The rapidly changing unified communications market, which is seeing consolidations and partnerships among established players like Cisco, BT and Polycom, is also now getting new entrants like Logitech and Adtran. Both are looking to get traction in the UC space through the SMB sector.
Adtran's entrance into the unified communications space adds another player to
a rapidly changing market.
In the past few months, the UC field has seen consolidations, partnerships
and new entrants as vendors look to position themselves in a space that is
expected to grow rapidly over the next few years.
Cisco Systems is looking to expand its presence in the market with its
of video conferencing equipment maker Tandberg, a deal
that is expected to close in the first half of 2010.
In the meantime, Cisco and British Telecom on Dec. 9 announced
to create a cloud-based service to offer businesses hosted UC
For its part, BT is partnering with Polycom to combine Polycom's UC
solutions, including voice, video and telepresence, with BT's services. In
addition, Logitech International got into the video communications space with
of LifeSize, whose products were targeted primarily at
the midmarket space.
It's the SMB space that Adtran is hoping to gain traction in as it enters
the UC space. Adtran, which makes converged communications products, is
launching a line of NetVanta UC solutions that company officials said will
offer greater customization and simplicity than competing products.
While the NetVanta suite-which offers everything from voice mail to unified
messaging to a fax server-can also serve enterprises, it's the capabilities for
smaller companies that will help Adtran differentiate itself from its larger
competitors, according to Chris Thompson, senior product manager for Adtran's
"The SMB space, for the most part, is still a little underserved in the UC
market," Thompson said in an interview.
The products are designed to support from as few as five to as many as 2,000
users per server.
Thompson and David Schenkel, senior technology analyst with Adtran, said
that despite their size, SMBs need UC capabilities for the same reason that
larger businesses do-to reduce expenses while increasing efficiency.
Industry analysts also see a growing demand for such products, from both
SMBs and larger enterprises. Gartner is expecting the UCC (unified
communications and collaboration) market to hit $7.4 billion in 2009, a 22
percent increase over last year.