Unified communication spending for Indian SMBs in the range of US$48.8 Mn for '09

Indian small and medium business (SMB) to have unified communication (UC) investments upwards of US$48.8 Mn for 2009-10. UC cost savings drive adoption.

The latest study by analyst firm Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc reveals that small and medium businesses (SMB or companies with up to 999 employees) in the Indian subcontinent are set to spend US$48.8 million on unified communication technologies during FY 2009-'10, up over FY 2008-'09.

Medium businesses (MB or companies with 100-999 employees) will account for over 40 per cent of the India's total SMB unified communication expenditure, while small businesses are increasing their adoption of basic unified communication solutions. Conferencing and collaboration tools such as video, audio, web conferencing and instant messaging will account for a majority of the total unified communication spending, as per the study.

"During recession, UC helps cut costs and reduce travel expenditure. Apart from this, it gives better investment returns. Companies are looking at UC as a low-cost tool to communicate effectively with customers and suppliers, as well as facilitate communication across multiple branch locations," says Sumeeta Misra, AMI's Bangalore-based Research Associate.

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As Indian SMBs are more willing to invest in this technology, vendors are now developing alternative modes and platforms in UC. The rise of hosted unified communication and open interoperable UC platforms are a few examples. Communication-as-a-Service (CaaS), which is an extension of the Software as a Service model, will provide UC over a service provider's network. Hosted VoIP spending among India SMBs will be close to US$18M in FY 2009-'10.

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