Interview with Dhaval Bhagora, Product Manager, Matrix ComSec

TeleAnalysis spoke to Dhaval Bhagora, Product Manager – IT Products at Matrix ComSec to understand the Unified Communications market in India, its future, the trends in the industry and the company’s performance in the last fiscal.

matrix-comsec-dhaval-bhagora

Dhaval Bhagora, Product Manager – IT Products at Matrix ComSec

Q.  How does the UC market in India look like and what would be its estimated market size in FY13-14?

UC market in India looks promising with increasing size of broadband pipes in Tens of Gigabytes, 4G/LTE wireless technologies, presence of smart handheld devices and growing business mobility needs. Enterprises with huge manpower and operations spread in different locations are now migrating from traditional to UC based solutions realizing the benefits of connected business. Interestingly during year 2013 the SMB and SME sectors were reported the biggest adopter of UC with implementing UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS).

As per a leading research firm, the global Unified Communications as-a-Service market was $2.52 billion in 2013-14 and expected to reach $7.62 billion by 2018. India among an emerging market for UC will grow at compounded annual growth rate 23% and is expected to generate $1 billion revenue in FY2014-15.

Q. What are the factors affecting or driving the UC business?

In my opinion, the definition of UC is still not clear at the bottom layer – consumers. Delivering any form of real-time or non-real time communication, from any media type such as voice, text, video, web using devices such as desk phone, computer and smart phone is the core of UC.

Collaboration and mobility are the two major drivers of UC business. Organizations like L&T whose major clients are located overseas and operations managed locally. Managing day-to-day interactions and collaboration is the most vital part. L&T has an average of 500 video meetings every month. Plus for clients and employees working on common projects they implemented UC solutions to share real time communications and increase collaboration. Collaboration includes voice & video conferencing, messaging, multi-site connectivity and presence sharing status to enhance customer experience and increase employee productivity.

Enterprise Mobility is the most disruptive and essential requirement or organizations. Service industry with customer-focused organizations is the major adaptor of mobility solutions. It helps connecting overseas offices and customers, field sales forces and warehouses for streamlining operations and smooth delivery of services.

Q. Which business verticals are showing more traction towards UC, and which segment of industry like MNCs, large corporate and SMEs are the biggest adopters?

Organizations belonging to BFSI, BPO/KPO, Federal Government, Hospitality and Service Industries are adopting UC as a core solution to streamline global operations, manage business communications and enhance customer services. Indian Companies like L&T, Mahindra and iGATE whose major operations such as production, logistics and delivery are managed from India. Wherein strategic decisions are taken by clients and sales team located in other countries, they have adopted solutions to keep all the teams connected for voice and video conferencing, inventory analysis and working on shared projects. These customers belonging from MNCs, SMEs and Corporates are the early adopters of UC solution in India.

Q. Now as VoIP is allowed in the country, how do you see it affecting the UC market in coming times? Are there any legal issues pertaining to offering VoIP?

The liberalization in VoIP policy is a leap step towards adoption of UC in India. This will open the gates for leading UC providers such as Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft to fully utilize their services and platforms. Earlier with restriction on VoIP, these players had to limit their scope till enterprise communications while implanting logical separation for intra-office and PSTN based communications. For companies like Matrix, VoIP policy relaxation will help to capture SMB and SME market with offering IP telephony, SIP trunking, flexible subscriber options and value for money products.

The recent change in VoIP policy is still beneficial for service providers to offer IP based PSTN access. For enterprise customers they need to get services from Telcos and platforms from independent UC provider.  Customer also has to ensure legal consequences for not using VoIP in un-prescribed manner. Logical partitioning is one of the major points that need to be taken care for termination of intra-office calls and SIP trunks based communications.

Q. How has been your performance in FY13-14 in terms of revenue and what are the orders you bagged during FY13-14?

We were able to achieve annual targets despite of slowdown in voice/VoIP segment in India and overseas markets. The major reason behind this success was break-through deals signed with few international service providers in Africa and Latin America markets for voice & data convergence products. We are well placed in SMB and SME voice segment as we continue to grow 10% year-over-year in domestic and overseas market.

Q. How has introduction of cloud and BYOD impacted your business?

We have not affected by these Cloud service providers in India as we are targeting the sweet spot of SMBs and SMEs where the major requirement is premise-based and cost-effective communications. Cloud telephony providers have started paving its roots in India with offering hosted communications. At the same time, the customers are sceptical about benefits of outsourcing infrastructure, limitations of call control and risks related to information security. As far as BYOD is concerned, we are integrating this concept in our offerings. We have ready BYOD solutions that offer single number reach and flexible endpoint options such as desk phone, PC/Laptop softphone, PDAs and Android/iOS smartphones for enterprise users.

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