Hot Off the Presses – Findings from New UC Market Study

It’s finally completed and published! After months and months of research and writing, I’ve just released my new UC market study, Unified Communications Market 2007-2012. I’ve been writing analyst reports for a long time (ok, a really long time), but this was probably the most challenging report I’ve written. For one thing, forecasting the UC market is no piece of cake – everyone defines UC differently, vendors are not yet providing UC shipment data to analysts, and there’s no simple way of counting and measuring the market. How I yearn for the old days when it was simple to count voice mail shipments – a voice mailbox was a voice mailbox and it was easy to count how many voice mail ports were shipped (yes, we counted in ports). With UC, there’s no easy way to count shipments or revenues. Some vendors (I’m not naming names) include all of their IP PBX shipments in their UC data. But there’s no way of knowing if those IP PBXs are being used as part of a UC solution or not. I’ve seen analyst and vendor forecasts for UC that include all the IP PBX revenue, plus all the revenues associated with unified messaging, conferencing, instant messaging, etc., all added together. This is fine for getting an understanding of the total potential UC opportunity, but it doesn’t provide a realistic picture of where the real UC market is or will be. Since there’s no agreed-upon way of defining the “UC market” and counting UC shipments, I did what any good analyst would do – I made one up. Actually, I made up several ways to define and count the market – the total or “UC Capable” market, the net or “true” UC market, the sub-segment of UC that is requisite for a UC solution, and more.

Another reason this report was so hard to complete is that the market is so dynamic and constantly changing. The vendor profile chapter, which covers the leading UC vendors’ products, direction, etc., had to be continually updated, as the vendors added new products, packaging and bundling, on what seemed to be a daily basis. Just when I thought I completed one vendor’s profile, they made a new announcement about a new UC offering, or a new strategic partner, or something else. By the time you read this, some of the vendor profiles may already be out of date.

I’ll be posting some of the key findings on here on www.ucstrategies.com, but if you want all the detailed information (all 150 pages!) about UC in general, trends, challenges, market adoption, forecasts, etc., then you need to buy the report. If you’re interested in purchasing the report, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at bpleasant@commfusion.com.

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