Unified Communications Featured Article

What Does "System" Mean in a Software-based Unified Communications Deployment?


August 09, 2011

As current-generation IP-PBX systems have increasingly dominated market shipments in recent years, they have methodically loosened the grip of proprietary TDM systems that have long sat as islands isolated from the rest of an organization’s IT infrastructure. But while the convergence of voice and data infrastructures was not an insignificant development, in a lot of ways it was just trading one box for another. 

That is, in first-generation IP-PBX systems, customers were still deploying a packaged appliance that delivered the same basic functionality – whether it was produced by Avaya, Cisco, Nortel or any number of others. But, as Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration applications have broadened the focus of vendors (and the competitive landscape) in recent years, and their delivery models have increasingly morphed to a software basis, that has begun to change. Customers in the market for a new voice or UC “system” today must select from a range of architectural alternatives for delivering the specific functionality they desire rather than from one single packaging model.

Based on the current market and vendor dynamics, the writing would appear to be on the wall for the

traditionally packaged voice system – IP or otherwise.

To find out what that message is, read the full report from Market Dashboard Spotlight.


Frank Stinson is a Partner and Senior Analyst with IntelliCom Analytics and leads the firm's IntelliCom Market Dashboard (IMD). To read more of Frank's articles, please visit his




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