Boomtown: Unified Communications revenue grew 31% in 2013, says Infonetics

But overpopulated Enterprise Telephony market will see more consolidation this year

Research firm Infonetics says the Unified Communications sector is strong and getting stronger. Early results from Infonetics' 2013 year-end Enterprise Unified Communications and Voice Equipment report find that UC revenues grew by 31 percent worldwide in 2013.

The company lists Microsoft as the UC leader with a 43 percent revenue share. The UC segment is forecasted for 7 percent CAGR from this year through 2018.

Now as an interesting counter-note to raw bullishness, Tsahi Levent-Levi writes on UC Strategies that major disruption of the UC market is imminent.

That doesn't mean UC won't continue to grow, but Levent-Levi expects the development of the WebRTC standard to shake things up. He borrows a quote from futurist Thomas Frey--"A high level of experimentation is always a leading indicator of change even if we don't have a clear view of what it will look like on the other side"--and says it applies beautifully to what's happening in the WebRTC space, undermining expensive dedicated videoconferencing equipment providers. This space bears watching.

Back to the Infonetics research: Unlike the UC segment, the study also asserts that the telephony equipment market is shrinking. This pressure may create a few diamonds, but it will crush some others in the process. Meyers says "the market is too tight to maintain the number of vendors in existence right now." The PBX market contracted by 9 percent versus 2012. Not surprisingly, Infonetics expects further consolidation and shake-up in the telephony vendor space.

The complete report will be released tomorrow, March 4.

For more:
- See Infonetics' preliminary results
- And Levent-Levi's column on UC Strategies

More on Unified Communications:
Evaluating UC and IT products? Outright dismissal is lazy
Google guns for Lync, WebEx with $999 Chromebox, PBX integration
Enterprise communications: Cloud or on-premise?