UC-enabled Headsets Continue to Grow in the Skype for Business Endpoint Ecosystem

Jul 10, 2015


For many years, Frost & Sullivan has closely tracked the markets of enterprise endpoints, including TDM phones, IP phones, UC clients, wireless devices, and enterprise professional headsets. Among the most notable trends, Frost & Sullivan has witnessed the growing role of advanced professional headsets within the contact center and office (CC&O) environments. The proliferation of enterprise communications soft clients and the increasing recognition of headsets as productivity enablers have been the main drivers behind professional headset growth. 

At the heart of the CC&O headset industry are UC-enabled headsets. Frost & Sullivan defines UC-enabled headsets as devices that allow users of software-based communications to efficiently collaborate in real time. As a subset of PC USB headsets, UC-enabled headsets integrate with a wide plethora of UC solutions to provide multiple features and capabilities that extend the UC experience to headsets, such as location/context awareness, IM and presence integration, echo and noise cancellation, and more. 

In our latest global CC&O headset study, Frost & Sullivan found that UC-enabled headsets grew 32.5 percent in 2014 in terms of revenue, representing 36.4 percent of total market revenue. Frost & Sullivan expects the UC-enabled headset segment to continue to grow as businesses increasingly use software-based communications as part of their enterprise endpoint ecosystem. 

When it comes to installed base, UC-enabled headsets continue to grow with more than 20 million devices shipped since 2010, of which around 11 million are used with Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business environments, a quantity which is estimated to be four times larger than the installed base of Microsoft optimized/qualified desktop phones. While Frost & Sullivan estimates the number of Microsoft-oriented IP Phones to continue on a growth trajectory, UC-enabled headsets will continue to outpace these devices going forward.   

The above mentioned numbers should not come as a surprise to anyone with a stake in the communications and collaboration industry. Microsoft has always pushed a “desktop phone-less environment” in its enterprise telephony ecosystem. In fact, Frost & Sullivan estimates the installed base of business users using a UC client without a desktop phone to reach around 16.5 million in 2015, with more than 60 percent of these users estimated to be within Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business environments. 

In spite of the growing base of office workers using a headset without a phone, Frost & Sullivan believes that most UC client environments will use both desktop phones and software clients for enterprise communications. In fact, more than 70 percent of UC clients in 2015 will be still used in environments with a desktop phone. 

In the future, professional headsets will continue to play a prominent role in enterprise communications as the industry moves to a “connected work era” in which everywhere is the new workplace. In this era, professional headsets will be key to enhance the user’s environment and glue multiple devices and applications.





Category : Enterprise

Mohamed Alaa Saayed


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