Unified communications market forecast to reach $95 billion by 2023

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The unified communications market is forecast to grow from $34.8 billion in 2015 to over $95 billion by 2023, according to a new report from Global Market Insights. The market will be driven by growing enterprise mobility due to BYOD adoption, it says, which itself will exceed $365 billion in revenue by 2023.

Long-term cost savings along with increased workforce efficiency are among major global unified communication market growth trends, notes the report, with ubiquitous smartphone demand paving the way for the use of these devices as business communication tools. In turn, this demand will be accelerated by integration and content sharing between smartphones, laptops and desktops.

North America accounted for over 35 per cent of the global UC market in 2015, says the report, with Asia Pacific expected to be the fastest growing at a CAGR of 15 per cent between 2016 and 2023 due to the region’s population base and the evolution of high speed data networks in India and China.

In terms of applications, enterprises lead the way, with over 60 per cent of the global UC market share in 2015. Increased awareness of the benefits of UC among SMBs will also boost adoption, it notes. Video conferencing and web-based collaboration are expected to be increasingly deployed across enterprises. At the same time, improved, cost-efficient hosted and managed UC services have eliminated the need for high initial capital investment.

The report notes that government and healthcare sectors offer attractive growth opportunities, with 14.7 per cent and 14.3 per cent CAGR estimations across the forecast period, respectively. It notes that high quality video conferencing has enabled enhanced patient care, while video collaboration has resulted in lowered healthcare costs as it makes home consultations possible.

The report also predicts that the global UCaaS market will grow at 16.4 per cent CAGR from 2016 to 2023, since it eliminates infrastructure costs, and offers a centralised management system.

The report acknowledges some of the leading UC vendors, with Cisco Systems, Microsoft Corporation, Avaya Inc, and Alcatel-Lucent all noted as market share leaders. Other notable players mentioned include IBM, NEC, ShoreTel, and Siemens.

Critical success factors for ensuring an effective UC solution include reliability, efficiency, security, scalability, ease of integration, and affordability, it says, while a focus on SMBs and cloud-based solutions offers further market opportunities.

“The industry is characterised by intense competition between these players for achieving product differentiation on the basis of quality. This has also resulted in increasing consolidation through strategic initiatives such as mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships,” it notes.

In terms of inhibitors, the report cites high capital expenditure as a possible brake on the industry, as the presence of a robust network infrastructure is crucial for UC components such as video conferencing and real-time collaboration. Lack of interoperability between different platforms could also restraint the overall UC market size, it says, which may include need for compatibility within the enterprise, between the enterprise and customers or partners, and between mobile and fixed devices.

About Author

Gary Eastwood

Gary Eastwood has over 15 years of experience as a technology and business journalist and editor. He has held editorship positions on customer magazines for Microsoft, CSC, and EDF, as well as on B2B magazine Mobile Enterprise. He is the former Deputy Editor of Computer Business Review. In a freelance role, Gary has contributed numerous features and articles to a broad range of publications, including New Scientist, Computer Weekly, MIS, Marketing Week, Corporate Financier, Real Business, Wireless Business Review, and driven marketing communications projects for clients, such as Intel, the Confederation of British Industry, IBM, Logicalis, the Department of Trade & Innovation, and many others. Gary has written many white papers on a range of ITC subjects for Datamonitor. He is also an editorial photographer and business videographer, and has authored and ghost-written four books on photography. He is the Co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, which provides contract/customer magazines for a growing list of clients, and publishes the B2B magazine for business leaders, Strategist.