The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Where Will Unified Communications Take Us in 2012?

bridge.jpgDecember and January are typically the months that we consider resolutions and predictions for the coming year. Technology is no different with this month’s bloggers predicting everything from the future of cloud computing to what’s on the horizon for IT outsourcing. Unified Communications is also a hot topic for predictions. Everyone from Larry Hettick at Network World to Zeus Kerravala of No Jitter have blogged about numerous adoptions and predictions related to UC including:

  • Increased use of HD video communications across all market segments. Eventually video will replace voice calls as a preferred real-time communications medium, but maybe not in 2012.
  • More businesses will cut the cord to wired voice services, eventually mirroring the trend among consumers.
  • The BYOD trend will continue as enterprise networks adapt, supporting mobile devices like smartphones & table computers that employees initially purchase as consumer electronics.
  • Tablet computing becomes the next big thing in business.
  • Campus LAN gets smart: With BYOD, the growth of smartphone/tablet usage among consumers and the unified communications market set to triple by 2015, the campus LAN will have to step up to the plate to meet demand -- 2012 will be the year the campus gets smart.
  • Unified Communications goes even more mobile in 2012.

What predictions do you agree or disagree with? What predictions of your own would you add to the lists?

 

Last year, HP’s Danette Hardin discussed how Unified Communications can be the step change that allows organizations to seamlessly integrate with their technology, and how consumers are driving UCC trends in 2011. This is part of a larger activity by HP started earlier. I think this is all only the start of a much bigger move to a more communications enabled enterprise approach bringing together social, analytics, and the computational resources into a whole new level of business productivity. This is an area I plan to spend more thought on this year!

 

How about your org? Have you already adopted UCC or are you considering implementing it in 2012? What trends are shaping your decision?

Polycom to Buy HP’s Videoconferencing Assets

teleconference.pngYou may have seen the announcement that HP is selling off its visual collaboration business to Polycom.

 

This change should actually be good for the current customers as well as the market in general. The idea of teleconferencing is not new and mobile teleconferencing is a natural extension. It will likely be more software standard focused than high-end hardware focused and further enable the new more agile business approach.

 

HP has already said “HP will embed Polycom's videoconferencing software in tablets and mobile phones running WebOS. The software is scheduled to be available on both types of devices within 90 days”. The integration of these more consumer-oriented, mobile devices into the business teleconferencing capability should be interesting to watch.

 

Of course this coming on the heels of Microsoft’s purchase of Skype should mean that the whole Unified Communications market could be in for some redefinition.

Are organizations and their technologies becoming one in the same?

I am in the process of selling our home so I’m stranded on a Sunday afternoon as strangers glance through where my family has lived for the last 14 years.  J This got me into a stream of consciousness mode.

 

To be successful, a company must reinvent its use of technology based upon the changing business and needs. When it can embed new technical capabilities in the value the enterprise delivers to the marketplace it can move the world (to paraphrase Archimedes).

 

Unified Communications and Collaboration is one of the many step changes toward the next phase of technological advancements that I’ve been discussing. It allows an organization to take advantage of the megashifts underway.

 

How do you think UC help business meet their goals or IT achieve its new role?

 

As the unifications of communications take place and pulls together diverse computing capabilities at the same time, it can define how organizations think and are perceived by others. This can be a concern, in the same way that there is concern that the new searching tools change the way we think. How we communicate does shape how we think. I wonder if that is part of the plan during most organizations UC activities?

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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