VoIP, unified communications markets set for massive growth

Significant growth in the VoIP and unified communications markets is expected over the next few years, with a focus on SIP trunking, IP PBXs and cloud service.

According to Infonetics Research’s 2014 “VoIP and UC Services and Subscribers” report, the global markets for VoIP and unified communications solutions will reach $88 billion by 2018, compared to its value of $68 billion in 2013, an 8 percent rise over the previous year. Impressive growth in SIP trunking in particular, with 50 percent more investments than 2012, drove last year’s growth – particularly in North America. However, the EMEA region is expected to show the strongest adoption rate of SIP trunking and unified communications in 2014.

“Business VoIP services have moved well beyond early stages to mainstream, strengthened by the growing adoption of SIP trunking and cloud services worldwide,” said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, unified communications and IMS at Infonetics Research. “Hosted unified communications are seeing strong interest up market as mid-market and larger enterprises evaluate and move more applications to the cloud, and this is positively impacting the market.”

One of the more important enterprise communications solutions trends in 2013 was the rise of unified communications services sales. According to the report, 13 percent more businesses invested in unified communications services, while seats grew by 35 percent due to increased demand for cloud support.

Furthermore, global VoIP subscribers grew by 8 percent year-over-year to 212 million.

Delving deeper into unified communications demand, more firms are deploying video conferencing and collaboration solutions in particular, another Infonetics Research report indicated. The firm’s “UC Cloud and On-Premises Strategies and Vendor Leadership: North American Enterprise Survey” noted that 88 percent of businesses intend to deploy video as part of their unified communications solution within the next 12 months, while mobile integration and the cloud are other top concerns moving forward.

“The barriers to adoption no longer outweigh the benefits of unified communications, and as a result there are fewer and fewer businesses not utilizing [unified communications],” Myers noted.

By optimizing unified communications strategies, companies are able to better leverage technology and their workforce for impressive gains. This results in stronger ROI, improved workflow and an increased focus on productivity, rather than just the technology. Unified communications helps to ensure forward progress in operations, and businesses that invest in the right tools will see their efforts result in success.