Verizon Steps Up its Unified Communications Ambitions
Unified communications (UC) is the glue that holds a lot of the mobile workforce together. It's great to be able to work from pretty much anywhere at pretty much any time, but doing so requires the ability to get in touch with other elements of that mobile workforce as needed. This is a development Verizon understands, and has therefore ramped up development in UC with several new options.
More specifically, Verizon is driving expansion in its Unified Communications & Collaboration as a Service (UCCaaS) operations, bringing in several new tools. Among these new tools is the Cisco Collaboration Meeting Room system, a cloud-based tool that allows businesses to make easy contact from any video device that can handle the basic standards involved. With Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms, users can engage in voice or video chatting, share files, turn to whiteboard technology to annotate and develop files, and more. Verizon is set to offer this tool as either a stand-alone feature or as part of Verizon's UCCaaS system starting this July.
But that's just the start of Verizon's plans. Sometime in the last half of 2015, Verizon expects to offer cloud-based contact center systems to drive a better customer experience in the contact center, and these systems can likewise be integrated with UCCaaS tools. Plus, there will be some mobile integrations to follow, allowing users to put UCCaaS tools to work without the need for a virtual private network (VPN), and customers can use the most relevant mobile broadband network on this service. Verizon is even prepared to offer self-service management portals, allowing business customers to handle more customer concerns directly. This is a service that many customers have been eager to see put in place, and one that should let businesses take some strain off the call center.
Just to top it off, all of these points will only really be a start; Verizon has plans to take UCCaaS on the road, with a major expansion planned for several parts of Europe and the Asia-Pacific sector including Japan. That's going to make these tools available in a great many more places, and open up some new opportunity for Verizon.
There's little room for doubt that UCCaaS tools, and UC in general, are catching on with businesses of all sizes the world over. This new push from Verizon should drive that point home well if it hasn't already been. With a rapidly changing set of tools coming into the field, and Verizon looking to get out in front of the crowd of competitors—Tata Communications was recently spotted upgrading its own UC lineup—that should result in many more moves like this to follow. Verizon appears to be striking while the iron is hot, to use the cliché, and that should be the kind of thing that means big expansion to come.
There's little doubt the UC market has plenty of room for growth, and Verizon seems to want to stake out a portion of that growth. With plenty of high-quality tools on hand and a major name recognition factor, Verizon's push into the wider market should be one to take seriously.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino