The workplace is changing. Day by day, technology is shaping the way people communicate and collaborate by voice, video, instant message, and group collaboration. Welcome to the exciting sector of Unified Communications (UC)—one of the most affected by technology. The growth of UC, fueled by the expansion of the cloud is making for some trends that keep the fires burning.
The Application Omelet
The pattern used to be separate applications that did separate things and let people communicate with different groups. Today’s call is for non-stop communications that enhance productivity, connectivity, and mobility. The fragmentation of services is going by the wayside in favor of applications with productivity and collaboration integrated seamlessly. The cloud makes this seamlessness more of a reality.
The Application Omelet with UC Inside
A while back, we pointed out the infiltration of Unified Communications (UC) into applications in the enterprise. We were right to take note as UC has grown within business technologies to become embedded services—Communications as a Service (CaaS)—within applications, will continue that trend. It also remains true that while employees need and are making use of UC, they use it with limited awareness. Meanwhile, the global UC market predictions are surpassing 75 billion by 2020. So how will the enterprise utilize UC going forward? Stand-alone client applications might take a hit as UC works its way into the enterprise within applications that already comprise their business environments. Time will tell, but look for more strategic partnerships as vendors seek to stay alive in the growing competitive marketplace. Not only does the trend appeal to the new generation of user employees, but it also saves the enterprise money as they phase out unused hardwired telephony systems. Cost savings combined with increased collaboration makes for a one-two knockout.
Microsoft and Cisco Maintain Market Leadership
According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, Cisco and Microsoft will continue to reign supreme as leaders in UC. Microsoft still continues to create buzz surrounding Skype for Business by adding new features such as Cloud PBX and the Cloud PBX PSTN calling option. Cisco UC remains attractive for companies needing solid voice, video or conferencing capabilities and for full support on leading mobile platforms, including Apple iOs.
Growth of UC in Territories Outside the US
Market reports consistently emerge from nations outside the US where UC is grasping hold of market share where traditional carrier and telephony once ruled. Australia and the Middle-East have seen significant strides in their markets in particular.
As we examined trends that have emerged recently, it was clear that UC shows no signs of stopping and that for vendors to succeed, the key will be innovation in productivity and taking note of the trends when they emerge by being responsive to them. Building flexibility and scalability into various products and services will be a must to remain competitive, keep distribution channels open, and work with businesses to support their new generation of digital collaborators.