EMEA UC market doubles

International Data Corporation (IDC), the unified communications (UC) market in EMEA, worth just over USD8 billion in 2010, will grow to USD16.6 billion by 2014. 

Unified communications is the integration of real time communications, such as telephony and video conferencing, with non-real time communications such as email and SMS, into a single user interface.

Isabel Montero, senior research analyst, unified communications and collaboration, IDC EMEA, noted in the report that UC hosted services will become more dominant, expecially for small and mid-size businesses.

Therefore the demand for UC solutions sold as hosted or cloud-based services will be on the increase throughout the forecast period.  IDC added that the current economic situation, and the increased complexity of a company's network infrastructure, will drive businesses to have their converged networks and related services managed for them.

Managed services of CPE equipment will be driven by a company's need for external expertise and move from a capex-based model to an opex-based model.

IDC’ s report also pointed out that vendors are experiencing challenges in articulating the business case to their customers and prospects that extends beyond the soft metrics of increased employee productivity.

It said until now, most sales efforts have been focused on selling to the IT department, but now the integration of voice and data with business-critical applications requires line-of-business managers to have seats at the negotiating table.

These additional members require greater effort from the sales team to pitch and understand the value of UC, often by focusing on vertical market expertise, which is why we believe that vendors need to work more closely with their channel partners to market and provide them with the necessary tools and training around UC solutions, said Montero.

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