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InfoCom investigates enterprise markets around the world and found IP and Unified Communications growing

Published: 2011-10-18

IP share in many countries surprisingly low — Tight budgets limit investments in emerging countries — Unified Communications clearly growing — Replacement cycles for IP-based solutions shortened only marginally.

Stuttgart, Germany — Enterprises, anywhere in the world, deploy IP telephony solutions but the share of IP lines varies strongly and, in several cases, it is still surprisingly low. While countries as the UK or the US record over 90% of IP lines out of the total shipped (>400 segment), in other countries this figure can be as low as 40%, for instance in Argentina, India, Russia or Turkey.

Some of the reasons for this are straightforward. Companies in emerging economies often have tighter budgets and, on average, IP phones remain somewhat more expensive for a non-obvious direct advantage. Furthermore, an IP-base telephony solution requires a VoIP-ready LAN (Local Area Network), which may not be ubiquitous in developing countries and which would require an extra investment to deploy. But even in Western countries, — in North America or in Western Europe — analogue/TDM lines are still deployed in some verticals (e.g. hospitals, for instance for some patient rooms) or in particular locations (inessential rooms, for instance).

Voice Mail v Unified Messaging

Overall, thanks to IP telephony and IP convergence, Unified Messaging is clearly growing at the expense of Voice Mail. Although this trend is recognisable in all countries, the rhythm of adoption is significantly different and, in general, Unified Messaging/Communications sales and usage is overall far below what had been forecasted. Sophisticated Unified Communications solutions are actually quite complex to sell and deploy. This is why, enterprises tend to request Voice Mail more often than Unified Communications.

As of replacement cycles for IP-base telephony solutions, enterprises and markets around the world do not present major differences. Companies in emerging economies could have been expected to keep their systems much longer than in Western countries, for instance, due to higher budget tightness. While this may be marginally true, it is not systematically applicable for all developed versus emerging economies. Enterprises in emerging countries tend simply to invest differently: lower-cost phones (with a higher share of analogue/digital rather than IP), Voice Mail only for selected users, very limited Unified Communications and few extra features.

InfoCom also found out that replacement cycles are comparable with those based on analogue or hybrid systems. Although replacements had been expected to shorten, in reality deploying a new telephony solution is far more complex than just installing a new software version on a server. There are many issues related to phone sets, compatibility with other software and databases, training of users, just to name a few. Consequently, replacement cycles shortened just marginally, that is, from an average of 10 years for older TDM PBX, to about 8 years for IP PBX.

About this extract:

This extract in based on InfoCom recent study of enterprise markets worldwide. This large-scale research identified major trends regarding IP telephony systems, Unified Communications and cloud services. The study presents major vendors in each country, with market share and positioning by country and region. If you are interested in this report, do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Talk to us. We listen.

About InfoCom:

InfoCom is a market research and consultancy company with over 20 years experience providing strategic analyses and planning assistance to stakeholders in the telecommunications, IT and multimedia industries. InfoCom’s independent and fact-based analyses highlight trends and opportunities, supporting decision makers to understand market dynamics in order to improve their competitive advantage.

Published: 2011-10-18

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