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UC Market: Tiny Today, Tremendous Tomorrow?

Hello, again. Why are you hearing from us on a Monday? Well, we're back with another UC special edition of RCPU.

If you've figured out exactly what UC is, then you're already way ahead of a lot of people. So, now it's time to figure out how big the UC market is -- something analysts have discussed without really reaching any kind of consensus.

Last week, though, a few more hints came out. No lesser a light than the mighty IDC is fairly bullish on UC, and why shouldn't it be? The category makes tons of headlines (and gets covered fairly extensively in RCPU special editions) and has huge mega-vendors such as Microsoft and Cisco rushing to be part of it.

But the fairly well-kept secret about the UC market, at least one analyst says, is that it's really not very big right now -- and even with predicted rapid growth, it'll still be relatively small in 2012. Still, everybody agrees that it's got potential, and one blogger posits that UC will gobble away at the traditional telecommunications and messaging markets rather than swallowing them whole. From the blog entry linked above, we quote:

"Which leads to the second point: The UC market, today, is tiny: $200 million is a pittance in absolute terms, and it's a very small share -- just 2 percent -- of the total 'UC-capable' market. Blair's projection calls for the net UC share to increase to 15 percent by 2012.

"Still, even at that point, you're talking about a $2.433 billion market, which isn't gigantic. To me, it's more impressive that the 'gross' market -- all the communications gear that's eligible for UC but may not be implemented in a UC way -- is projected to grow at more than 50% annually and reach almost $16 billion by 2012.

"Partly, I imagine that's because as we go forward, essentially every addition to the installed base of communications gear will be UC capable, and will most likely be replacing a piece of TDM equipment that isn't UC capable, or at least isn't a very good candidate for UC-enabling."

Well, that makes a lot of sense to us, anyway, which is why we afforded a longer-than-usual quote space to another blogger. UC might be one of those categories for which the headlines are currently outpacing actual adoption, but it's poised to grow -- if a bit methodically. That is, of course, if people can actually figure out what it is.

Posted by Lee Pender on June 23, 2008


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