Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Enterprise Conferencing and Collaboration Market Evolves

The legacy online communication market has already been disrupted by mobile messaging apps -- such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Moreover, increasing competition and the ongoing upheaval of the telecom services industry will continue to transform the enterprise collaboration sector.

The North American telecom conferencing services market is in a state of rapid transition as visual collaboration gains precedence over legacy audio conferencing. As emerging video communication services are driving expansion, the commoditization of mature technologies is tempering overall growth.

As a result, the hosted audio, web, video and managed video conferencing service segments will each experience varying growth rates over the next seven years, according to the latest market study by Frost & Sullivan.

Their recent analysis found that the conferencing market earned revenues of $4.5 billion in 2014 -- it's estimated to reach $5.9 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1 percent.

Distributed and remote workforce requires most organizations to equip their employees with feature-rich and easy-to-use tools, immensely widening the scope of the North American conferencing services market.

Visual collaboration, in particular, is gaining traction as more early-adopters of free tools -- such as Google Hangouts, Microsoft Skype and Apple Facetime -- introduce these applications into the workplace.

"What was once a rudimentary component now holds serious weight in the minds of decision-makers across businesses," said Alaa Saayed, industry manager at Frost & Sullivan. "As Millennials continue to make up a larger share of the workforce, video will become more pervasive and price points will drop with newer technologies, further fueling adoption."

Although opportunities exist in the North American conferencing services market, there are challenges. Telecom service providers must compete with consumer-grade and other free conferencing solutions that reduces the demand for professional-grade services.

That being said, hosted and cloud video conferencing services could become popular as organizations look to avoid large capital investments in favor of subscription-based services. However, this anticipated shift to cloud-based offerings is also driving an influx of new start-up providers into the sector.

As the market matures, attributes such as provider viability and a broad portfolio of complementary solutions will become critical for sustained results in the North American conferencing services domain. Meanwhile, free and freemium services will continue to raise the bar of expectations for the feature capabilities and associated benefits of paid services.