NZ sees stop-start unified communications market

There are clear signs unified communications is gathering momentum in New Zealand. It was one of the most discussed topics at this year’s Microsoft TechEd conference and stories about implementations and successes continue to arrive.

And yet Frost & Sullivan’s 2013 research report shows the market for UC products and services declined 4.5 percent in 2012 to a shade under $100 million. The company still forecasts solid growth over the long-term with a year-on-year increase of 6.2 percent between 2012 and 2019.

Last year’s downturn was mainly due to organisations reducing IT spending and deferring investments. Frost & Sullivan says cost and efficiency pressures are driving the  demand  for  hosted  and  cloud  based  solutions, which offer greater flexibility and with minimal maintenance overheads.

Frost  &  Sullivan says government and the banking, financial services and insurance sector are the key UC markets in New Zealand. Both were cautious rolling out UC during the year.

Two companies dominate the NZ UC market. Cisco and Microsoft account for 40 percent of the total.

Audrey  William, head of research, ICT practice, Frost & Sullivan ANZ says: “Microsoft  Lync  is a disruptive factor in the New Zealand UC market as it gives  Microsoft  the  ability  to  offer  core  functionality  such as IM, presence,  voice and video on a single platform. Lync’s defining feature of serving as a PBX is driving many organisations to test Lync at the time of  their PBX renewal as an option to simplify and cut costs in their UC infrastructure”.