Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek is Vice President, Research at Frost & Sullivan. She is a renowned expert in unified communications, collaboration, social...
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Melanie Turek | July 26, 2010 |


World Enterprise Telephony Platform Market

World Enterprise Telephony Platform Market 2009 was a rough year, but Frost & Sullivan expects the enterprise IP desktop phone market to gradually recover.

2009 was a rough year, but Frost & Sullivan expects the enterprise IP desktop phone market to gradually recover.

Last week, I highlighted information on platform sales uncovered by research done by my colleague Alaa Saayed, who recently completed Frost & Sullivan's latest research on the worldwide enterprise telephony market. Here's a quick look at some of the highlights on the endpoint side; clients can download the full report at

* World IP desktop phones were significantly impacted by recent macroeconomic pressures. In 2009, unit shipments contracted by 22.5 percent, to 12.6 million units shipped, and revenues declined by a rate of 26.5 percent, to $1.89 billion.

* Although vendors launched new IP desktop phones, and devices with improved displays (with color and touch-screen technologies), HD audio and support for advanced applications became more popular, the market for IP desktop phones was severely hit by the economic downturn.

* Additional factors negatively impacting the market include the relatively high costs of IP phones, and a growing movement to "kill the desktop phone," which emerged in 2008 and is supported by a number of UC and mobility vendors advocating the mass replacement of desktop phones by mobile devices and soft clients.

* In spite of these factors, Frost & Sullivan expects the enterprise IP desktop phone market to gradually recover; the number of units shipped will grow at an estimated CAGR of 10 percent, and revenues will increase by 2.1 percent over the next several years.

* For desktop communication clients such as basic PC softphones and advanced UC clients, 2009 was an atypical year. Total client shipments reached around 12 million--a 362 percent growth rate compared to 2008. This sudden increase is mostly due to Avaya's aggressive marketing of its all-inclusive UC client bundle, including the Avaya one-X Communicator. Avaya marketed its UC clients a la carte, as part of the Aura Enterprise Edition, and as an incentive to customers who migrated to Communication Manager release 5.2. This strategy helped populate Avaya’s installed base with UC-capable soft clients and put Avaya in the desktop client market leadership position, but it did not have an equal impact on revenues, and it does not mean recipients are actually using their soft clients for telephony or unified communications.

* Desktop communications client revenues are estimated at around US$158 million, growing by 64.2 percent over 2008. Although Frost & Sullivan has valued the base-year revenue estimate for desktop communications clients, we will not be tracking future revenues of such applications due to their continued integration with other types of clients, and the lack of clear vendor guidance.


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