UXC company, Integ, today announced its foray into the Communications as a Service (CaaS) market, which Gartner predicts will be worth $251.9 million by the end of 2007, a 37.6 percent increase from last year.
The market is expected to total $2.3 billion in 2011, representing a compound annual growth rate at more than 105 percent for the period.
Gartner defines CaaS as IP telephony that is located within a third-party data centre and managed and owned by a third party.
Integ is offering a hosted telephony solution that gives organisations access to the most up-to-date IP telephony offering at a fixed monthly rate.
The hardware and software components are owned by Integ and hosted in a secure data centre.
IP handsets are located on the customer's premises and media gateways can also be premise-based.
Integ Group CEO, Ian Poole, said Australian businesses are often considering IP telephony options when upgrading from existing PBX systems, but the significant initial investment coupled with lack of internal skills required to manage these solutions are serious barriers to deployment.
Poole said a hosted approach removes hardware and software costs from the balance sheet and eliminates ongoing investment in people and training.
Gartner vice president, Geoff Johnson, said demand for hosted solutions is growing because it is a feasible model.
Monthly fees are paid by customers based on the number of users, features and applications used and contracts are typically in excess of five years.
As reported previously in CW "Communications as a Service (CaaS)", research vice president at Gartner, Eric Goodness, said users will begin to embrace CaaS more enthusiastically in 2009, attracted by predictable costs for fixed telecoms.
"Users will also be attracted to CaaS as a means of shifting technology risk to the service provider. Technology obsolescence will be more easily managed by a scalable third party," he added.