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Sep 15

Softphone market set for rapid expansion

Softphones haven't impacted the enterprise market like smartphones have, but new research indicates they could see strong growth in the next six years as businesses look to contain costs and take advantage of expanding VoIP networks.

Global Industry Analysts forecast the market could grow to $217.2 million in value by 2017, with 2.9 million units in volume sales, primarily driven by increasing enterprise mobility and workforce virtualization.

The firm said that while the United States is the world's largest market for softphones, the fastest growing region is APAC, where sales are increasing at a CAGR in excess of 19 percent, and revenue is growing at a CAGR of more than 13 percent.

Major players in the marketplace include Avaya, Broadview Networks, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), CounterPath and Mirial, among others.

Call centers continue to adopt softphones, primarily because the ability to turn a PC and/or a laptop into a telephone allows for the elimination of wired hardware requirements, saves space, is easy to set up and install, and is cost effective for long-distance international calling and rapid integration into database systems.

The diffusion of SIP devices, the progressive decrease in price points, and the continued rise in the overall value proposition of IP softphones in terms of applications and features are some of the factors that could encourage market adoption.

GIA said mobility and workforce virtualization are key growth drivers for the market.

Increasingly, vendors are looking to SMBs, offering specially tailored solutions designed to meet the unique requirements of this customer cluster. As increased numbers of SMBs begin to recognize the advantage of IP telephony, and as older telephony platforms reach the end of their lifecycle, IP adoption is expected to continue gaining momentum.

Growing deployment of VoIP networks as a result of globalization and deregulation of markets, and improving performance of VoIP networks, is helping push up the business case for enterprise softphones, said GIA.

Source: Fierce Enterprise