Riding on a 6 percent rise in demand for IP telephony over Q1 '09, the Asia Pacific enterprise telephony market is back on track after a slump in Q2 '09. Increased spending on enterprise telephony by banking and financial institutions, universities, hotels, and transportation have halted the slide of the market and placed it back on the growth path.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Asia Pacific Enterprise Telephony Market Q1 2010, finds that the market earned revenues of US$1.72 billion in 2009 and estimates this to reach US$2.57 billion in 2016.
Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have begun to show an active interest in enterprise telephony solutions, specifically in technologies that help them reduce the overall ownership cost and telecommunication bills.
"The market is poised to reverse the negative trends of the recent past, as customers have stated demanding unified communication (UC) solutions, specially video and web conferencing," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Shailendra Soni. "This is because the ability of high-end video conferencing solutions to act as a substitute for face-to-face meeting is helping enterprises lower travelling budgets and improve the productivity of the employees."
Telephony vendors have shown resilience in staving off challenges such as uncertainty in decision making, long sales cycle and budget constraints. They created a case for their products by presenting return on investment (ROI) documents, marketing messages highlighting faster ROI and introducing financial schemes to hasten the adoption of IP telephony systems.
Vendors and channel partners also had to strategize for an overall erosion in prices, which reduced by 10 to 20 per cent due to high discounts offered by industry participants. As these price cuts, along with budget constraints, could squeeze their profit margins, they resorted to creating product bundles that appeal to a larger section of TDM customers, particularly the medium-sized businesses.
They are also battling the low availability of in-house resource to manage IP telephony and UC products by offering free or low-budget training and proactively offering solutions over the managed and hosted environment.
"Tier 2 vendors have to move from selling just 'box' solutions to offering convergence solution that includes user-based UC applications," notes Soni. "Investments in channel training and the development of strong marketing collaterals that clearly illustrate rapid ROI are critical for successfully selling IP telephony solutions."
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