The most recent report from Global Market Insights shows that the unified communications (UC) market is expected to continue growing through the first few years of the coming decade.
Global Market finds in its paper – “Unified Communications (UC) Market Size By Application (Education, Enterprise, Healthcare, Government), By Product (Hosted/Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), On-Premise), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook, Application Potential, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2016 - 2023” – that the market could reach $96 billion by 2023. A growing demand for hosted communications products could sit at the core of this boom, which will affect multiple areas of the globe as enterprises sink their teeth into the efficiency and usability gains found in hosted products.
First worth noting is that the hosted UC market sector currently brings in about $14 billion in global revenue. This sector alone could reach for the sky and bring in $49 billion by the middle of the 2020’s. Hosted products offer a range of benefits for their users, mostly enterprises that latch onto the flexible nature of their operators’ service packages. Telecommunications companies and over-the-top service providers that advertise hosted communications often note that users can access various communications features at pricing tiers that meet the needs of all size businesses.
Therefore, small businesses can access conferencing, messaging, presence, call recording and all other manner of advanced features for their 10 seats just as easily as the large enterprise can gain those same assets for 100,000 seats. Both entities pay only for what they need, and they both will gain the redundancy of cloud servers which will ensure the uptime of the services they use in the office or place before consumers.
Global Market also notes that this type of hosted setup can also reduce the infrastructure costs any business must consider. Some businesses that access infrastructure and software from the cloud may already realize this benefit. They have no need for equipment larger than a handful of personal computers and an on-site modem. Software can protect packets within such a small network, and a quick connection to the internet will offer access to all necessary business computing services. Again, small and large entities can find all their document processing, collaboration tools, storage and more in the cloud. They have no need for dedicated local IT service teams.
Enterprises are expected to grab the lion’s share of revenue throughout the coming years. In 2015, enterprises’ interest in videoconferencing and web-based collaboration services propelled their market share to 60 percent. That trend should continue between the 2016 - 2023 period. Other sectors, however, will also show their desire for UC Education and will push the envelope with its demand for distance learning tools, which could cause its overall revenue contribution to rise 13.7 percent through the seven-year span.
Finally of note, this rise in demand for UC services will place a strain on the product and service development side of the equation. Companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco and Microsoft – all noted in the Global Market report – will certainly be happy to have the added work, though one can expect that the race to the top will include intense campaigns to show the differentiation in vendors’ product quality.