New From InfoTech: Unified Communications Drives Tremendous Growth For Converged Applications In the SMB Market

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Revenue growth from SMB converged applications during the next five years will average 47 percent per year, compared to only 16 percent for underlying IP Telephony (IPT) systems, according to the just-published InfoTrack for Converged Communications: SMB Converged Applications Market Analysis and Forecast.

According to the just-published InfoTrack for Converged Communications: SMB Converged Applications Market Analysis and Forecast, during the next five years, revenue growth from SMB converged applications will average 47 percent per year, compared to only 16 percent for underlying IP Telephony (IPT) systems. Demand is particularly strong for such Unified Communications (UC) applications as Personal Assistant that can be linked to key business processes.

Results contained in InfoTech’s new report are based on a survey of the InfoTech Institute for Communications Research, a proprietary research panel comprised of 2,400 business decision-makers for communications applications.

The study analyzes the SMB demand for four categories of converged applications:

  • Unified Communications: Nine apps in messaging, collaboration, personal productivity or mobility
  • IP Contact Centers
  • Web Services Applications: Telephony modules accessible from business applications conforming to Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) standards
  • Vertical Market Applications

According to InfoTech, revenue growth is driven primarily by increased SMB demand for UC, with UC applications rated Number One in both projected spending and expected business value. More than half of SMBs strongly believe UC apps can have a positive impact on key business processes.

SMBs that envision significant utilization of UC client applications, such as Personal Assistant, see a reduced need for full-featured IP phones. They also want a UC client application that works on PCs at the desktop as well as on mobile devices. At the desktop, the PC-based UC client should work well with any phone, including existing digital phones.

“IPT vendors need to adjust their marketing strategies to emphasize the value UC applications can bring to specific business processes,” comments Terry White, vice president of InfoTech and program director for Converged Communications. “They also need to clearly define how their Personal Assistant application serves both desktop and mobile workers.”

InfoTech’s research panel gives Cisco the highest rating among 12 IPT vendors for its capabilities in delivering business value via converged applications, including Sales and Marketing, Portfolio of Converged Apps and Technical Support. In addition, Cisco is the only vendor to receive ratings of 4.00 or better out of a five-point rating scale. Microsoft ranks second among SMBs that have no firm plans for implementing IPT.

“Cisco has done an excellent job of marketing business value as the reason for SMBs to completely replace their existing PBXs, key systems and phones,” White adds. “Now it is up to the traditional voice vendors to show their customers how they can achieve business value by upgrading their existing PBXs and key systems to IPT and UC applications without having to replace all of their existing phones.”

To learn more about the report or to make a purchase, please visit or contact Craig Born at or 973/602-0123.

About InfoTech

InfoTech, part of The Telecom Intelligence Group, publishes four comprehensive, primary research studies each year as part of its InfoTrack for Converged Communications (ICC) program. These ICC studies analyze the market demand for IPT systems, Hosted IPT services and converged applications. Each report contains nearly 100 graphs and detailed analyses comparing demand based on geographical region (U.S., Europe and Rest of World); 5 company-size segments; 10 industry segments; 10 specific converged applications; and 3 categories of decision-makers. Each report also includes detailed five-year forecasts for the U.S. market, including revenue, shipments and installed base.

For more information on the ICC program, contact Craig Born at or 973/602-0123.

About The Telecom Intelligence Group

The Telecom Intelligence Group includes market-intelligence provider InfoTech; TelecomWeb and TelecomWeb news break; e-letters Wireless Business Forecast, Broadband Business Forecast, Inside Digital TV and Telecom Policy Report; tariff consultancy Tarifica; and the Web-based business-telephony-product database TelecomTactics.

To learn more about The Telecom Intelligence Group, please visit


Sharon Valencik, research & marketing director, 800/610-3109, telecom @

Terry White, vice president and program director, twhite


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