What is Unified Communications and what will it bring in 2012?
Over the past year, the business sector has been quick to explore, but resilient to adopt unified communications solutions. The reason for this is that there is still no “clear-cut” solution from any UC provider that stretches across all platforms (MAC, PC, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile) and mediums of communication (desktop phone, mobile phone, IM, video, conferencing and productivity solutions) into one unified system.
Many mid and large size companies are looking to eliminate CapEx entirely, while only using OpEx for technology expenditures. We expect that this business practice will include integrated managed UC solutions in 2012.
For those of you that are unclear on what Unified Communications is, a simple explanation is that they are unified communications systems that permit business employees to operate and access multiple communication systems from a ubiquity of devices. This ability allows them to maximize availability and collaboration efforts by pulling together all the communication tools they use, making it possible to communicate through a consistent interface across devices.
More specifically, Unified Communications is comprised of various communication technologies including unified messaging, which allows users to access voice, email, fax and other media from a mailbox independent of the access device (that all sync together), SMS, collaboration systems (which include applications such as calendar, workflow, scheduling and integrated voice response for applications), real-time communications (communication using applications such as conferencing, instant messaging, PBX, and paging), productivity solutions (desktop/application sharing) and video conferencing.
In 2012, the UC industry will be escalating its video, mobility and collaboration efforts as businesses continue to take notice of the advantages of UC technology, which are most notably, mobility, cost savings and productivity enhancement. The further development of UC integration with a variety of different CRM applications will allow for new features (Salesforce, Goldmine, ACT, Microsoft CRM, etc.) that increase employee efficiency. In addition, the central management of these systems gives your company greater control over sensitive data. UC integration with CRM software effectively achieves a managed solution that provides increased security over all communications systems by giving you the capability to lock down all devices and services simultaneously.
This equates to a basic DLP (Data Loss Prevention) solution and with the advent of further UC systems, DLP functionality will soon be available at an affordable cost so that smaller and midsized companies looking to gain a central point of control are able to make certain that their data is secure.
With all the new UC developments in 2012, this year is predicted to be the breakout year for UC solutions and possibly when it finally becomes a mainstay for enterprises. Cohere recognizes this shift in enterprise communications, and is ready to implement UC solutions for your business as an add-on to our regular services at a nominal fee. At Cohere, we know how to improve productivity, collaboration and cost savings when it comes to technology and we look forward to helping you achieve this in 2012.