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Unified Communications: What it Means to the End User

November 05, 2012

At this point in time, unified communications is no longer a choice but shear necessity to companies in every industry throughout the globe, as it enables them to take advantage of the cloud for all business-related activities. Workforces are implementing unified communications as a way to streamline   operations, improve communications efficiency and eliminate delays invoked by e-mails and voicemails that are replaced by real-time communications. Instant messaging and presence monitoring, for example, can apply – all while simultaneously cutting costs from one innovative platform.

UC systems have transitioned over the years. While it started as a robust portfolio that powered capabilities such as telephony, voicemail and Web conferencing, it now encompasses other capabilities firms heavily rely upon including video conferencing, presence, VoIP systems and instant messaging.

According to Thomas Beck, director of Marketing and Business Development at Teo, “The UC space is finally taking off due to several reasons such as technology is improving; BYOD is being driven by users, and IT departments need to follow; low hanging fruit of workforce reduction have been exercised,; and now enterprises need to invest in technology to increase technology of reduced workforce to get more done without adding headcount.”

Image via Teo

recent blog post from unified communications provider Teo highlighted the recent thoughts from Jeffrey Mann, research vice president at Gartner (News - Alert) who commented in regards to the evolution of unified communications, stating, "The next wave we don't see happening just yet. There have been some indications, though, such as the addition of social software, enterprise social networks, document and workflow managers, crowd sourcing and idea management."

As the unified communications market currently boasts a compound annual growth rate of nearly 13 percent that is estimated to continue through 2015, several obstacles can sometimes to get in the way of organizations being able to see the various advantages associated with leveraging unified communications right away – one of those factors being interoperability.

"You have this market with a whole bunch of different vendors and they all see things differently," Gartner Vice President Bern Elliot added.

In order to overcome this massive hurtle once and for all, it is key that businesses implement industry-wide mandates that will enable enterprises to get this robust system up and running in as little time as possible. In the future, “I see businesses moving from voice only to UC, much in the same way smartphones have replaced simple cellular voice only phones. UC will be absolutely commonplace in five years, and there will be more and more solution interworking available,” Beck added.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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