study is part of the Conferencing & Collaboration Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: telepresence, videoconferencing endpoints and videoconferencing infrastructure systems. All research services 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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