Synergy Research: SaaS-based conferencing boosts UC applications market

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As more businesses leverage Software as a Service (SaaS)-based web conferencing, they are using more Unified Communications applications.  

Synergy Research Group attributed the 11 percent increase in the Unified Communications (UC) applications market between Q2 2010 and Q2 2011 to a 27 percent increase in desktop conferencing. Desktop conferencing itself is being driven by the SaaS-based Web conferencing subsegment.

Synergy SaaS and UC applications 2011

During the Q2 2010 and Q2 2011 period, SaaS-based revenues increased 33 percent between Q2 2010 and Q2 2011 and now account for 36 percent of all UC applications revenues.

From a vendor perspective, Cisco continues to rule the SaaS-based Web conferencing market, commanding a 58 percent share in Q2, up from 54 percent in the same period in 2010 due to strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region. While Asia-Pacific only makes up 15 percent of the global UC application market, growth has outpaced other regions.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) is joined by Citrix and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), which still hold the number two and three positions in the SaaS conferencing subsegment. Both lost market share in Q2 2011. In addition to Citrix and Microsoft's slipping market share, contact center revenues grew modestly, while unified/voice messaging revenues declined.

"Conferencing has quickly become an accepted way of conducting business meetings, with a key driver being the need to reduce travel and business expenses," said Synergy Research Group's Jeremy Duke. "The wide availability and acceptance of SaaS-based applications has also been a strong driver of market growth."

Duke added that Synergy forecasts annual SaaS-based Web conferencing revenues will double over the next five years.

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