Unified communications fueling videoconferencing, telepresence industry

    The demand for unified communications and other technologies is driving the global enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence market, according to a recent study by market research firm IDC. The organization announced that its Worldwide Enterprise Videoconferencing and Telepresence Qview found that the worldwide industry's revenue grew by 14.4 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012. IDC said that the top five vendors earned nearly $639 million total during the first quarter.

    "The high-end, immersive telepresence market has been taking a hit lately as lower-cost, HD-quality video solutions, along with a range of new video deployment options for customers, have emerged," said IDC senior analyst Rich Costello. "We still expect overall positive video market growth for the next several years though, driven by the impact of video integrated with vendors' unified communications and collaboration portfolios, and with increasing strength among small workgroup, desktop, and mobile collaboration users."


    Petr Jirovsky, Worldwide Networking Trackers Research senior research analyst, noted that although the first quarter results were lower than previous expectations, the videoconferencing and telepresence industry is still one of the fastest growing segments and a top priority for many chief information officers.


    SMBs also adopting UC


    Enterprises are not the only ones turning to unified communications and other technologies to improve their operations. In a separate study, IDC found that small and medium-sized businesses in the United States are expected to spend more than $138 billion for IT this year, which includes solutions such as UC, cloud computing, computers and software, among others. The small business sector is projected to spend almost twice as much as the mid-sized one.


    Justin Jaffe, IDC SMB research manager, noted that service providers that meet the needs of SMBs regarding their IT investments will be positioned to achieve success this year and in the near future.


    A study conducted by Access Markets International Partners also showed that U.S. SMBs are willing to spend for IT services, especially for unified communications. The research firm said SMBs are projected to increase their UC budgets, which totaled $1.8 billion in 2011, by an annual compound growth rate of 16 percent through 2015.


    Access Markets added that more SMBs need effective technology to support the rapid adoption of mobile devices in the workplace to provide employees with greater collaboration capabilities between conferencing platforms.



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