Growing SMB adoption rates point to compound annual growth in the web-conferencing market of over 25% during the next five years, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan, which says sales will reach $657.1m by 2014.
Analysts pointed to several key influences on the market – not least the recessionary impact on capex – that are gaining traction, including enterprise-level interest in messaging and social networks.
“The global recession and stringent environmental laws introduced by the European Parliament in 2008 are driving organisations to reduce their travel expenses and comply with green policies,” said research analyst Iwona Petruczynik. “Web conferencing services certainly help in achieving these objectives.”
Hosted conferencing services are leading the charge, growing at 14.9% from 2007 to 2008, due to growing awareness of the technology’s potential among SMBs that were previously unwilling to invest in on-premise kit.
Frost & Sullivan said that with new, integrated solutions entering the marketplace, and prices being driven down by global web conferencing services vendors such as Cisco and Microsoft, more end-users felt justified in evaluating the technology.
“Local independent providers are responding [to Cisco] by offering more competitively priced services which, in turn, will impel the larger vendors to lower prices,” Petruczynik added.