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Communication and Collaboration Market Continues to Expand Thanks to Disruptive Technologies

February 12, 2015

The days of having to wait nine months to over a year for the next product version or advancement in a technological field are gone. We are experiencing an almost relentless parade of new technologies unfold on a variety of different fronts. Lately, almost every advance is billed as a breakthrough and we continue to see the list of “next big things” growing every day.

Not every emerging technology will alter the business or social landscape, however, some truly do have the potential to disrupt the status quo and possibly alter the way people live and work. These disruptive technologies have a way of transforming businesses and the global economy.

A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.  A good example is the way that smartphones replaced cell phones and PDAs and, because of the available apps, also disrupted pocket cameras, MP3 players, calculators and GPS devices just to name a few.

Kable, which is a company that has been providing global industries market insight and forecasts since 1990, predicts that the global communications and collaboration market will double over the next three years. In 2013, the market was worth about $25.1 billion and thanks to such evolving concepts as bring your own device (BYOD) the market will reach $50.1 billion by 2018.

Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) describes the combination of communications and collaboration technologies. Until recently, enterprise collaboration vendors were fairly distinct from those for enterprise communications. Companies such as Microsoft and IBM dominated the former while telephony and networking vendors covered the latter. However, this distinction has become blurred due to the fact that Microsoft and IBM offer voice and telephony features and vendors like Cisco have moved into the collaboration market.

Companies of all sizes and across all vertical markets recognize that the need for unified communications and collaboration has never been greater. The growth of the mobile workforce has been a major motivating factor since workers have to communicate regardless of their location or device. The increasing shift to mobile access has inspired the creation of new communication technologies, as have advances in video communications and social software.

Renjitha Balkrishan, who is an analyst at Kable, said “Recent developments in the field of unified communications, such as WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) are extending real-time unified communications beyond the confines of the enterprise. However, issues relating to security and the high capital investment of communications and collaboration solutions remain the major obstacle for the exponential growth of this market. The market is gradually moving towards consolidation as pure-play and emerging communications vendors are acquired by established vendors in this domain as well as other leading ICT vendors who are looking to enter this market.”

The expectation is that managed IP PBXs will maintain the largest share of the UCC market holding a market size of around $10.6 billion by 2018. Kable’s forecast is that the IP Centrex market will experience a growth rate of 20.5 percent, while hosted IP PBX markets will see a growth rate representing 20.8 percent during the same period.

Kable’s analysis shows that of all the vendors, the top ten accounted for about a 67 percent share of the market. Of these top ten vendors, it seems that Cisco has gained a significant lead over its competitors. The company that designs, manufactures and markets networking equipment continues to hold a dominant position in the market. This is mostly due to its strong channel partner base and its ability to cater to hosted and virtualized deployments at lower latencies.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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