The UCStrategies Experts share their expertise in bylined articles, opinion pieces, blogs, and podcasts, to define unified communications, educate you about unified communications technologies, and help you make informed decisions about unified communications solutions.
UCStrategies.com defines unified communications as “Communications integrated to optimize business processes.” The definition of unified communications narrows significantly when you can read and hear about real-world examples that other companies are implementing right now—and apply them to your situation.
This section offers learning tools to help you plan your unified communications implementation.
This section provides a practical, vendor-independent service to any Enterprise that is seeking the benefits of Unified Communications. How do you pull everything together to implement unified communications? Use the tools in this sequence to define unified communications for your business.
The Unified Communications industry changes daily. We keep track of it for you.
UCStrategies is an industry resource for unified communications enterprises, communications vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing unified communications arena.
A supplier of objective information on unified communications, UCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of unified communications since its inception.
Articles from the UCStrategies.com UC experts, providing insights and analysis on UC products, events, market trends, and the state of the UC industry.
Will WebRTC be the next big thing? Will it disrupt the industry? Come to the WebRTC Conference and Expo to find out. This event, marking the "coming of age" of WebRTC will happen in South San Francisco on November 27-29. It is being delivered by TMC and has sponsorship by Google, Plantronics and Thrupoint.
Two partner summits ago, in 2011, Cisco first articulated its go-to-market (G2M) strategy in the cloud, what roles they saw partners playing there, and what can Cisco do to help partners evolve their business models and capture market share from the competition. In the intervening period the program has gained significant traction within the partner community.
Following the Tigerpaw National Conference 2012 during the last week of September, we caught up with Brian Metherell, VP & GM of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division to discuss Toshiba’s VIPedge go-to-market (G2M) cloud strategy and channel experiences. Toshiba announced general availability (GA) of the VIPedge cloud-based business VoIP solution this past July and made its public debut at the Tigerpaw 2012.
We are still in the very early stages of development for “enterprise mobility” as a career field, but the overall impact can be great. Further, it will be critically important for vendors and solutions integrators to identify that person and to understand the requirements and issues that drive their decisions. The focus is still on issues like ensuring management and security on user-owned devices, but it is critical that we see beyond that. The real question we should be asking is, “How can our organization use these new mobile technologies to change the way we do business and best improve the performance of our various business processes?”
When it comes to certain types of consumer services, the providers of such services may proactively require customers, who have personal smartphones and tablets, to use specific types of “mobile apps.” While health care and financial services may initially dominate such activity, government, education, applications etc., will also jump on the mobile consumer bandwagon to facilitate their service responsibilities.
In discussing messaging communications, Gartner notes that email “has become an indispensable business tool” (page 2). Despite that importance, only two of the 14 vendors in the UC Magic Quadrant offer an email solution. This is the “moose on the table” which the Urban Dictionary defines as the, “Expression for an issue no one wants to address in a meeting.”
This series of articles has been my attempt to predict, based on recent events and current trends, the shape of the global communications industry for the next few decades. The fact that "UC" is in the title indicates a bias on my part, but I haven’t had any pushback on this. I contend that what we now call "Unified Communications" will soon be referred to as "Communications." But moving past the obvious trend, what then is the specific detail of the transformation of the industry and what can we expect to emerge to replace the PSTN?
Is it time for unified communications and collaboration partners to consider a franchise model? There are too many variables to know for sure, and converting independent VARs to franchises will be an interesting process. But in periods of great change, it’s reasonable to question basic assumptions. Franchises offer a proven go-to-market strategy that could offer vendors and dealers new benefits.
All told, Cisco has a strong hand to play now in the contact center, especially for businesses who totally buy into the collaboration concept. Once you get beyond the telecom-centric model, UC becomes central to the value proposition and the collaboration vision Cisco is bringing to market.
The challenge for every organization is how to migrate “gracefully” from their current operations to the UC-enabled Mobile environment of the future. What will be interesting, however, is to see who ends up being the most trusted supplier of the cloud services: the vendors of the platforms, the application software developers, or the channels that know how to integrate and maintain the applications on an ongoing service basis?
At VMworld 2012 Cisco and EMC announced further collaboration to help accelerate IT transformation by providing customers with choice and flexibility via “three paths to the cloud” – custom-designed productized infrastructure, validated reference architectures tailored to SMB and mid-market customers with Cisco solutions, and pre-integrated converged infrastructure supporting VCE (Virtual Computing Environment) Vblock Systems.
There’s been more than a little news on the mobility front this week, most of it coming not from the market leaders, but from the “challengers.” It touches smartphones, tablets, and operating systems and is clearly a set-up for the iPhone 5 launch in September and the all-important Christmas buying season. It’s not that we expect the enterprise buyers are running out for “stocking stuffers,” but with the growth of BYOD, we will probably be seeing a lot of these in January!
In Part 1 of this article, I put forward the idea that, after 12 years of technology, economic and regulatory uncertainty and upheaval, the telecommunications business was starting to stabilize in a new form that could be recognized as the next generation of communications. With the emergence of IP/"the Internet" as the next-gen network, the tasks of communications service provision and network operation are largely being disaggregated. In this paper, we are going to consider who the providers of communications service will be or, at least, who will be controlling the "user experience" that will be presented by communications service providers.
The 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications was published on August 27, 2012. The report has three very important messages: UC market maturity; UC market highlights; and UC vendor positions and leadership. For those who just want the bottom line: the Leaders Quadrant shows Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications.
Cisco announced some big changes to its UC licensing portfolio last week at its virtual sales conference. The new licensing model is effective with the 9.0 release of Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager (CUCM 9.0). The changes are responsive to customer requests for a more simplified, flexible and cost effective UC licensing structure – one that’s easily aligned with customer’s business models and the way the workspace is changing.
As the unified communications market continues to heat up, the area that will likely see the most rapid growth in the coming years is hosted services. I recently had a chance to speak with the folks at 8x8 to get an update on the company and why they’re seeing such success in the market.
August certainly has been an interesting month in the UC space. To varying degrees, UCStrategies has focused attention on what the vendors have been up to recently, and clearly, nobody is standing still. UC continues to be a moving target, and I don’t expect that to change any time soon. This market continues to move faster than either buyers or sellers can adapt, but UC is too empowering for businesses to ignore.
We have had a rush of exciting news regarding new and better high-speed wireless offerings, all of which hold the promise of delivering all forms of UC&C capabilities (including video) to the growing population of mobile workers. However, UC&C providers still face the challenge of actually making their offerings relevant in this increasingly mobile environment, and finally delivering a mobile capability that users actually adopt and can provide some meaningful product differentiation.
Vertical Communications is using the term singular to refer to its pricing model, which combines all technologies into a single license. Throughout the analyst meeting, the Vertical executives referred to this singular licensing as one of the value propositions for both channel partners and end user customers, and the analysts I spoke with agreed that this is a significant advantage.
While UC has been particularly promoted by telephony vendors to support “collaboration” between team members who need to communicate efficiently regardless of their physical locations, I look at UC enablement having even greater potential when used to support customer services.
All Content Copyright © 2013 UCStrategies.com. All rights reserved.
Communications Integrated to Optimize Business Processes.
UC integrates real-time and non-real time communications with business processes and requirements.
Uses presence capabilities for coordination, and presents a consistent unified user interface and experience across multiple devices and media types.
Learn more at What is Unified Communications all about?