Asia hooks up with unified communications

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Asia hooks up with unified communications

Enterprises in Asia-Pacific will spend US$4.5 billion this year on unified communications services and equipment, new research predicts..

The market was worth US$4.03 billion last year, Frost & Sullivan reported, and market growth is being driven by factors including an increasingly mobile workforce.

"Globalisation and the internet are having a significant impact on enterprises and the level of competition they face. The need for enterprises to be agile and quick to respond is critical," said Frost & Sullivan industry manager Shivanu Shukla.

"The need for communications to be at the forefront of this transition is a reality that chief information officers across the region are beginning to heed."

The aim of unified communications systems is to allow users to employ the same interface for all forms of electronic communication, including fixed-line phone calls, mobile calls, email, text messaging, video calls, shared white-boarding and so on.

This interface also provides supporting features such as location services and a unified address book, and should combine the back-end infrastructure of these disparate means of communication as much as possible.

Asia's unified communications market will continue to grow at an average rate of more than 10 percent a year for the foreseeable future, Frost & Sullivan predicts. The market will be worth US$8.17 billion annually by the end of 2014.

Enterprises with more than 250 users and offices spread across the region are among the early adopters of unified communications systems, according to the analyst firm.

Such early deployments are being seen in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea.

"Distributed teams in multiple locations, cities and countries have increased the need for collaboration within enterprises," said Shukla.

"Consumer collaboration trends with web 2.0 technologies are also influencing enterprise collaboration techniques."
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