Rating: Apparently people already know what unified communications offer
With the worries over security that have been generated by the introduction of BYOD (Bring Your own Device) rollouts, there’s been renewed interest in ‘unified communications’ (UC). That was the clear message GoMo News received from a cosy chat with Leslie Ferry, vp for marketing with BroadSoft. Over the years, the term unified communications has been frequently reinterpreted. However, Ferry was adamant that people understand what is meant by UC and are positive in their desire to achieve this. Moreover, Ferry argues that with their investments in LTE networks, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are strongly positioned to meet the UC needs of an increasingly mobile workforce.
At the tale end of 2012, BroadSoft carried out a survey of 700 people across the USA, Sweden and Spain which found that 76 per cent of respondents said they would be “very keen” or “somewhat keen” to adopt UC solutions.
Mobile integration, instant messaging and presence, along with Web collaboration were cited as the top three most desired unified communication services.
Ferry suggested, however, that MNOs would do well if they concentrated to marketing UC solutions to their business/enterprise customers.
GoMo News can see the benefits of having just one number by which an employee can be reached. For starters, it cuts out the need for two subscriptions – a fixed line is no longer necessary.
Then there are the benefits of unified messaging. With UC you have all of your messaging – for example, IM and SMS, available all in the same place.
BroadSoft, for instance, can provide solutions which offer the same user interface (UI) for the desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
By deploying UC, enterprises can take the security worries out of employees using Apple’s Facetime for videoconferencing or Whatsap for instant messaging, for example.
Ferry also claimed that configured correctly, enterprise networks can prove just as secure as using BBM (BlackBerry Messaging) on a BlackBerry.
The one feature which UC can supply that other user installed apps cannot do is provide ‘Presence’.
With UC, you can ‘see’ if a user is available and where they are in order to choose the most efficient way of contacting them.
Our own personal favourite with UC here at GoMo News is its ability to provide employees with just one voicemail mailbox which they need to check for work related messages.
Significantly, nobody seems to have calculated the value of the potential market for MNOs and MVNOs to be had from offering UC solutions.
However, Infonetics has place a figure of around $10 billion on what the UC market is worth to all kinds of service providers (not just MNOs) globally.