Analyst: UC integrators must evolve to stay relevant

Analyst: UC integrators must evolve to stay relevant

Frost & Sullivan UC report indicates businesses are favouring managed service providers.

Traditional unified communications (UC) system integrators will need to provide comprehensive solutions to stay relevant in the market, according to Frost & Sullivan ICT research director, Audrey William.

The advice comes off the back of the consulting company’s annual UC report, which showed the UC services market hit the $608.7 million mark in 2008. Managed services was the main contributor to overall sales, which indicated that traditional integration involving basic implementation and maintenance no longer made up the bulk of revenue.

Managed services are gaining popularity as medium and large sized businesses look to outsource their UC applications. With a number of high-profile vendor mergers and acquisitions occurring last year, Frost & Sullivan’s William said specialist players would need to diversify their skillsets to compete in the marketplace.

“The acquisitions have changed the competitive landscape in a sense – there are less vendors in the market, meaning the channels playing have to be able to provide an end-to-end offering,” William said. “You can’t just specialise in voice integration because chances are you will not survive in the market. Understanding telepresence, network integration coupled with some of the telecommunication requirements like mobility, is going to become increasingly important.”

With bigger deals now becoming available, such as ones from government and financial services sectors, the ability to offer end-to-end integration, managed services and hosted offerings will be critical in tackling complex UC requirements, William said.

“It demonstrates that a system integrator can cover everything not just from a product standpoint but understanding the solutions at play,” she said.

UC services are expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.7 per cent between 2009 and 2015.

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