Better Collaboration

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.

Collaborate better

Businesses are moving to unified communications because they have a desire to communication more effectively, and they see the business case for UC.

According to Costello, it’s "largely driven by multi-modal conferencing applications, and interest in inter- and intra-company telepresence and video conferencing."

The growth in UC in 2010 has also been driven by the integration of UC with businesses process specific to vertical markets and continued movement to IP telephony, he said.

The trends in 2010 will continue through 2011, but at the same time, there will be some technology trends next year that will be important to UC’s growth and adoption.

One of those is the federation among networks, which is the ability of different networks to interoperate and support similar features and capabilities, Costello said.

"This will allow users from different organizations, for example, to work together as if on the same UC platform, using shared presence information, instant messaging, conferencing, and other features," he said.

There will be further proliferation of SIP. As the dominant protocol used by UC vendors, it provides a common platform for hardware and software development, and the protocol’s adoption will be driven by continued cost restraints, IT organizational changes and the maturity of products from major vendors, he said.

"UC applications will need to be more tightly integrated to desktop computer applications and business processes. There will be an increase in the development of custom-made UC applications that are targeted to specific vertical industries needs. In addition, we will also see an increase in UC integration with social networking platforms being deployed in the enterprise," Costello said.