According to International Data Corporation (IDC) research the EMEA enterprise videoconferencing equipment market will continue to show healthy growth over the forecast period (a 14,6% CAGR), spurred by the increasing need of the enterprise market for the application of video and telepresence for unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) purposes and the diminishing cultural barriers to video acceptance within organisations.

“Given the trending of an increasingly distributed workforce within a globally interdependent economy, the business case for videoconferencing has never been clearer,” says Melissa Fremeijer, senior research analyst, EMEA Unified Communications and Collaboration. “While the key driver for investing in videoconferencing has initially been the need to reduce travel costs, we find that increasingly companies are interested in the benefits of enhanced team collaboration and effectiveness of meetings.”

For the growing sophisticated customer base, video is no longer seen as a siloed technology used merely for face to face internal meetings, but increasingly adopted as part of a UC&C infrastructure and integrated into daily business processes via built-in and customizable applications.

Moving beyond the conference room meeting, video use has become a mainstay application in such vertical markets as healthcare, education, law enforcement, the legal system, manufacturing, and the gaming industry, in addition to its appeal across industries for security and surveillance purposes.

For the forecast period, IDC expects the lower tier of videoconferencing solutions in particular (for example, small workgroups, desktop, and mobile) to attract greater interest from business end users. In addition, IDC expects video-as-a-service (VaaS) cloud offerings to start to gain visibility in 2012 and throughout the forecast period, further adding to companies’ interest in video.

The videoconferencing equipment forecast study also reveals that:

• In 2011, EMEA videoconferencing revenue grew 20,5% (over 2010) to $809,5-million, making it another strong year for the enterprise videoconferencing market.

• EMEA immersive telepresence revenue, which IDC derives as a percentage of overall videoconferencing revenue, came in at $96,7-million in 2011, a 16,5% decrease in growth over 2010. IDC sees this as further evidence of the trend of videoconferencing pushing down market in the enterprise to a growing segment of desktop workgroup and mobile users.

• Video infrastructure equipment (MCUs, gateways, video network servers, appliances, etc.) grew to $210,7-million in 2011, up 26,3% over 2010. The bulk (62%) of videoconferencing endpoint revenue, which comprises single codec and executive desktop systems, grew 31,8% over 2010 to reach $ 502,2-million in 2011.

• Total EMEA videoconferencing revenue in 2011 was divided among the subregions as follows: Western Europe (88,9%), Central Eastern Europe (7,2%), Middle East and Africa (4%).