Tablets Anyone?

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

The dream of unified communications has been pushed by technology vendors for decades -- a single interface for all your communications needs including instant messages, email, phone, video conferencing. Here's a look at whether we've finally arrived and the new innovations that are on the way for this Holy Grail of collaboration.

The rise of the tablets

The Apple iPad may have been the device to really put tablets into the mainstream consciousness, but vendors are working towards making enterprise-class tablets designed specifically to be tied into UC solutions. Two of the biggest UC vendors launched tablets in the second half of 2010. The Cisco Cius and the tablet included in the Avaya Flare Experience were both designed with UC in mind.

Several tablets are being used for UC and collaboration in the enterprise space, though. Costello noted that the Cisco Cius, Avaya Flare, Apple iPad, RIM Playbook, Samsung Galaxy and other Android-based tablets have been designed to support enterprise multi-modal collaboration applications. This trend is likely to continue through 2011.

However, UC tablets are likely to be specialized and not something everyone will have, Pleasant said.

"I’m kind of skeptical about the tablets coming from the telephony, UC and collaboration vendors," she said. "I think everyone’s going to have to have their UC capabilities working on the other tablets that are out there, but not the ones that are from the telephony manufacturers."