The Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow from USD1.67 billion in 2013 to USD2.98 billion by 2018, at an estimated CAGR of 12.4 percent, says the latest report from Frost & Sullivan.
The UCaaS market is driven by the strong growth in the verticals with growing mobile workforce. Industries such as high-tech, professional services, logistics, travel and hospitality services are chief among them, the report said.
Jessie Yu, Industry Manager, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, says, “The necessity of having a highly mobile workforce aided by the increased usage of UCaaS solutions delivered through hosted/ cloud and managed platforms has been a boon for enterprise mobile collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Another trend, according to Yu, is the move to integrate UC applications to reduce costs and complexities, and offer greater flexibility for their operations.
While the market looks prospective, there are associated challenges as well. Key challenges include the ability to offer feasible and sustainable business model, telecommunication regulatory barriers in some developing countries, and the increasing competition, Yu said.
Telephony service has been popular and is likely to maintain its prominence in the future. Although audio conferencing market has matured, it is expected to remain an important segment throughout the forecast period.
Mobility, video-as-a-service (VaaS), web conferencing and cloud contact center service remain as key growth service segments during the forecast period.
Frost & Sullivan has also introduced a vendor assessment tool called the Frost Industry Quotient (Frost IQ) matrix to assess the merits and challenges faced by technology vendors in their respective segments and geographies. The top 10 service providers are listed in four quadrants: champions, challengers, defenders and explorers.
Telstra, InterCall and NTT Communications have been positioned in the champion’s quadrant in the Frost IQ for Asia-Pacific Unified Communications-as-a-Service Providers 2014. The companies were selected based on a combination of market share performance and future growth strategies.
The top three vendors together accounted for approximately 25 percent per cent of the revenue generated in the segment, helped by strong partnerships as well as investments in new UCaaS technology.
Meanwhile BT, Orange Business Services, Verizon, China Telecom, Tata Communications and AT&T have been placed in the Challenger quadrant.
The convergence of ICT has blurred the lines of various communication platforms such as voice, video and data. As a result, various participants in the market such as telecom operators, pure play service providers or system integrators are gradually establishing their compelling positions in the marketplace with respective service offerings and targeted customer segments.