Microsoft’s Expanding VoIP Initiatives Disrupt Existing Market Models, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 7, 2006 – A telecom industry transformation is underway as Microsoft expands its VoIP initiatives, causing significant disruption to traditional market models over the next several years. According to new research from IDC, Microsoft's move into the broader VoIP market – challenging existing PBX and IP PBX vendors – will result in a dual opportunity as the company taps this lucrative market and uses VoIP to enhance its existing real-time collaboration suite and desktop productivity tools.

Beyond the more modest market for unified communications solutions, Microsoft views VoIP as a huge revenue opportunity encompassing both enterprise and service provider markets. "Although Microsoft is well positioned to address VoIP opportunities in the enterprise, doing so in the carrier domain will prove to be more challenging," said Tom Valovic, program director for VoIP Infrastructure at IDC.

Microsoft is attempting to solve one of the industry's biggest headaches: the communications complexity crisis, which is described as a melange of factors involving a surfeit of devices and communications options working in disarray rather than in a harmonious fashion. In its June 26th Unified Communications announcement, Microsoft freely acknowledged the industry-wide problems that often plague communications transactions, including incompatibility, unnecessary complexity, and asynchronous dead-ends such as voice mail-based phone tag. "End-user option shock, telecom gridlock, and a fragmented end-user experience are several real-world manifestations of this phenomenon that few suppliers have been able to address to this point," said Valovic. "Vendors that can bring a breakthrough solution to the table will have a significant market opportunity."

The IDC study, The Shot Heard Round the VoIP World: Microsoft Targets the IP PBX Market via Unified Communications (IDC #202664), examines Microsoft's approach to unified communications, and the company's initiatives around VoIP to enhance its existing product set.

To purchase this study, contact IDC Sales at 508-988-7988 or email

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