The adoption of unified communications will forge ahead this year and next, as the technology becomes more sophisticated and helps overcome business problems, says research firm IDC.
The drivers for adoption include the trend toward IP PBXs, the need to compete in a globalised world, attracting and retaining staff and making businesses more productive and environmentally sustainable.
IDC’s Australian-based telecommunications programme manager David Cannon told a recent Auckland unified communications conference, there has been a definite move toward internet protocol (IP) end points since it began tracking the technology in 2005. IDC analysts predict 50 percent of end points in New Zealand will be IP-enabled by the end of the year.
This will make unified communications adoption easier, says Cannon.
“Once you adopt an IP PBX, everything you tack onto that becomes relatively simple. You’ve already converged voice and data and video is just another application on top of that.”
A firm’s communications infrastructure will dictate its ability to compete in the globalised marketplace, Cannon says, adding that low unemployment and the skills shortage are also pushing companies towards unified communications.
Such technology can help attract and retain workers, particularly those in the generation Y category, as well as ageing workers looking for work/life balance, says Cannon.
“If you want to find good people and if you have that technology, that’s a real drawcard to have.”
He says vendors are developing their UC offerings to make them more useable and interoperable.
Looking ahead he sees ‘presence’ (visibility of a user’s availability) becoming increasingly intelligent and automated. Availability may be dictated by the last use of an office keyboard or phone, with automatic updates.
Federation could also be used to share a communications network with partners and customers, after the implementation of appropriate policies.
IDC also believes UC will be adopted more and more by consumers working from home.