Unified communications market to double by 2014 - Cisco

The unified communications market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is forecast to more than double over the next four years, according to the latest report by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The market for unified communications in EMEA was worth $8 billion in 2010, but this figure will jump to $16.6 billion by 2014.

Isabel Montero, senior research analyst of unified communications and collaboration at IDC, said that companies are continuing to be cautious with IT spending due to the economic downturn and that budgets will continue to be monitored, restricted or delayed until there's more confidence in the market. Despite this, the unified communications market will see moderate growth over the next few years.

Growth is expected to speed up closer to 2014, led by small and medium sized businesses. It is expected that these will opt for outsourcing their unified communications and that there will be a rise in cloud-based services in this area to cater for demand. Managed services are also likely to increase.

A significant rise in mergers and acquisitions is also on the cards, according to IDC, due to strong competition between legacy vendors looking to come up with approaches to unified communications that better suit an “open source ecosystem”.