A new report from IDC has found that the IP-PBX (News - Alert) and IP Phones markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew a collective 35 percent last year, although growth was uneven by region and by vendor.
Convergence is a major driver of market expansion. For example, virtualization, BYOD policies and integrated videoconferencing have underscored the fundamental transformation of the IP-PBX market. Additionally, delivering functionality from cloud-based or hosted solutions and integrating the end user experience across devices and platforms have pushed convergence to the next level.
“None of the major players in this market would define themselves as IP-PBX vendors any longer; instead, they would all position their products in the UC&C space,” explained Michael Vorisek, senior research analyst and author of the IDC (News - Alert) study.
“Vendors' strategic choices for IP-PBX architecture, endpoints, and technology alliances are thus increasingly being defined by their overall UC&C strategies, which in turn will more frequently influence the success or failure of IP-PBX offerings,” said Vorisek.
The market showed large variations in growth patterns last year. For instance, Central and Eastern European markets, propelled by strong growth in Russia, expanded 35.5 percent. In Western Europe, however, markets only grew 7.3 percent.
Additionally, results varied widely by vendor. Cisco and Siemens (News - Alert) posted growth year over year, while the other three major IP-PBX players in the region shows flat or declining performance.
Infonetics also recently released a review of business VoIP performance in the EMEA market. Their findings also revealed a dramatic inclination toward mobile solutions and unified communications among EMEA customers.
“These offerings are particularly compelling to small businesses that rely only on mobile phones without sacrificing business-class features,” noted Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP and IMS at Infonetics (News - Alert).
Jeremy Green, an analyst at Ovum, predicts that consumers will soon begin to move away from voice calls in general. “Our research suggests that real time voice communications is in decline as part of a broader cultural trend,” Green told Telecoms EMEA.
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