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September 05, 2008

Hosted Web Conferencing Services to Show 37.7% Growth

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), a growth partnership firm, said the hosted Web conferencing services market in Asia-Pacific witnessed 37.6 percent year on year growth in 2007. The market is expected to maintain a similar high per-annum growth average for the next six years, the research company says.
The findings about the Web conferencing services market are based on a news analysis Asia Pacific Hosted Web Conferencing Services Market conducted by the agency covering 13 countries in Asia Pacific. The analysis finds that the market in Asia Pacific earned revenues of $25.3 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $237.4 million by the end of 2014, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.7 percent from 2007 to 2014.

According to Frost & Sullivan research, the Web conferencing market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow by an estimated 38.8 percent this year, to reach a market size of $35.2 million by end-2008. The study found that Australia, Japan and Greater China are the top three revenue contributors in the Web conferencing services sector. The main adopters of Web conferencing include high technology services and banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sectors.

The study was conducted on hosted Web conferencing services, which include the services offered by service providers on a Software as a Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) model for a pay-as-you-use fee (cost per user per minute) or fixed fee (cost per seat), as well as managed conferencing services. On-site or premised-based conferencing solutions are excluded from this study, the research firm said.

Web conferencing solutions have been widely used for general meetings, sales and marketing, and training purposes. They also find specialized applications such as investor relations and Web-seminars (Webinars), enabling businesses to communicate with audiences beyond the company’s firewall.
Webinars are gaining popularity given their substantial savings in set-up costs and the ability to link people from anywhere in the world. The growth of Web conferencing services industry is attributed to the increasing deployment of these cost-saving communications technologies, Frost & Sullivan finds. Also, there is substantial support from the governments in these markets to promote the use of the Internet and Web-enabled technologies.
“The huge demand in Web conferencing services is driven mainly by growing uptake in the small and medium business (SMB) sector in both emerging and mature markets, as
well as the push by major local service providers in countries such as Japan and China,” said Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Pranabesh Nath, in a statement.
“Service providers in China particularly have seen rapid growth with a record number of new users added each year. The number of hosted Web conferencing service providers in China is also rising each year in tandem with the growing demand,” Nath added.

According to Nath, service providers that are able to bundle audio, video and Web conferencing services are better positioned to capitalize on the broader enterprise collaboration market. This is expected to have enormous potential as Web conferencing services are increasingly integrated with on-premise unified conferencing clients. Major vendors like Microsoft (News - Alert), Cisco and IBM have or are expected to deploy these services, the analyst says. 

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Eve Sullivan


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