EMEA Unified Communications Market to Reach $16.6 Billion by 2015

According to a new study from International Data Corporation (IDC), the unified communications and collaboration (UCC) market in EMEA will be worth around $5.7 billion in 2010 and will grow to $16.6 billion by 2015.

“IDC predicts a compound annual growth rate of around 23.7% in the next five years and believes that the impact of the credit crunch and rumours of a double-dip recession make enterprises more cautious when deciding whether or not to invest in new IT equipment across the EMEA region,” said Isabel Montero, senior research analyst, unified communications and collaboration, IDC EMEA.

“Budgets in this region will continue to be more closely monitored and unemployment levels continue to increase across the region.”

IDC believes that the impact of the credit crunch across EMEA will continue to make enterprises more cautious and lead companies to review ICT budgets closely prior to investing in new IT solutions.

UC hosted services will be on the rise and will become more predominant late in the forecast period. This trend will be more notable within the small and midsize business community. Businesses looking to outsource UCC solutions as a service instead of managing solutions in-house will primarily do so to reduce the cost of network management and maintenance.

SIP will the most dominant protocol used by vendors in the UCC and VoIP market, as it provides a common platform for system, handset, and application development and compatibility. Demands for new communications functionality will be driven by innovation on the consumer side; new collaboration efforts will include major vendors, partners, and customers; and the increasing maturity of products will drive native IP communications and SIP proliferation.

The increased complexity of a company’s network infrastructure will drive businesses to have their converged networks and related services managed for them. Managed services of CPE equipment will be driven by a company’s need for external expertise and move from a capex-based model to an opex-based model.

The integration of UCC solutions will continue to be primarily driven by applications like business VoIP, collaborative applications, and IP PBX platforms.

The largest UCC markets in Western Europe by 2015 will be France, followed by the UK and Germany. Total end-user revenue will be higher in France and the UK than in Germany as a result of higher levels of UCC services sold to these countries.

“Instability in various countries within the CEMA region as well as inadequate infrastructure and bandwidth issues will continue to play a key role in inhibiting new UCC deployments,” said Montero. “However, we do expect higher volumes of shipments to be sold with regards to premises-based UCC equipment. The level of growth is primarily expected to be more notable within the small to midsize business sector.”

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