New Zealand’s unified communications market is in for a treat, according to a Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) forecast, and it has the cloud to thank for that. The report, “New Zealand 2012 Unified Communications Market,” predicts a growth of 9.1 percent from 2011 to 2018, due to increased demand for UC- as- a- Service (UCaaS), providing voice and video over the cloud.
While there are still concerns and issues with privacy and security of hosted services, those will be dealt with over the coming years. In that time, Frost & Sullivan predicts that more organizations will use their services, helping them grow over time.
Also noted in the report is that while video and collaboration have provided much revenue growth for UC, voice is still considered to be the most important unified communications application. While telephony provided for a large piece of the 2011 UC revenue, and will continue to do so in the years to come, the market is getting pretty saturated, so it can only keep growing for so long.
According to Anand Balasubramanian, Frost & Sullivan’s Australia and New Zealand ICT Practice Industry Analyst, "Cloud based UC or UC- as- a -Service (UCaaS) will be one of the key enabling factors that will drive widespread uptake of UC in New Zealand. Although the market has steadily improved its understanding of UCaaS, the 2011 Canterbury earthquake served as a trigger point for many organizations to evaluate the resilience of their IT infrastructure.”
Balasubramanian adds, “The shortening life cycles of software applications and frequency of updates also makes management an increasingly complex and resource intensive task for organizations running on-premise solutions. The flexibility and reduction of maintenance overheads will be key factors driving the uptake of UCaaS,"
The research included a survey of 89 IT decision makers in New Zealand, in which they found that more than half of them use Over-The-Top (OTT) applications for communication, due to easy access and cost savings. Just as many work with Telecom New Zealand (News - Alert) for their UC services, although Microsoft is considered to provide the most complete UC solution, thanks in part to Lync and the ease in which additional UC capabilities can be added.
Cloud services have been in high demand, so it’s no surprise that it’s a big market driver. However, it still has a ways to go until it’s entirely secure and reliable. When that happens, though, the market will accelerate even further. It’s no surprise that it will play a big role in the coming years, both in and out of New Zealand. Frost & Sullivan’s forecasts tend to be very reliable, so we can look forward to some growth in UC in the years to come.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman