According to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, the global unified communications (UC) market is predicted to reach nearly $62 billion (£40 billion) in 2018, while another study by Grand View Research Inc. says this will rise to over $75 billion (£49 billion) by 2020. North America currently holds the lion’s share of the global UC market, but the EMEA market is forecast to grow rapidly over the next four years at a compound annual growth rate of 21%.
As international businesses continue to search for ways to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve collaboration, the growth in converged communications is being driven by a number of factors including the increasing adoption of bring-your-own-device initiatives, (especially in emerging markets), an expanding mobile workforce, growing demand for smartphones and enterprise mobility.
A general move towards hosted and cloud-based solutions is another key trend as companies look to avoid high initial installation costs and ongoing maintenance requirements associated with on-premise systems. The research findings also point to some of the potential barriers to market growth, such as the complexity and uncertainty of returns on technology investment, as well as the need for interoperability across a variety of UC platforms.
Of course, the performance of converged networks is also a significant issue in successfully delivering UC – particularly the problem of latency. As the demands of operating real-time communications such as voice and video, and extending these services to mobile platforms and cloud applications puts increasing pressure on enterprise networks, maintaining quality of service has become a major priority.
In this dynamic global market, what’s driving your UC strategy and where’s your focus for improvement?
James Roberts – CEO, G3 Comms and Genius Networks