Parallel Lines: New UC market

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A new business model for supplier, reseller and customer

Any dealers thinking about getting involved in the unified communications (UC) market should take encouragement from recent figures coming out of the analyst houses.

Only last month Gartner Group predicted that the global UC market will reach $7.4 billion (£6.6bn) in 2009, a 22 per cent increase from 2008.

Other groups are predicting a further surge in uptake over the next five years. Ovum estimates that over 16 million global enterprise-owned mobile devices will be connected to UC platforms by 2014.

I believe there is a big new opportunity for the mobile dealer channel to gain a share of this market – but I also don’t pretend that it’s going to be easy.

Having worked in the fixed line space for many years – and now in mobile for the last 18 months – it’s clear to me that there is going to be a step up in the ‘race to the middle’ between the fixed and mobile channels.

Fixed line has a clear lead at this point, but certainly not an unassailable one. It has long seen UC as the centre ground where it can grab a share of mobile contract revenues – but its progress has been hampered until now because UC has remained a predominantly fixed proposition that combines voice and data services over IP.

Yes, they have bundled and added mobile services, but not in a way that is truly integrated and unified.

Meanwhile the majority of the mobile dealer channel has not yet joined the race – understandably when you consider the successful time it has been having selling standalone voice and data mobility solutions to a market that has been hungry for it.

I believe that’s all about to change.

Full article in Mobile News issue 452 (November 16, 2009).

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