The Future of Unified Communications: What’s In Store for the remainder of 2015?
Even though it’s a technology that has been around for nearly a decade, Unified Communications (UC) has witnessed a widespread enterprise adoption only recently. In fact, 2014 was a landmark year for the UC industry that set the stage for better UC capabilities to make their way into the market. Riding on last year’s success, 2015 has been unanimously predicted as a year when UC will get bigger and better. We’ll have to wait until the end of the year to see how many of our expectations have been met, but for now one thing is certain – UC is beyond the “hype cycle,” and this year it’s showing clear signs of becoming mainstream. So what does the second half of 2015 hold for the UC industry? Let’s take a look at some UC predictions for the rest of the year.
Hybrid UC services will dominate enterprise UC adoption. Ovum’s 2015 Trends-To-Watch report on Unified Communications (UC) estimates that enterprises will begin to invest more in cloud-based UC services, which are more scalable, cost-effective, and faster than in-house solutions. While it has been observed that most of the big corporations use hosted UC services in conjunction with premise-based solutions, this hybrid model of UC adoption will continue to grow. Network World has also predicted that this hybrid UC trend will drive the integration of cloud-based UC with private IPT (IP Telephony) systems. As more enterprises choose a hybrid UC model, there is a chance that the practice might introduce potential complications in deployment and management of UC services. So it will be interesting to watch solutions evolve from those potential issues.
Video will be one of the biggest drivers of UC adoption in 2015. Most experts believe that this will be a banner year for video deployments. With the promise of a richer and more connected experience, use of video in UC will not be restricted to conferencing or collaboration, but it will produce a greater impetus to use video for monitoring and troubleshooting purposes as well. TechTarget also predicts that more service providers will take note of the Google partnership with Vidyo in 2014, and follow suit with similar partnerships. The trend of connecting cloud-based video with on-premises systems continue and will broaden the scope of UC adoptions.
WebRTC will become an industry standard for video conferencing. WebRTC will be an important phenomenon in video conferencing owing to most UC vendors incorporating WebRTC into their product offerings. Besides, more B2C businesses will use WebRTC technology to integrate audio and video communications into websites and mobile apps. For instance, Twilio, a service API provider for voice calls, VoIP, text messaging etc., will offer WebRTC features, while its competitors Plivo, Voxeo Corp., and Tropo will follow the trend soon as well. In addition to becoming more standard, WebRTC will enable videoconferencing from any application and any device, making it an easily deployable solution.
Mobile UC is going to stay strong. Mobile technology is not going away any time soon and is growing daily. Desktop UC tools and services are made available on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to enable easier and faster collaboration at any time and from anywhere. This is why in 2015, many new products and services are expected to make their way into the market and bolster Mobile UC.
As these trends drive the growth of UC adoptions, it will become imperative for organizations to invest in UC as an integral part of their internal, as well as external communication. By and large, the strategic deployment of UC solutions will be key to better collaboration for businesses this year.
Are you following the trends in UC this year? We would love to hear your predictions for what the remainder of 2015 holds for the industry.