unified-telecomsWell, last year we looked at the question : What is Unified Communications where we summarised some of the features integral to a UC environment. This year we are seeing increased focus in the telecoms industry on this convergence of data streams and devices.

We saw, and continue to note that an increasing amount of telecoms data has migrated from the PSTNs of yesteryear to today’s high speed broadband. Moreover, and perhaps the biggest change that Unified Communications promises to bring us is the rise of the smartphone. Many UC/ Lync and communications systems now offer apps to allow smartphones to access their services and the rise of the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon which has turned into the more evolved CYOD (choose your own device). This means that members of staff can access all areas of the corporate communications infrastructure from a device that they have chosen themselves, is mobile, and has the advantage of being controlled by the company:
Llewellyn Chame, Mobility Specialist at Dell:

BYOD adoption has been hindered by the complexity it introduces. IT managers simply do not have the time to support all these disparate devices, nor can businesses condone the level of risk in terms of data theft or loss, or introduction of viruses to their internal networks through these devices. At the same time, advances in devices, such as Solid State Drives (SSDs), increase in memory capacity and increasingly sleek design, make them desirable and useful productivity devices. CYOD thus offers compelling benefits.

Of course this will not herald the immediate death of the desktop phone as Larry Hettick of Network World says :

Both end users and IT organizations continue to become more comfortable with a mobile device or softphone as an IPT endpoint, and we expect that trend to continue, although many users will cling to their desktop phones for years to come.

So, we can see that corporate culture is itself, moving towards this adoption of UC.

Unified Comms Predictions 2015

Here are some of the main actions we believe that UK businesses will be doing in their steps towards cloud based UC Telecoms:

  • moving all IT to the cloud
  • increased use of cloud based video conferencing
  • incorporation of social type features
  • integration of UC with websites/ apps
  • audio conferencing moving to the cloud also

What we could see initially, like the early days of IP telephony there may well be a period during which businesses experience a sub optimal experience due to poor integration of legacy hardware and or substandard data stream connection speeds. However technology is fast catching up and oerleaping itself and should a business make the transition in a well managed way then it should benefit the scalability and lower costs involved in cloud based communications. Top manufacturers such as Jabra, Sennheiser, Polycom, Cisco, Mitel and Plantronics offer many products especially designed for use on Lync and UC systems.