Enterprises Eyeing New Communications Solutions, Analysts Say

Businesses will continue expanding their use of such technologies as VOIP and UC over the next few years, according to In-Stat and Dell'Oro. By 2013, 79 percent of U.S. businesses will have deployed a VOIP solution, In-Stat said. By 2014, revenues generated in the UC space will outpace those in the larger enterprise voice market, Dell'Oro group said.

Analysts are predicting that enterprises will continue to expand their communications capabilities over the next few years.

In a report Feb. 2, research firm In-Stat said it expects that by 2013, 79 percent of U.S. businesses will be using VOIP (voice over IP) technology, up from about 42 percent at the end of 2009.

In-Stat found that much of the VOIP deployment will occur at company headquarters rather than at new offices, according to analyst David Lemelin.

"VOIP adopters have a good understanding of the cost savings associated with VOIP, and more have oriented their limited budgets to optimizing efficiency and savings by replacing legacy TDM [time-division multiplexing] voice solutions," Lemelin said in a statement. "With businesses opening up fewer new locations than we have seen in recent years, much of this current investment is occurring at headquarters' locations, where efficiencies and savings can be maximized."

In addition, In-Stat found that 33 percent of those businesses that had deployed a VOIP system say they had to slow down additional deployments because of the struggling economy, while 30 percent said they had not changed plans.

Broadband IP telephony revenues will more than double by 2013 over 2008, with much of that growth driven by single-user applications within an increasingly mobile and diverse work force.

In addition, hosted IP Centrex has surpassed broadband IP telephony as the top revenue-generating carrier-based VOIP solutions, In-Stat said.

For its part, the Dell'Oro Group reported Feb. 2 that annual revenues for the UC (unified communications) market will grow faster than the overall enterprise voice space into 2014. In addition, revenue for the total traditional PBX market will be more than $6 billion in 2014, but will not reach the $7 billion hit in 2007.

"We believe that over the next five years, UC will disrupt not only how vendors develop products, but also what kinds of -go-to-market' strategies they implement," Dell'Oro Group Director Alan Weckel said in a statement. "We believe it will take several software generations for a vendor to incorporate the functionality needed to become fully competitive with a UC offering in this market. This will give existing vendors opportunity to strengthen their installed base while giving new vendors the opportunity to enter this market."