Sky's the Limit: Tadiran Weighs in on UC, Cloud Markets
With the year 2014 now in the rear-view mirror, many companies are taking the time to assess the unified communications market that was, and the one that could be in 2015. It was a huge year for UC, with more and more companies transitioning to unified, omnichannel solutions, whether hosted in the cloud or on-premises.
Tadiran Telecom, a global unified communications platform provider, is gearing up to discuss the latest and most exciting innovations hitting the UC market this year at next week’s ITEXPO Miami, where it will be participating in a number of panels and events. unified communications had a chance to catch up with Mike Long, marketing manager at Tadiran, to weigh in on some of the notable trends and happenings of 2014, and what the company anticipates for the year to come.
unified communications: With New Year’s Eve behind us, what would you say are some highlights from 2014 for your company?
Mike Long: In 2013, Tadiran announced its new unified communication and collaboration (UCC) product line – Aeonix. Prior to that, the company had sold a telephony solution named Coral. 2014 was a transition year, when we saw increased sales and adoption of Aeonix. Tadiran has several thousand Coral installations in the U.S. already, and 2014 saw successful migration of many of those accounts to Aeonix. Also in 2014, Aeonix sales exceeded Coral sales for the first time.
unified communications: It sounds like Tadiran had a very productive year. What were some obstacles you faced as a company in 2014?
Long: Convincing the industry, and specifically our base, that Aeonix was mature and ready for prime time was initially a challenge. We introduced the product in 2013. People are always suspicious of a v1 product, tending to sit and wait for others to adopt and for the platform to become more mature. In 2014, we released Aeonix v2.3, so we condensed a lot of development work on Aeonix into 2014. It was a critical year for Aeonix and Tadiran to prove that we had a mature, robust, enterprise grade UCC solution.
Also, in the past many of our customers have been small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). In 2014, we worked hard to penetrate the small to medium enterprise market, which has typically been owned by our competitors.
In 2014 we also added the ability for Aeonix to sit within the cloud and, as a result, Aeonix is currently the only solution that can reside in the Amazon Cloud. Our “bring your own cloud” offering allows our customers to deploy Aeonix into the cloud of their choice, rather than having to use a proprietary solution bundled with the vendor infrastructure.
unified communications: What do you think were the top UC trends and innovations this year?
Long: Adding mature applications like video, mobility, collaboration, call recording into the UCC solution were all popular trends in the UC space. We also saw the emergence of additional cloud-based solutions, and WebRTC rumblings.
unified communications: How do you think the UC industry overall improved this year?
Long: The UC industry continues to mature by offering seamless applications, like those mentioned above. Vendors are challenged to integrate mobility, video, collaboration etc. into their product so that customers can deploy these applications on demand. In addition allowing customers to integrate multiple vendor solutions without being locked into a single vendor is important. This relates to the open nature of the UCC industry. As vendors allow more open integration with protocols like SIP, customers can retain existing applications, and bundle multi-vendor telephony and UC applications without having to stick to a single vendor solution.
unified communications: What are some UC technologies that you are particularly excited about that were introduced or highlighted in 2014? Any that caused some debate?
Long: WebRTC, seamless integration with video, mobility, SIP endpoints, collaboration tools, and CRM tools all offer exciting new possibilities for UC, which is why we will be discussing many of them during ITEXPO. Private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions, as well as WebRTC, sparked operational debates this year as the UC market diversified.
unified communications: What’s in store for Tadiran in the UC market of 2015?
Long: Tadiran will be participating in a number of upcoming events, including ITEXPO Miami, the Channel Partner Conference March in Las Vegas, and our annual Business Partner Conference.
We are looking forward to the continued evolution of the Aeonix UCC product line, and we expect to add additional major differentiators in v3.x this year. We are also planning the release of v2.4, which will add full hospitality support, Aeonix in the Cloud (hybrid cloud), and a new desktop management tool written in HTML5. There will likely be additional enhancements in store, particularly in terms of mobility, video conferencing and collaboration.
unified communications: Challenges you predict you’ll have to face?
Long: Overcoming name brand recognition – that is one reason we are working with TMC.
unified communications: What do you think it will take for the UC industry to really take off in 2015? Why will more businesses turn to UC?
Long: Even small companies need to look big and give their customers 7x24 service. The mobility and video conferencing aspect along with the collaboration will continue to fuel the growth of UC. Everyone demands dial tone and a phone, but in the future everyone will require all their email, text, voicemail and video to be deliverable to a single device. UCC is just going to grow as mobility grows—that, in addition to the continued growth of mobile workers.
unified communications: How do you think different markets will take to using UC in the coming year? Will different aspects of the technology gain more appeal in a more industry-specific way?
Long: UC is already in the enterprise, but the SMB market will grow as small companies try to deliver better availability and customer service. We will also see it expand into traditional verticals such as healthcare, government, education, which have traditionally been trailing edge verticals. Ultimately, the economy must grow so that companies—and especially SMBs—have the capital to spend on VoIP and UCC.
For more on all the latest technology and trends happenings, be sure to register to attend ITEXPO, the business technology event that brings together service providers, enterprises, government agencies, resellers, vendors and developers to demo, discuss and network all the latest innovations changing the marketplace. ITEXPO is being held January 27-30, 2015, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at the event -- follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Maurice Nagle