Unified Communications Featured Article

Unified Communications Offers Increased Functionality, Gartner Reports

September 17, 2012

A couple of weeks back, the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications was released. This detailed report highlights three crucial points including: UC market maturity, UC market highlights, and UC vendor positions and leadership. Let’s take a closer look as to how this space is expanding as the weather outside transitions to fall here on the east coast, shall we?

It is important to first note what the analyst firm defines unified communications as: products “that facilitate the use of multiple enterprise communication methods.” Thus, the extremely involved UC portfolio comprises voice and telephony, conferencing, messaging, presence and IM, bringing together an array of next-generation communications channels to improve collaboration and efficiency amongst any workforce. 

 Looking at the market in-depth, just over the last 12 months, companies who power unified communication solutions such as Teo have raised their bar on their offerings as new challenges arose in the enterprise environment including interoperability, mobility and the demands for much better quality video.

“Essentially, it seems that UC is now the main decision criteria for new communication investments for small, mid-sized, and large enterprises. UC comprises the new functionality that is transforming business: presence, IM, clients (soft clients for desktop and mobile devices), conferencing, and communications-enabled apps”, the report stated.

As more enterprise turn to UC for its array of benefits, they are quickly realizing how essential these offering are in streamlining operations while simultaneously measuring up to increasing demands from their customer base. Gartner outlined four factors that are driving UC to be implemented at an incredibly rapid pace which include: mobility, openness, cloud, and breadth of solution appeal.

1.       Mobility

As companies expand, it is key to the future success of their organization that they can still communicate in an efficient manner with fellow employees who may be located halfway around the globe. Luckily with a UC solution such as videoconferencing in place, geographically separated individuals can speak to each other in real-time while being able to view facial gestures.

2.       Openness

The report added,Openness implies that the interfaces are available for programmatic access by the enterprise or their systems integrators. However, most enterprises prefer out-of-the-box interoperation. Only when the enterprise wishes to integrate the UC suite with their business applications do they expect openness, in the form of a rich, well-supported suite of Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kits (SDKs) supported by well-trained channel partners.

3.       Cloud

The cloud is a huge buzzword currently in the technology industry and unified communications works in conjunction with the cloud, allowing employees to complete business critical tasks in the same amount of time while on-the-go that would be spent within the office setting.

4.       Breadth of solution appeal

If a business can’t see immediate advantages from leveraging a solution, it probably won’t be used for very long. UC does just that, and can be up and running in a matter of hours.

A Teo blog post clarified this sentiment saying, “Many organizations are looking at unified communications from a narrow perspective, siloing the benefits of video conferencing from those achieved through the use of VoIP systems, for example. Instead of researching unified communications in this way, enterprises should take a holistic approach, looking at how connecting dispersed workers and improving overall collaboration can reduce expenses and boost cost savings.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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