Kable, an industry market analysis firm, recently predicted that the global communications and collaboration market will grow to twice its current size over the next three years. The market was valued at just over $25 billion in 2013, but evolving concepts like bring your own device have spurred adoption of such technology, helping the market likely reach more than $50 billion by 2018.
"Evolving concepts like BYOD have spurred adoption, helping the market to reach more than $50 billion by 2018."
Organizations of all sizes and in all industries are realizing the growing need for unified communications and collaboration technologies. An increasingly mobile workforce has also been a contributing factor to UC's popularity, since workers have to be able to communicate regardless of their location or device. The emerging shift to mobile access has served as the inspiration for new communication technologies, as well as advances in video communications and social software.
"Recent developments in the field of unified communications, such as Web Real-Time Communication are extending real-time unified communications beyond the confines of the enterprise," said Kable analyst Renjitha Balkrishan in an interview with Real Time Communications. "The market is gradually moving towards consolidation as pure-play and emerging communications vendors are acquired by established vendors in this domain as well as other leading ICT vendors who are looking to enter this market."
VoIP stands out from the pack
One of the most disruptive aspects of UC is voice-over-IP. IP telephony allows organizations to communicate in a variety of different ways, whether its through mobile platforms or in an office. This ease of contact helps to expand customer bases and provides enterprises with the ability to operate on a global level.
Another reason IP calling systems have become so popular within the enterprise is because of their ability to integrate with other communication solutions. VoIP can be easily integrated into existing UC suites, connecting email, messaging and conferencing solutions all in one convenient place.
VoIP isn't just disruptive because of the widespread reach it offers; it's also one of the most cost-effective communication solutions available. Because it utilizes the Internet to make calls, VoIP systems eliminate costly phone bills and maintenance fees that come along with using traditional copper lines. VoIP services can be used on an as-needed basis, making them cheaper than a contract with a major phone company. It also creates a highly scalable solution, allowing organizations to have the necessary communication capabilities when demand increases without paying for service when the need is low.