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Predictions for the Future of Unified Communications

Innovation is accelerating, as more vendors and partners embrace software-powered communications, and as organizations worldwide adopt unified communications to meet their employees’ need to work from anywhere and collaborate with others around the globe.   Communications centered solely around the desk phone and built on hardware-based systems are quickly becoming a relic of the past. In fact, many of today’s PBXs belong in a museum; they are already artifacts of the past.

Today’s work-style doesn’t lend itself to a fixed place – or a fixed phone.  Already, the average worker spends less than 40 percent of his or her workday at their desk. Green initiatives, tele-work, outsourcing and streamlined facilities management have accelerated this trend, which is expected to continue in the years ahead. The laptop PC and the mobile phone are the de-facto devices for information workers. We are working where we want, which means communications must be able to find us, wherever we are, rather than the other way around. Even in this nomadic world a mobile phone is not sufficient – neither is it rich enough for collaborative work, nor are companies willing to reimburse upwards of $600 a year per employee for their mobile bill. That’s where the richness and portability of a multipurpose PC and the use of the economical and ubiquitous Internet comes in.

The industry is adopting a software-centric approach. An open ecosystem – driven by competitive dynamics – creates an environment of rapid innovation and lower costs. The era of “mainframe economics” in communications is over.

We see a future where communications is more open, costs less, and is easier to use – and it is always at your fingertips in a variety of applications.

In the next three years, we predict that unified communications will become the norm in business communications, more than half of voice calls at work will include more than just voice, and your communications client will enable UC with more than 1 billion people.

Three years from now, new applications written by corporate developers, system integrators and software vendors will be communications-enabled by default. We predict that three out of every four new business applications will include embedded communications.

We are confident these predictions describe the future of unified communications.


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