Demand for Managed Services Drives Growth of Australian UC Market

MSP TODAY NEWS

Demand for Managed Services Drives Growth of Australian UC Market

By Erin Harrison

The Australian unified communications (UC) services market is seeing significant growth largely due to demand for managed services for UC, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.

Based on the company’s latest research, the UC services market, which includes hosted and cloud-based UC and managed services for UC, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9 percent from 2012 to 2019.

In addition to demand for managed services for UC, demand for hosted voice and contact center solutions, increased uptake from the SMB segment and government and banking/financial sectors are also driving the growth in the overall UC services market in Australia, according to Audrey William, head of Research, Australia and New Zealand, ICT Frost & Sullivan.

On-premises deployment remains the predominant model for UC deployment in Australia, with the cloud-based alternative still at an early stage of growth, she explained.

“This is expected to change in favor of the cloud-based model in the future, albeit at a gradual rate. Many organizations also remain concerned about the reliability and security aspects of hosted and cloud based solutions,” William said in a statement.

Although such factors are expected to limit adoption of cloud-based solutions in the short term, the lack of flexibility and scalability of an on-premises model will cause organizations to consider alternatives.

“While the hosted and cloud based UC market in Australia is at an early stage of growth, the segment is poised for strong growth over the next five to seven years,” William added.

Managed services has emerged as an attractive model for handing over the complex service and maintenance overheads while holding full control over the actual hardware and applications. According to the analyst firm, demand for managed services is particularly strong for video conferencing endpoints, where a third party provides a range of services including maintenance, support, troubleshooting and scheduling.

“As the uptake of videoconferencing endpoints continues to grow, there will be a corresponding demand for video related services. Managed services accounted for about 35 percent of overall UC services revenues in 2012 and is expected to experience strong growth as organizations prefer to use managed services for their audio and collaboration infrastructure,” William added.

In terms of applications, voice-based solutions and conferencing solutions together accounted for the majority of UC services revenues in 2012. For hosted conferencing solutions (audio, video and Web), Australia remains one of the largest markets within APAC, with hosted audio conferencing generating majority of the revenues.

The cloud-based UC model represents a “major shift” for UC channel partners that were previously focused on professional services and support services. Cloud-based UC is demanding a new way of delivering services to the customer, making the channel partner the main point of service delivery.

Cisco and Microsoft have established themselves as the main vendors in the hosted and cloud-based UC market and have significantly distanced themselves from the competition, Frost & Sullivan concluded. In addition, vendors such as Google are expected to increase their presence in the cloud-based UC market, and emerge as major competitors to Cisco and Microsoft.




Edited by Jamie Epstein

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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