Anand Balasubramanian, Industry Analyst, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan ANZ, says "Blue Jeans Networks is particularly prominent among this new breed of vendors, and as they drive market awareness for cloud based video conferencing, organisations will be reluctant to commit to the traditional resource intensive, on-premise based video conferencing solutions. Vendors with on-premise based solutions will ultimately be forced to adapt to this shift in business demand".
The Australian UC market has become a two-tiered market with the top two vendors accounting for over 40% of the overall market and a number of vendors competing for the remaining share. Cisco and Microsoft see each other as the biggest competitors in the market, mainly due to the breadth of UC solutions offered. Both these vendors have a strong collaboration focus and leverage their respective expertise in networks and desktop applications to drive growth. Among emerging vendors, Interactive Intelligence and ShoreTel continue to record high growth rates as awareness of their low cost solutions improves. While these two vendors typically have a strong foothold in the SMB segment, they are also beginning to secure bigger deals. Interactive Intelligence in particular is beginning to demonstrate its ability to offer hosted UC solutions. As these vendors increase their addressable market and become capable of catering to larger deployments, they will pose a serious threat to the major UC vendors.
The slow economic recovery in global markets and a slow-down in the resources sector have caused organisations in Australia to approach IT spending cautiously. One of the main impacts of this has been a decline in the number of large deployments and a general lengthening of sales cycles.
William states, "Most channel partners are facing tighter profit margins in selling on-premise UC solutions and are noticing a shift towards hosted and cloud based solutions. They are challenged to build UC services and cloud capabilities that offer better margins, whilst offering an avenue for future growth. Partnering with vendors such as Cisco and Microsoft, which are well positioned to address the changing UC market is important".