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TMCnet's Unified Communications Week in Review

December 04, 2009

It was a week full of interesting announcements in the unified communications sector as a top  UC provider earned a coveted designation for its services, where as other companies sought to earn status updates to boost their business.

Here’s a recap of some stories unified communications reported in the UC field this week.
ABI Research ranked the UC provider Avaya at the top of its latest Unified Communications Vendor Matrix, followed by IBM and Siemens Enterprise. As unified communications’s Patrick Barnard reported, ABI Research’s Vendor Matrix is an analytical tool designed to give organizations an understanding of vendors’ positions in specific markets. Vendors are assessed on “innovation” and “implementation” across several criteria unique to each vendor matrix – each of which is plotted on a graph.
The research firm based its ranking on the breadth and depth of the UC channel reached by each vendor; the characteristics of the UC mobility on offer; each vendor’s technology partners; the cost of their products; the range and nature of the UC professional services offered and the range of the vendor’s UC product portfolio.
Meanwhile, AVI-SPL, a provider of video and audio communications solutions, announced it is trying to achieve the TelePresence Authorized Technology Provider status from Cisco .
That status will place AVI-SPL among the among a select group of partners that have presence in all five Cisco theaters with the skills to sell, design, install and support Cisco TelePresence globally. With it, AVI-SPL will have access to a new world of opportunities and also equip itself to leverage the strength of Cisco's suite of UC and TelePresence solutions.
The company said it expects to complete the requirements in early 2010.
In other news, the conference and collaboration market remains healthy. unified communications reported that the worldwide online collaboration and conferencing market continues to grow, but revenue is slowing its growth rate.
According to Wainhouse Research, the market will make up $7.1 billion by 2013, up from about $5.75 billion in 2009.
Audio conferencing volume will nearly double between 2008 and 2013, growing to greater than 102 billion minutes, while revenue will grow by almost $1 billion between 2009 and 2013, the report said. The average prices for audio conferencing, which have dropped severely in recent years, will decline at a slower pace and will more likely be bundled with new services, Wainhouse Research said.

Web conferencing use is expected to rise dramatically, but revenue will grow at slower rates as new pricing models are adopted, the report said.
And while UC was once a strong industry buzz word, unified communications’s Gary Kim reported that the term dropped from Gartner’s “top 10” list of strategic priorities for enterprise information technology managers for 2010.
According to Kim, Unified communications has been one of a small handful of dominant IT technologies – or at least buzz words – for the past couple of years, but some marketers are substituting other words, especially “collaboration,” instead.
While UC is still important, it is something organizations are still struggling to define and understand, Gartner said.
That’s it for this week. Be sure to check out the latest UC news on unified communications.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for unified communications, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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