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Unified Communications and VoIP are Driving Growth for eSBCs

June 06, 2014

As enterprises and SMBs alike continue to discover the myriad features and cost savings that unified communications (UC) solutions afford, they are migrating from traditional telephony equipment at a steady pace. And since VoIP, video and collaboration features are a major draw for companies considering UC, enterprise session border controllers (eSBCs) have become a prominent part of the picture.

eSBCs are essential for a comprehensive UC offering, as they offer a bridge between existing voice infrastructure and VoIP and UC solutions. In fact, Infonetics Research recently reported that the eSBC market reached $255 million last year, growing 42 percent year over year. Cisco and Oracle (News - Alert) are the market leaders in this small  but growing and increasingly competitive space, though Oracle’s business is through the Acme Packet acquisition and Cisco’s (News - Alert) market share is a function of its Cisco-only customers (read: proprietary technology). Sonus Networks continues to battle with AudioCodes for the next largest share of the market.

Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync is the dominant player in the UC space, with Microsoft reporting that demand for the platform has grown at a double-digit rate every quarter for the past five years. Service providers and their customers are flocking to Lync not only due to its massive number of communications and collaboration features, but because of the ease of migration, which is largely enabled by Lync certified eSBCs. While these are but a subset of the overall eSBC vendor landscape, it not surprisingly includes the top three vendors whose SBCs aren’t tied to their routers.

"Demand for enterprise session border controllers (eSBCs) continues to be strong as businesses transition to SIP trunking,” said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research (News - Alert). Infonetics also found that sales of hosted PBX and UC services rose 13 percent last year, while the number of seats rose 35 percent.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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