Unified communications market to hit $1bn by 2013

Global spend on unified communications will rise to approximately $1 billion by 2013, according to a new research report, after ‘double digit’ growth in the intervening years.

According to the study, conducted by Infonetics Research, 2009 saw a 4% decline. The report argues that this can be taken as a positive sign for the industry due to the large overall contraction seen in enterprise telephony spending in 2009, as a result of the economic climate.

"Against the backdrop of significant enterprise spending reductions on all kinds of products, the unified communication market is holding up remarkably well,” said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics.

“But the provider landscape is far from being set in stone; organisations are going beyond their traditional communications suppliers and considering offerings from the likes of Skype and Google.”

A second report highlighted that Microsoft, Cisco and AT&T will become the vendors with the largest North American market shares, based on a survey of end-user perceptions and available plans.

So far, unified communications infrastructure has made a limited impact in the enterprise, which Infonetics attributes to the large financial outlay required, complexity and shortcomings in current network capabilities.

A similar report published this month by Wainhouse Research forecast that global spend on unified communications will increase to $30 billion within five years. This large discrepancy can potentially be attributed to varying definitions of what exactly unified communications technology entails.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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