The unified communications market grew 7 percent in the third quarter, as vendors like Cisco, Microsoft and Avaya aggressively expanded their portfolios, according to Dell'Oro Group.
energy vendors such as Cisco Systems, Avaya and, now, Microsoft are expanding
their unified communications (UC) offerings is showing up in the overall market
numbers, according to research firm Dell'Oro Group.
a report Nov. 18, Dell'Oro said that the third quarter saw the strongest growth
in the UC space since 2008, and, with Microsoft's
introduction of its Lync 2010
offering Nov. 17, the market should see
UC market saw revenue growth of 7 percent during the second quarter, according
to the firm.
pockets of weakness reappearing, we believe that the Unified Communications
market will expand significantly in 2010, as existing vendors continue to
invest and expand their software offerings and Microsoft begins to actively
push Lync," Alan Weckel, director at Dell'Oro Group, said in a statement.
growth by vendors in the North American market offset what Dell'Oro said was
weakness in Europe.
has become a key target area for a growing number of vendors, as enterprises
look for ways improve their communications capabilities while driving down
costs. Visual collaboration also is increasingly becoming a significant part of
the UC scene.
said that the top eight vendors-Aastra, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, Mitel,
NEC, Shoretel and Siemens-accounted for more than 80 percent of IP line
shipments in the quarter. Other vendors, such as Hewlett-Packard
and Polycom, also are making plays in the space.
week, Cisco and HP both significantly expanded
the video capabilities
of their communications products, Juniper Networks bought
Blackwave to help expand its IP video offerings, and Mitel
unveiled its Freedom architecture
and Mitel Anywhere, a cloud-based UC
addition, Microsoft rolled out Lync 2010, the latest version of the solution
that had once been known as Office Communications software suite. During a launch
event in New York, former
Microsoft CEO Bill Gates called the move to a software-driven UC platform
"probably the most important thing to happen for the office worker since the PC
analysts also expect the growth in UC spending to continue. Forrester Research
is projecting that the overall UC market will expand to $14.5 billion by 2015.
not all analysts are sold on the idea of unified communications. In a Sept. 7
blog post, Gartner analyst Nick Jones questioned whether UC
is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme
, saying that the idea of bundling all
these communications technologies works more for the vendors than for
businesses and their employees.
is a dinosaur in a world of fast-moving little furry mammals; the leading edge
of communication and collaboration is happening in the consumer space driven by
companies like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Fring, Nimbuzz and dozens more," Jones
wrote. "These are better, cheaper and more fashionable than UC, and there is no
way the so called -enterprise' vendors can keep up with their rate of
the end, he questioned whether there are, indeed, any true benefits for the end
the next few years, UC will be a battleground between mega-vendors like
Microsoft and Cisco, who want to suck you in to their technological whirlpool
where you'll be trapped paying license fees for a decade," Jones wrote. "And,
finally, it's not as if you could even make a decent business case for UC;
people end up using bizarre logic involving the value of saving 15 minutes a
day per employee. If you give people 15 minutes more time you won't get 15
minutes more work, they'll just go have a chat and another cup of coffee with a