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UC recap: Business VoIP services fueling VoIP market

In this week's recap, business VoIP services are driving the global VoIP market, while NICE Systems announced it is leading development of a WebRTC recording standard.

Fueled by growth in business voice over IP (VoIP) services, the worldwide VoIP services market hit nearly $70 billion in revenue in 2014, a 3% increase over 2013, according to a report by technology research firm Infonetics Research. Business VoIP services growth offset a slowdown in residential VoIP services revenue.

Comprising 38% of overall VoIP services sales, business VoIP services revenue grew 9.7% in 2014 over 2013, the report found. There were 224 million residential VoIP subscribers worldwide in 2014, up 5% from the previous year.

Hosted PBX and unified communication service revenue jumped 8 percent year-over-year in 2014, highlighting the continuing demand for enterprise cloud-based services.

"Business voice services are the driving force within the VoIP services market as the move to IP positively impacts cloud, trunking and managed services across all business segments. Larger enterprises in particular continue to actively evaluate cloud unified communications while also migrating to SIP trunking for premises-based deployments. And there are no signs of it slowing down," Diane Myers, research director at Infonetics Research, said in a statement.

New standard envisioned for WebRTC recording

NICE Systems is developing a global multichannel recording standard for WebRTC, which includes audio, video and text. The Israel-based provider said WebRTC's single communication channel presents the opportunity to create a centralized recording technology that would allow enterprises to capture all media in one place.

NICE led a roundtable discussion with the Internet Engineering Task Force in March to discuss WebRTC.

"We believe that WebRTC will become a major enabler for enterprises, and we are working with other key market players to finalize a standard on how to provide secure, compliant recording for multichannel WebRTC sessions, which include audio, video, screen-sharing and additional proprietary information," said Miki Migdal, president of the enterprise product group at NICE.

NICE plans to demonstrate its multichannel recording offerings at Interactions 2015 in San Antonio, Texas, next month.

​UC Magic Quadrant shows midmarket leaders

Gartner released its UC Magic Quadrant for midsize enterprises, naming Avaya, Cisco, Mitel and ShoreTel as industry leaders.

In the report, Gartner analysts Megan Marek Fernandez and Sorell Slaymaker defined the midmarket as organizations with between 100 and 999 employees and annual revenue of less than $1 billion. The midmarket represents a fast growing segment of IT spending, with a growth rate one and a half times the market average of 2.8%.

Avaya was named a leader for its comprehensive UC and contact center portfolio that can meet the need of midsize organizations with "complex communication requirements and those that want to support a broad range of endpoints." However, the analysts cautioned that the provider and its partners charge above industry average for customization and integration with third-party applications.

Cisco was named a leader for offering a full suite of UC collaboration capabilities, a large channel partner base that sells the entirety of Cisco products and attractive hybrid cloud solutions. However, Cisco is generally priced higher for organizations at the low end of the midmarket, and using Cisco as a sole UC provider can lead to reduced negotiating leverage and higher costs.

Mitel was named a leader for its mature and comprehensive software suite and its strong integration flexibility. But analysts cautioned that some of Mitel's channel partners lack the necessary experience to install and support the full UC suite, and that Mitel's UC licensing bundles can change frequency, causing confusion.

ShoreTel was named a leader for its UC service being easy to use, manage and implement. The provider is also expanding its integration with third-party providers. However, ShoreTel's service is not as feature-rich and has fewer resources to leverage than some of its competitors.

Next Steps

Business VoIP services to hit $35 billion by 2018

Avaya refreshes midmarket UC offering

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