Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, WebRTC Summit

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

The Five Biggest Trends in Unified Communications (UC) | @CloudExpo #Cloud #UCaaS #Analytics

UC has the ability to help companies perform more efficiently, boosting productivity, profitability, and even employee morale

Thanks to the plethora of communication and messaging apps available to the average user, unified communications (UC) is becoming more important than ever before. UC is a set of products and services designed to give employees a uniform communications experience, integrating different apps and channels to a singular point of interaction. For example, UC might allow a transcript of a voicemail to be delivered to a recipient’s email, enabling a central communication location that comprises multiple mediums at once.

Overall, UC has the ability to help companies perform more efficiently, boosting productivity, profitability, and even employee morale. However, UC technology is always evolving, and if you want to stay informed with the latest in the industry, you need to be aware of the latest trends.

The Biggest Trends in UC
These are some of the most important trends to watch for as UC develops from here:

  1. Interoperability. UC is all about streamlining, consolidating, and making things simpler. When UC vendors try to limit the amount of information they’re willing to exchange with other vendors, or limit the types of apps they’re willing to integrate, it can be frustrating. Thankfully, most UC vendors are focusing on improving overall interoperability; basically, more UC vendors are working together to exchange more information, iron out more modes of compatibility, and make life easier for anyone using any of these vendors and apps. The end result will eventually be a greater range of choices for customers, and more potential for integration across multiple channels.
  2. Pricing reductions. Most technologies follow a predictable trend of becoming less expensive over time. This is due to a variety of factors, including the prevalence of production technology that makes it easier to produce, the increase of competition, which drives prices lower, and of course, the emergence of newer, better forms of technology that make older technologies obsolete. UC is no exception to this rule; new forms of UC are constantly emerging, and both they and older forms are gradually becoming more affordable for businesses.
  3. Ongoing chatrooms. Ongoing chatrooms are persistent applications that allow specified groups of individuals to post messages in real-time. These apps typically record the entirety of these conversations, making them ideal for discussing important developments as a group. They’re becoming more popular as a central medium for UC, thanks to their mutual accessibility, convenience, and public record-taking.
  4. Reliance on the cloud. Though the trend toward more cloud-based UC platforms has been unfolding for the past several years, it’s hitting a peak in 2017. UC solutions in the cloud offer third-party advantages tend to be more customizable and adaptable, offer more backup options, and are easier to access. They also come as a subscription model and are updated constantly, rather than requiring customers to pay more money for every new version that gets released.
  5. Streaming video at scale. Streaming video is becoming more important for video chats, presentations, and a host of other applications, but managing this amount of data at scale, for organizations with thousands of people, can be a nightmare. Fortunately, UC companies are working on ways to make this more feasible and cost-efficient, paving the path toward a streaming video solution that delivers a favorable ROI.

What Comes Next?
With so many communication channels available (and still more rolling out), and technology always developing, it’s hard to say where the future of UC lies. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are fast-growing as communication mediums, and may represent the future of workplace communication; if adoption rates are sufficient, they could represent entire new worlds of UC functionality. Still, it’s difficult to predict these developments reliably more than a year or two in the future.

For now, focus on planning for the preceding trends, and gradually improve how your workers communicate with one another.

More Stories By Larry Alton

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...