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Analysis of the European Audio Conferencing Services Market

  • November 2013
  • 63 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 1870987

Summary

Table of Contents

Increase in Volume of Minutes to Offset Price Decline in the Near Term

This research study presents an analysis of the Audio Conferencing Services Market in Europe. The study discusses key market trends, drivers, and restraints, and provides market sizing and forecasts for the European market. Regional breakdowns include UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Benelux, Nordics, and Rest of Europe. The study also provides market shares and profiles for the major audio conferencing service providers in Europe.

Key Findings

• The volume of minutes consumed over our forecast period will increase. However continued price compression will lead to a steady decline in revenue growth rates. Revenue growth over the forecast period is expected to be Xpercent.
• Growth will come from underpenetrated markets in Eastern and Southern Europe, increased adoption by SMBs, and more frequent use by mobile and remote workers.
• There is little growth potential in the stand-alone audio market in terms of revenue, and few opportunities for differentiation amongst providers.
• Future revenue growth will come from bundling minutes with web and video conferencing and UC integration.
• There has been a small shift from traditional PSTN audio conferencing to web-based audio. Competitive price points and the improved functionality offered by web-based audio offer better value to the end user.

CEO’s Perspective

1. Continued price erosion is suppressing revenue growth in the stand-alone audio conferencing market.
2. Vendors are shifting their focus to bundling audio minutes with web and video conferencing.
3. Value-added features and ease-of-use are the key drivers of sales of audio conferencing products.
4. Healthy demand for audio conferencing comes from large distributed organizations with remote workers.
5. Integration with UC solutions will form a key part of vendors’ strategies as customers seek out complete collaboration solutions.

Market Definitions

Scope
Geographic coverage: Europe
Study period: 2012–2017
Base year: 2012
Forecast period: 2013–2017
Monetary unit: Euros
Conversion rate: €1 = $X

• This study covers the EU X countries and Norway and Switzerland.
• All revenues are calculated at the end-user level. Revenues of resold services are attributed to the reseller, not the manufacturer.
• If revenues were provided in dollars they were then converted to euro at the 2012 12-month average of €1 = $X.
• The study includes estimated revenue for the total European audio conferencing services market, as well as some country-level estimates.

Market Definitions
• Frost & Sullivan defines audio conferencing as a communications session among three or more users who are geographically dispersed. The service is provided by connecting two or more sites via a bridge service, using the transmission of voice signals across analog or digital lines. Sites can connect via toll-free or toll numbers provided for either ad-hoc (unattended) or operator-scheduled calls.
• The overall audio conferencing services market is divided into two broad categories—attended (operator-assisted) and unattended (reservationless) audio conferencing services.

Unattended Audio Conferencing
• Unattended audio conferencing is the transmission of enterprise-grade, full-duplex voice signals across Internet protocol (IP) or public switched transport network (PSTN) lines between two or a greater number of sites using either toll-free or toll numbers. For the purposes of this study, unattended calls will combine reservationless/ad-hoc and what was previously known as scheduled/unattended meet-me calls.
• Unattended calls are best thought of as self-service or on-demand conferencing. Prior reservations are not needed and the party setting up the call has a pre-assigned dial-in number to use.
• Unattended or reservationless conference size typically ranges from two to fifty participants but most companies offer larger reservationless conference sizes as demanded by customers. No operator assistance or intervention is required for this type of conferences, although it is usually possible to ask for operator assistance during a call. Many reservationless audio products also have a complement of a web tool, integrated or stand-alone, that further enhances the audio product.

Attended Audio Conferencing
• Attended audio conferencing is usually used for high-profile conferencing events such as investor relations calls or calls with a large number of participants where heightened levels of formality, control, and service quality are required. The primary differentiators of this call type are: operator monitoring, operator-managed features, and premium pricing.
• The service provider may also have the capability to e-mail invitations to the potential participants, greet the participants and validate their authenticity, mediate the conference session and give alerts on who is entering or leaving the conference. The service provider may also offer and charge for additional services such as call recording, digital replay and transcription. Long-distance charges are typically paid by the company that is organizing the conference as the participants are likely to be customers or employees.

Key Questions This Study Will Answer

Is the market continuing to grow? How long will it continue to grow and at what rate?
What are the key trends impacting on the growth of this market?
How are vendors positioned to meet the evolving needs of customers in this market?
What are the differences between country level markets in Europe?

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