Frost & Sullivan Research Service   Published: 24 Aug 2009
European Hosted Web Conferencing Services Market
   Research Overview

This Frost & Sullivan research service titled European Hosted Web Conferencing Services Market provides an analysis of the challenges, drivers, and restraints of the market, as well as an assessment of the overall revenues for 2008, with a revenue forecast for 2014 for each of the main market regions. The scope of this research service includes vendors either offering interactive real-time Web conferencing services as stand-alone products or integrated with enterprise communications tools and technologies such as presence, instant messenger, e-mail, audio and video conferencing.

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Market Overview

The Economic Downturn and Stringent Environmental Laws Boost the Web Conferencing Services Market in Europe

Web conferencing is a hot topic for companies wanting to decrease travel while maintaining productivity. The global economic decline has taken a toll on European businesses, compelling workers to do more with less. Hosted services are the dominant model in delivering web conferencing services to customers, as significant reduction in companies' capital expenditure (CAPEX) has spurred growth across the enterprise communication sector. Hosted services have gained popularity, as they do not require expensive in-house maintenance and upgrades. "The global recession and stringent environmental laws introduced by the European Parliament in 2008 are driving organisations to reduce their travel expenses and comply with ‘green’ policies", says the analyst of this research. "Web conferencing services certainly help in achieving these objectives."

The hosted web conferencing services segment grew at 14.9 per cent from 2007 to 2008, mainly due to growing awareness about web conferencing and greater penetration among vertical, small, and medium businesses (SMBs). More mature markets such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom are likely to continue exhibiting an overall high demand for web conferencing, as their technology curve is more advanced. These countries have high awareness of web conferencing, a well-developed infrastructure and boast the presence of several global companies. Newer markets such as Italy, Poland and Hungary will see phenomenal expansion as they surge ahead to adopt web-based technologies.

In the past, web conferencing was perceived as difficult to use, with many SMBs regarding it as out of their reach. This outlook has significantly influenced the growth rate of these services in the SMB sector. However, with new, integrated solutions presently entering the market, this situation is changing; web conferencing is becoming more affordable. Additionally, the unceasing globalisation and the increasing virtualisation of work are boosting the growth of web conferencing services in Europe. Rising interest in Web 2.0 technologies – such as wikis, blogs and social networking sites - in the enterprise sector is also changing the communication models between businesses.

Web Conferencing Services Providers to Offer Innovative and Enhanced Services

Despite the positive outlook for web conferencing services in Europe, the market is faced with challenges such as intensifying competition, escalating pricing pressure and general low awareness on web conferencing services, especially in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. Furthermore, poor infrastructure and low penetration of the SMB market in Europe are also hindering the mainstream adoption of web conferencing. "The entry of big, global web conferencing services vendors such as Cisco and Microsoft into the European market is likely to threaten the smaller regional participants," notes the analyst. "These local independent providers are responding by offering more competitively priced services which, in turn, will impel the larger vendors to lower prices." Web conferencing services providers also have to deal with a highly fragmented European market. There is a considerable need for language integration and support, as many workers do not speak English - the language in which most services are supported. Additionally, a preference for conducting face-to-face meetings, especially among business people in the CEE region, is delaying the rapid growth of web conferencing services in this region.

Web conferencing services providers aiming to expand their presence in the European market should ensure they are one-step ahead of their customers in offering new and enhanced services. For instance, the growing popularity of Web 2.0 tools, as well as instant messaging in the enterprise area is creating opportunities for web conferencing services providers to incorporate these tools into their services. There is an uneven migration of web conferencing services across market regions in Europe, despite the European market seeming homogenous. It consists of a number of markets with varied cultures, languages and business approaches. "For example, Web 2.0 tools in the large economies of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom are finding their way into enterprise sectors at a much faster rate than in the CEE countries," concludes the analyst. "Web conferencing services providers should customise their marketing strategies and their product offerings to take these conditions into account."

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  Table Of Contents

1. Introduction

   1.1 Market Definitions

   1.2 Research Scope and Methodology

   1.3 Executive Summary

   1.4 Market Segmentation

2. Market Overview

   2.1 Market Engineering Measurements

   2.2 Industry Challenges

   2.3 Key Drivers and Restraints for the Web Conferencing Services Market

   2.4 Market Drivers

   2.5 Market Restraints

3. Major Findings

   3.1 Major Research Findings

4. Market Analysis

   4.1 Revenue Forecasts

   4.2 Major Market Trends

   4.3 Evolving Web Conferencing Market

   4.5 Pricing Models

   4.6 Pricing Analysis and Trends

   4.7 European Market Overview

5. Market Landscape

   5.1 Competitive Structure

   5.2 Market Share Analysis

   5.3 Competitive Analysis

   5.4 Value-added Reseller Segment

6. The European Market

   6.1 Relative Size of Market Regions

   6.2 The European Market

   6.3 Regional Analysis

   6.4 Regional Level Forecasts

7. Country Profiles

8. Conclusions and Recommendations

   8.1 Conclusions

   8.2 Recommendations

   8.3 Other Relevant Studies Available From Frost & Sullivan

   8.4 Contact Information

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