Technology convergence and consolidation, coupled with an increased emphasis on workplace communities, are the key forces keeping the worldwide web conference and team collaboration software market revenue on pace to reach $2 billion in 2008, according to Gartner, Inc. This represents an increase of 22 per cent growth in worldwide software revenue compared with 2007.
In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the total market for web conferencing and collaboration software market revenue is set to grow 28.6 per cent to reach $500.3 million in 2008, with strongest growth from Eastern Europe, which is on track to increase 55.3 per cent from 2007. Western Europe, which holds 90 per cent market share of the web conference and collaboration market in EMEA, is expected to grow 26.5 per cent while the Middle East and Africa will increase 45 per cent year-on-year.
Cultural differences also play a strong role in adoption of collaboration technologies. It is more common in North America and Europe to have meetings and other forms of interpersonal communications supported by collaboration tools. In Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, e-mail is used as the primary mode of communications in lieu of horizontal collaboration technologies. In Asia/Pacific and Japan, face-to-face meetings are preferred, and at times, business travel for meetings is seen as a prerequisite.
Although, it is difficult to measure the business value of interactions, a strong and growing demand exists within organizations for real-time and team-based collaboration technologies. Technologies such as instant messaging (IM) are increasingly viewed as birthright technologies, akin to email. Gartner anticipates that IM will become as popular as email by 2010. Videoconferencing will evolve to the desktop to support ad hoc conversations and become better integrated with web conferencing, IM and voice over IP (VoIP).More information on Customer Relationship Management can be found at www.CRMindustry.com