What Will Thrive, Survive and Maybe Die in Unified Communications
Unified communications (UC) continues to grow; small companies increasingly want a piece of the pie, and TMCnet reported today that managed service providers (MSPs) can heavily accelerate the adoption of UC in the enterprise sector, too. As revealed by an IDC report, 40 percent of enterprises have already adopted UC and collaboration systems, with 35 percent planning to do so within the next two years.
The benefits of unified communications are plenty; enhanced overall collaboration, communication, access, business process integration and establishing a more concrete presence in operations, but where will this all take us in 2013? What will thrive, survive or possibly disappear altogether in this uniquely evolving space? One industry expert seems to have all of the answers, and we were lucky enough to get it out of him!
Brandon Hagood serves as the director of Product Development at Momentum Telecom, the number one most reliable cloud-based communications provider, offering affordable communications for businesses of every size. Having established a solid role in this space, Hagood is well positioned to discuss where UC is headed this year.
For starters, UC applications is what Hagood believes will be the most significant technology trend to impact the way businesses conduct overall operations today. As if this isn’t indicative enough of the vitality of UC in the very near future, he continues, “Collaborative tools have become an integral part of daily business correspondence, and enterprises are extremely reliant on these tools. Users need solutions that offer the flexibility to communicate on-the-go and from whichever device or channel they prefer.”
This brings us to mobile UC, which is a scorching hot topic right now. Individuals want – nay, demand – to be able to access collaboration capabilities that their business phones possess (ie. IM, caller ID) on their personal handheld devices. This conjunction of work and personal life has become a force in business operations, whether we like it or not.
And the cloud isn’t far behind in its impact on business operations. For example, Momentum’s cloud solutions drive significantly reduced OPEX and CAPEX for adopters. “Businesses today want an all-inclusive vendor, not a separate voice provider or a separate e-mail provider,” he adds. “Leading telecom companies offer all forms of communications – the cloud enables us to consolidate communication platforms and deliver streamlined solutions.”
Because Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) adoption rates are increasing, voice and video transmissions are similarly becoming more secure as they travel across the public Internet, he explains.
Speaking of things that seem like they may cause friction but probably won’t, Hagood mentions that one widely seen misconception in the space is the death of the handset. No, the handset will not die in 2013, he assures. In fact, “people are still drawn to the functionality and the clear, reliable audio of a desk phone,” he makes a point to note.
However, these trials and tribulations will be survived. Take BYOD, for example, of which Hagood comments, “The rising popularity of telecommuting will keep it relevant this year as BYOD supports remote work cultures.”
When it comes to survival, there are some key points Hagood makes in regard to the relationship between UC and VoIP. While it has moved beyond its early adopter phase into the mainstream, there are undoubtedly still some issues riding its coattails. Hagood sheds light on this, detailing some of these issues that businesses must battle as they determine when and how to migrate to IP-based communications.
“Finding a provider with a proven track record guarantees your business will have support in deciding the timing and approach that is best for your company’s migration,” he explains. “The market is saturated with fly-by-night providers that offer UC and VoIP solutions, but not necessarily quality solutions. Let’s just say you get what you pay for – price should and will be a driver, but we caution letting it be the sole deciding factor for selecting a provider.”
And last but not least, what Hagood believes will thrive the most this year is the widespread adoption of video communications. He explains that businesses are increasingly seeing the need for video and its importance, which can be credited to the fact that people are increasingly using video applications. Skype, Google and other related sites are without a doubt heavily seen in our personal lives every day, and since hosted solutions are now available for little to no CAPEX, “businesses can take advantage of reliable, enterprise-grade video solutions to hold virtual meetings with clients and colleagues and benefit from reduced travel expenses,” he concludes.
Momentum takes pride in its heavy involvement in this week’s ITEXPO Miami 2013 event, happening now in Miami Florida at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Not only is Momentum exhibiting at booth #828, but it is also a platinum sponsor of keynote speaker John Sculley, former president of Pepsi and former CEO of Apple.
Hagood is especially looking forward to the StartupCamp7: Comms Edition happening this Thursday. He adds, “Momentum is excited to see what advice [Sculley] will have for the IT and telecom entrepreneurs and market leaders who will be there for the event. Also, we are excited to enjoy the Miami sunshine!”
And you certainly can’t blame him for that!
Edited by Jamie Epstein