The shape of the unified communications landscape is changing locally and resellers can benefit from the opportunities they will be presented with, says Audrey William, Frost & Sullivan’s research director for ICT Practice in Australia and New Zealand.
According to William, collaboration is today’s buzzword and a growth in mobile devices, as well as video-conferencing, will benefit the channel.
Video-conferencing “used to be a small percentage of the UC market”, says William, but it is experiencing growth now, mainly due to a decrease in price.
William also predicts new opportunities for the channel to “develop tailored solutions in healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and so on”, through the uptake of video and mobile devices. The rise of social media at an enterprise level, another one of William’s predictions for the UC market in 2011, will be particularly strong in the contact centre segment. She says companies are starting to use applications to monitor social media activity and find out, for example, what customers are saying about them through these channels. Vendors also have an opportunity to develop tailored solutions in this area.
“Channels will need to re-invent themselves,” she adds. “It is no longer just about selling voice or video, but taking note of the various applications and devices today that will add value to the enterprise – tablets, social media applications, mobility and so on.”
Mobility will be a key component of the UC market. William states that “enterprise mobility will drive huge opportunities for vendors and service providers”.
According to the research director, the cloud “is not necessarily a threat to the channel”. She says customers “still want a middle-party managing everything. The channel still plays a very important part and the cloud gives resellers an ongoing revenue stream”.