Managed services and hosted offerings are forecasted to drive unified communications (UC) growth of 13.8 per cent year-on-year up to 2018, according to Frost & Sullivan.
In its latest report entitled Australian Unified Communications Services Report 2011, the firm found the adoption of hosted and Cloud-based offerings is gradually driving a shift away from on-premise offerings.
According to the report, the UC services market is divided into five segments: Hosted UC, managed services, consulting, installation and integration, and maintenance.
Frost & Sullivan ICT research director, Audrey William, said in a statement that hosted UC services was the largest segment, accounting for 45 per cent of UC service revenues in 2011.
“The expected shift towards hosted and Cloud-based models will continue to drive revenues and adoption of services in this segment, resulting in a predicted revenue contribution of 50 per cent by 2018,” William said.
Managed services, which includes end-to-end management of UC applications by a service provider, is experiencing an increase in demand driven by the ease of using a third party to manage applications and desire to cut costs. This segment accounted for 15.5 per cent of revenues and is expected to rise to 18 per cent by 2018.
“Consulting remains a relatively small contributor to the market, accounting for 7 per cent of revenues,” William said. “Despite its size, the segment is emerging as an important, specialised capability for service providers, typically requiring a skill set capable of integrating business objectives with technology.”
According to the report, consulting is expected to represent 10 per cent of revenues with growth driven by the convergence of social media and UC by 2018.
The one-off deployment requirements of installation and integration services accounted for 20.5 per cent of services revenues last year.
“However, as the installed base of hosted and Cloud-based solutions grows, the contribution from this sector will decline,” William said. “By 2018, Frost & Sullivan anticipates that installation and integration services will drop to 15 per cent of all revenues."
Another sector that was forecasted to decline due to Cloud-based offerings was maintenance services, which include on-going support, troubleshooting and infrastructure upgrades for organisations.
While this made up 12 per cent of revenues last year, it was forecasted to be worth only 7 per cent by 2018.
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