— A fragmented market poised for growth, driven by cloud and mobility
SINGAPORE, Aug. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Over the past few years, the Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) market has been experiencing tremendous growth in the Asia-Pacific region and is expected to remain so till 2018, helped by strong growth in verticals that have highly mobile workforces, such as high-tech, professional services, logistics, travel and hospitality services.
The UCaaS market is defined as an integrated communications and collaboration environment that combines or unifies voice, video and text communications delivered through hosted, cloud, and managed services.
The Asia-Pacific UCaaS market is expected to grow from USD1.67 billion in 2013 to USD2.98 billion by 2018, at an estimated CAGR of 12.4 percent. The telephony services segment is the most widely adopted market, and it is likely to maintain its prominence in the future. Although the audio conferencing services segment has matured, it is expected to remain an important segment throughout the forecast period. Mobility, video-as-a-service (VaaS), web conferencing and cloud contact center services are expected to be the key growth service segments during the forecast period.
In order to capitalize on the growth opportunities, the service providers are strengthening their service offerings. Frost & Sullivan has evaluated the top 10 service providers in the Asia Pacific region and assessed them using the Frost Industry Quotient (Frost IQ) matrix. The Frost IQ matrix comprises of four quadrants: champions, challengers, defenders and explorers.
The Frost IQ is a proprietary Frost & Sullivan vendor assessment tool that accurately operationalizes and captures the merits and challenges faced by technology vendors in their respective segments and geographies. The tool aims to provide key decision makers with a localized yet objective perspective of the industry in a highly heterogeneous business environment.
In the Frost IQ for Asia-Pacific Unified Communications-as-a-Service Providers 2014, Telstra, InterCall and NTT Communications have been positioned in the champions’ quadrant, based on a combination of market share performance and future growth strategies as determined by Frost & Sullivan research studies. In total, the top three vendors accounted for approximately 25% per cent of the revenue generated in the segment, helped by strong partnerships as well as investments in new UCaaS technology.
Frost & Sullivan recognizes the efforts made by BT, Orange Business Services, Verizon, China Telecom, Tata Communications and AT&T in the market and has placed them into the Challenger quadrant. These providers have set up the necessary infrastructure to deliver a full suite of UCaaS solutions to both large and SMB customers and are expected to move to the champions quadrant subjected to their success in acquiring new customers.
Despite the dominant position of the top three service providers, many local service providers are steadily emerging in the Asia Pacific region. This includes SingTel, which also features in the Frost IQ.
The evolution and convergence of ICT have blurred the lines of various communication platforms such as voice, video, and data. In light of this convergence, various participants in the UCaaS market, such as telecom operators, pure-play service providers or system integrators are gradually establishing their compelling positions in the marketplace with respective service offerings and targeted customer segments.
Jessie Yu, Industry Manager, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, believes that the outlook for the market is favorable.
Yu says, "The necessity of having a highly mobile workforce aided by the increased usage of UCaaS solutions delivered through hosted/ cloud and managed platforms has been a boon for enterprise mobile collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region. Enterprises are also actively looking to integrate UC (Unified Communications) applications to reduce costs and complexities, and offer greater flexibility for their operations."
However, the promising market growth is not without its challenges.
"Key challenges include the ability to offer feasible and sustainable business model, telecommunication regulatory barriers in some developing countries, and the increasing competition," states Yu.
The Frost IQ (FIQ) for Asia-Pacific Unified Communications-as-a-Service Providers 2014, covers telephony, email, IM/presence, unified messaging, collaboration services delivered via hosted, cloud and managed services model in the Asia Pacific region. The base year of the study is CY2013. The parameters used to determine relative positioning on the FIQ matrix include market share, product/service strategy, people/skills strategy, and ecosystem and business strategy.
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