Hosted UC Gains Enterprise Momentum

Accelerating the adoption of new next-generation enterprise communications tools, hosted/managed unified communications services will gradually overtake conventional, premises-based versions over the next several years, according to a new report from Wainhouse Research.

Hosted UC in Europe alone will represent more than $2.2 billion in revenue by 2014, the research firm predicts, part of a wider hosted UC & conferencing market that will generate more than $4 billion in annual revenue in Europe.

Although hosted and managed unified communications are emerging markets, Wainhouse Research found that every conferencing service provider of any size and almost all of the network service providers are offering unified communications services in one form or another, the company said in a statement. The last of major hosted UC providers reads like a directory of major tech/telecom com firms: Among the leaders are BT Global Services, Verizon Business, AT&T, BroadSoft, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft , Siemens, Telefonica, Global Crossing and Vodafone. Smaller specialists in the market include pure-play providers such as 8X8, Alteva, Intelliverse, and PanTerra.

Uptake of hosted communications services has been relatively slow to date. According to Nemertes Research, only 6 percent of organizations are currently using hosted VoIP, compared to 46 percent using managed VoIP services. Faster to catch on has been hosted Web conferencing (of the sort supplied by WebEx, now a division of Cisco): such services have been deployed by 61 percent of organizations surveyed by Nemertes.

By 2013 we predict that end-to-end management and hosted/SaaS communication offerings will be deployed by a majority of all size organizations, wrote Nemertes vice president for communication and collaboration research Irwin Lazar in a recent post on the Masters of UC blog.

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