Real Time Communications Featured Article

An Emphasis on Mobility is Key to Maximizing UC

August 05, 2014

Unified communications (UC) is no longer a bleeding-edge technology, and businesses of all sizes are now either looking into UC or even working on upgrading their existing UC systems.

With the maturation of the technology, so too have the UC choices expanded.

While there are many options, one that is growing at a rapid clip is Microsoft Lync, the Redmond giant’s UC technology.

“No one should be surprised that Microsoft has been able to garner increased market attention in UC,” Greg Zweig, director of solutions marketing for IP communications leader, GENBAND told RealTimeCommunications recently. “For half a decade they have used their enterprise licensing models to seed the market with IM & presence clients that support UC; first with OCS and later Lync (we have seen estimates of 50 million seats worldwide).”

The rise of Lync is a good thing for UC in general, raising awareness and adding competition. But at least for Zweig, it should not be automatically assumed that Microsoft will become the standard UC option for businesses.

“GENBAND believes that the next phase of UC puts Microsoft in a less powerful position as it focuses on mobile devices and cloud-based services,” he noted. “They have also not embraced WebRTC (a Google driven initiative that directly threatens traditional desktop application licenses). Without WebRTC it’s much harder to embed communications into cloud application, creating a greater risk that buyers will simply see Lync as a hard phone replacement as opposed to a web-centric tool to embed UC inside cloud applications.”

A cross-platform, mobile-first design should be a crucial consideration for most businesses looking to make the move to UC, he stressed, especially given the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend that is seeing workers out in the field on a variety of devices.

If companies block access to info from a particular device, that will just make these BYOD workers less accessible and less productive because workers are going to use their own devices no matter what.

“Most organizations are not willing to lose staff productivity so they are adopting BYOD models,” noted Zweig. This means WebRTC, which lets any modern browser run UC.

GENBAND will be focusing on these trends at ITEXPO 2014 in Las Vegas, which runs August 11-14. The company’s chief marketing office, Brad Bush, will be speaking at the session, “Generating Revenue with WebRTC,” and Zweig also will talk about how to leverage UC for hard ROI on the August 14th ITEXPO panel,  “Winning ROI: How Much Should UC Cost and How Can You Increase Its Value to Your Business.” Both talks take place on August 13th at the conference.

“UC is more than just a sleek client on a device or a replacement for a desk phone,” noted Zweig. “I want our panel to explain how embedding UC in the right places has hard ROI; that organizations can get real economic benefit from improving the way their employees communicate.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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