I realize this post is a stark contrast to my last post, in which I stated that Gartner snubbed unified communications on its list of top IT priorities and questioned its strategic relevance at a recent conference.
I supposed it is commentary on just how schizophrenic the unified communications market is–or on how fickle and inaccurate analysts can sometimes be. Either way, ABI Research was cited in a recent Business Week article stating that the $302 million unified communications market will skyrocket 1400 percent over the next five years to an astronomical $4.2 billion.
That impressively rapid growth won’t be without its growing pains though, according to ABI Research. “Adoption will be held back by internal corporate “turf wars”, a widespread lack of understanding of the benefits unified communications can deliver, and a high initial cost.”
In the article, ABI Research practice director Stan Schatt says “We foresee a booming market for managed services, simply because unified communications is tricky and many companies won’t want to spend the time and effort to do it themselves. That applies to the market as a whole, but particularly to smaller businesses.”
A possible sign of the transition to unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) is that unified communications tools and services are migrating to the cloud. A hybrid approach combining on-premise, in-house tools, with cloud-based UCaaS offerings may provide a sweet spot for many small and medium unified communications customers.