Businesses across the country continue to pursue unified messaging, video conferencing and a wide selection of additional telecommunications solutions. Naturally enough, this trend is driving the unified communications and hosted telephony market to new heights. According to the latest market research from Frost & Sullivan, the North American market is projected to approach $10 billion by 2020.
There are many factors driving the UC and hosted IP telephony market forward. Most obviously, an increasing number of organizations now recognize the financial and performance benefits inherent to the technologies and are eager to take advantage of unified messaging, voicemail to email and other services. In many cases, companies leaders now see these tools as basic business requirements. Failure to embrace UC may make it difficult for a given organization to remain competitive in its particular sector.
Even more important is the rise of mobile, as Elka Popova, unified communications program director for Frost & Sullivan, explained.
"The need for communications infrastructure consolidation and IT operation optimization will fuel adoption in larger organizations with a significant number of remote and mobile employees," she stated.
The report explained that UC solutions are invaluable for allowing these out-of-office personnel to collaborate effectively and easily with their coworkers and superiors. Without UC's flexibility, remote work becomes far less tenable.
This is especially important because millennials and other young workers widely view the ability to work remotely as a key requirement for their careers. Any company eager to attract these up-and-coming professionals needs to accommodate this job requirement, making UC essential.
Another important driver of UC market growth is improved VoIP system technology, according to Frost & Sullivan. The report noted that VoIP solutions have evolved significantly in recent years, delivering superior call quality, reliability and security for countless companies.
This is noteworthy because VoIP and UC are an excellent match. Many of the most robust, comprehensive UC solutions depend upon VoIP systems to function. In the past, reliance on legacy phone systems prevented many companies from even considering embracing UC. As VoIP becomes the standard, though, this ceases to be a factor.
While Frost & Sullivan's report only extends to 2020, there is little reason to believe that UC adoption will stagnate at the point. Companies in just about every industry will face increasing pressure to embrace this technology, or else they may find themselves left behind by more agile competitors.