Unified communication is the combination of several communication applications into a one entity. Unified communication offers its services to real time communications (IP and voice telephony, instant messaging, data sharing, video conferencing, speech recognition, call control and others) and non-real time communications(e-mail, SMS, fax and voicemail). Thus, it unifies and automates the customer experience across several devices. Unified communication is used for both residential and commercial purposes. It helps in amending business processes as it allows faster delivery and execution information and media dependency. It allows users to communicate with other user by using different devices, mode of communication and media at anywhere. Unified communication industry circumscribe various communication models such as informational and transactional systems, unified messaging, interaction and collaboration systems and other non-real time and real time systems. Increasing usage of high speed broadband and availability of wireless connectivity networks is expected to drive the unified communication market over the forecasted period. Advancements of technology like 3G and 4G are also expected to witness substantial growth over the next few years.
The increasing acceptance of bring your own devices (BYOD), development of unified communication as a service and growing usage of mobile devices on a global level are expected to boost the market growth over the next five years. Increasing usage of Unified communication service in enterprise social networking is expected to fuel market growth. Development of new technologies that allow communication over a wider selection of end points is estimated to provide positive avenues to the market growth. However, high initial investment and lack of communication gap between different vendors may act as challenge to the market.
Unified communication can segmented into cloud and hosted systems and on premise systems. On premise systems tender control capabilities and better customization and are easier to manage. However, on premise systems require sufficient maintenance and well trained staff. This makes users to prefer cloud-based/hosted than on-premise systems. Development of cloud-based/hosted and cloud technology systems has been is expected to drive the market. They are easier to maintain, faster and offers flawless scaling abilities and decrease capital expenditure.
Enterprises esteemed for the highest share in the world wide unified communication market. This may be credited to the rising adoption of information technology in improving business processes and benefits such as presence, collaboration and mobility that are offered by unified communication systems. Thus unified communication systems help in improving the productivity and efficiency of organizations. Unified communication allows firms to have better operational agility, better customer engagement and connected employees. Healthcare, education and government are some of the other hopeful sectors for the growth of the market in the near future.
The European and North America unified communication market is expected to grow a significant rate owing to existence of highly developed communication infrastructure. Asia-Pacific is expected to grow considerably over the forecasted period due to rising trend towards mobilization of organizations. High speed data networks and large population base in regions such as India and China is expected to provide favorable opportunities to the market growth in this region.
The key players in the Unified communication market include Avaay Inc., Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corporation, IBM Corporation, NEC Corporation Polycom Inc., Plantronics Inc., ShoreTel, Verizon Communications and Unify GmbH & Co. KG among others. . Market participants enter into mergers & acquisitions to sustain in the market.
Research Support Specialist, USA