For those of us who have been in the industry for a bit, there are few market trends that on an annual basis bring out declaratory statements that “this will be the year of (fill in the blank).” Unfortunately, in many instances, the revolution decides to happen in an evolutionary manner – if at all. Such has been the case with unified communications (UC).
Every year for the past several has been “the year” that infamous hockey-stick hits the market tracking graphs. And while I have retired my marketing analyst hat, I have good reason to believe that while the UC may not be ready for a full hockey stick growth rate, this coming year is going to be a good one and more than just directionally correct.
One size does not fit all, but the basics and having a sound strategy do
As somebody who has decried the continuing challenges/obstacles that the UC market has failed to fully address in the past, why am I optimistic? The answer is that as a result of things like the cloud, the need to incorporate the bring your own device (BYOD) tidal wave that is reshaping how employers and their employees wish to relate to corporate resources with a minimum of time and effort – and the improvement of metrics on gauging success – has allowed the UC wine to reach a maturation level where it clearly is time to take more than a sip. It is time to buy a bottle and enjoy.
This is not to minimize the fact that we do not live in a perfect world. There are still some challenges, particularly on making everyone’s UC implementation interoperate with everyone else’s that need to be addressed before that graph goes more vertical than horizontal.
But as noted, at this time that is no longer a compelling reason not to act.
Reality is that the business case is solid for UC and that while perfection may not be immediate, there are certain essential ingredients that can ensure you can achieve success by going ahead with a robust UC deployment. These essentials fall into two areas —
Technology: The time has come to gracefully migrate or completely replace your legacy TDM infrastructure with a well integrated SIP-based platform. If you are not on now, or are not planning to move to an all IP networking environment in the near future you literally could be leaving your enterprise at a significant competitive disadvantage. You do not have to throw the baby out with the bath water. You do need to have a network capable of best performance today and that is future ready in terms of being adaptable, secure, extensible and cost-effective. Without a modern infrastructure you benefits of UC, including those licenses you have that you have not used, cannot be monetized.
User experience: The clock on BYOD cannot be turned back, nor should it. Reality is that C-levels are running their business on their tablets, and knowledge workers have expectations that the ease of multichannel communications they have in their personal lives should be as good if not better in their professional ones. Providing UC is a significant part of assuring this can happen.
Finding out more about how these essentials can let you leverage a successful UC deployment for business process optimization and sustainable competitive advantage will be the subject of an insightful webinar, “The Essential Ingredients for a Successful UC Strategy,” I will be moderating on September 27 at 11:00AM EDT. Irwin Lazar, Vice President and Service Director, Nemertes Research and Craig Walker, Worldwide Director, Product Marketing for the Enterprise Group, Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) will be joining me to discuss such topics as:
- The importance of a quality user experience from a successfully deployed UC solution
- A strategy to deliver unprecedented user satisfaction while minimizing TCO
- Insights into an award-wining integrated platform that can help IT to deliver on user expectation without complexity
If you have been puzzled by what you can be doing to extract the full potential and value from UC you need to know there are paths to take and solutions available that will enable you to move ahead with UC implementations with confidence. As will be highlighted, the value for improving business processes and the performance of your people are indisputable. So too is the ability for your employees to better engage all stakeholders, and most importantly your customers in more compelling and productive ways.
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 (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Braden Becker