Businesses in North America are turning to hosted Internet protocol (IP) telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) services as they look to focus more on their core business, eliminate the cost and hassle of integrating multi-vendor solutions on their premises, and enable greater flexibility during growth or downsizing. Maturing voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technologies and new business models such as cloud UC and UC-as-a-service (UCaaS) are further driving adoption, even in companies with advanced functionality requirements. However, security, control, and reliability concerns present barriers to uptake, more so than feature and functionality gaps.
Frost & Sullivan's North American Hosted IP Telephony and UCC Services Market analysis finds the market earned revenue of $1.09 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach an impressive $5.95 billion in 2019. Revenues are driven by growing demand and the delivery of new services such as mobility, video, web collaboration, and contact center solutions.
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"Small and medium businesses (SMBs) in North America use hosted services to gain greater flexibility and access to more advanced communications capabilities, while large organizations are making the switch to consolidate infrastructure and streamline vendor relationships," said Frost & Sullivan North America Unified Communications Program Director Elka Popova. "Going forward, the benefits of cloud solutions for mobile and remote workers as well as increasing service provider focus on service quality and reliability will boost penetration in larger, geographically distributed organizations."
However, many businesses have existing investments in premises-based communications infrastructure, including some highly customized solutions, and will hence delay their migration to hosted IP telephony and UCC solutions. Rapid technology and business model evolution also cause organizations to postpone upgrade decisions.
Moreover, continued macro-economic challenges result in a more cautious approach to communications expenditure, curbing new investments in both on-premises and cloud hosted services. Limited ability to customize or integrate hosted communications services with existing premises-based solutions also prevents some businesses from making the switch.
Sustainable growth strategies must take into account specific customer requirements and their diverse needs in terms of features, functionality, price, packaging, and integration.
"Cost-effective multi-tenant solutions are likely to appeal to the SMB market, whereas UCaaS offerings supported on multi-instance platforms help address security and customization concerns in larger businesses," opined Popova. "Even more important is execution - providers must ensure consistent availability and high quality of service to ensure long-term success in the hosted communications space."
As businesses seek to improve agility and gain a competitive advantage, they will abandon aging premises-based solutions in favor of flexible hosted IP telephony and UCC communications, which provide access to superior capabilities and a greater pool of technology expertise.
North American Hosted IP Telephony and UCC Services Market is part of the Unified Communications (conferencing.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related research services include: A Sustainable Approach to Hosted IP Telephony and UCC Services Deployment, North American Video Conferencing Hosted and Managed Services Market, and Analysis of the Global Telephony Platform and Endpoints Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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North American Hosted IP Telephony and UCC Services Market / NC41-64