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Hexa Research: UC Market Ready to Roar Ahead

September 12, 2016

Finding growth markets these days can be a challenge to say the least. After all, spending is down on several fronts, and while the consumer death-grip on the wallet seems to be loosening, it's still a fight to get people in stores, especially with the rise of online shopping. A new report from Hexa Research, meanwhile, has at least one growth market pegged: the global unified communications (UC) market.

By 2020, the Hexa Research report notes, the global UC market is set to reach revenues of over $75.5 billion. This is attributed in large part to the ever-increasing market penetration of smartphones, particularly in emerging markets. The growth of both the bring your own device (BYOD) doctrine and UC as a service allows more users to get in on the action, which should put some life under the UC market as a whole. Further advancements, like new levels of LTE (News - Alert) connectivity and the upcoming arrival of 5G, should further make for gains.

Some issues may slow growth, like high investment required to get in and the overall communications issues between various vendors. Considering there are so many potential growth vectors involved, it will be all but impossible, barring some true calamity, to halt the market growth altogether.

Further, the market needs to consider just which direction to follow; since UC can be split into cloud-based systems or on-premise systems, companies will need to figure which to back. Many seem to be going for cloud-based systems right now, thanks to the value propositions of easier maintenance and excellent scaling for the users.

With several applications involved in UC—since it comprises several different fields at once, ranging from Internet protocol (IP) and voice telephony to instant messaging and data sharing—there will likely be no shortage of markets interested. Already, government and healthcare are proving to be unexpected sources of interest, as is the education market, all of which are looking for better ways to keep in touch and build engagement among customers.

There's little doubt the UC market will grow, and grow big. There are more platforms becoming available thanks to the ongoing smartphone buildup—particularly in developing markets—and as connectivity improves, so too will use. With so many useful tools contained in the UC market, it's not surprising that big growth will follow, because so many more people will put these tools to use. That's growth on two fronts; there are more boxes, and there are more things to fill boxes with, thus the market for filled boxes is on the rise.

That's good news for anyone involved in the UC market, because it suggests it's about to be one impressive new growth vector. It may not turn out this way in the end, but everything we know so far suggests this is the most likely outcome.

Edited by Alicia Young

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