Market earned US$700mil revenue in 2012, estimated to reach US$1.42bil in 2018; SMB sector a big driver
Market scope limited by telco regulations in some countries which give local provider preference
DEMAND for hosted conferencing services in Asia Pacific is on the rise as the uncertain economic outlook compels enterprises to reduce communication expenditure and consider cost-effective collaborative solutions.
The small and medium business (SMB) sector, in particular, will be the driving force for market revenue, research and consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan said in a statement, citing new analysis (http://www.conferencing.frost.com/).
In its Asia Pacific Hosted Conferencing Services Market analysis, the firm found that the market earned revenues of more than US$700 million in 2012, and estimates this would reach US$1.42 billion in 2018.
The impact of disasters such as nuclear meltdowns, volcanic eruptions and tornadoes on business operations has led several companies to re-visit their spending patterns and adopt efficient solutions in the hosted conferencing services space.
“Service providers’ efforts to integrate audio, video and web conferencing solutions with larger unified communication solution portfolios will guarantee superior cost performance and customer value, and accelerate uptake,” said Frost & Sullivan ICT senior industry analyst Jessie Yu.
“As awareness increases, these solutions will become popular, especially in the SMB sector in developing countries such as India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand,” she added.
Nevertheless, several of these countries are not accessible to global hosted conferencing service providers, as telecom regulations favour local providers, thus reducing the market scope.
Smaller countries, including Indonesia and the Philippines, are still not in the radar of key participants, whose short- to medium-term plans include just key markets such as Australia, Japan and India.
Therefore, the low level of competition in smaller countries has made the few solutions available expensive and hard to procure, curbing sale volumes, Frost & Sullivan said.
Meanwhile, the commoditisation of audio conferencing services and the entry of new market participants have resulted in pricing pressures, and along with the significant fall in bandwidth charges, has decreased overall market value.
Market saturation in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong also restricts revenues, and as new deployments get rarer in these markets, the emphasis on quality of solutions, unified communication integration, and feature sets has compelled established vendors to acquire new companies and widen their portfolio.
“Mobility solutions with features such as social networking are the focus for technological advancements,” said Yu.
“As the boundary between various communication technologies blurs, partnerships among vendors and service providers from different segments will become crucial to broaden market reach,” she added.
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