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Communicating and collaborating in the past and the future

Shaun Wormald, Senior Director, Unified Communications, InterCall Asia-Pacific | Jan. 15, 2015
In 2015, advancements in UC solutions will offer even greater benefits to organisations, promising continued growth in its adoption, evolution and deployment.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Shaun Wormwald
Shaun Wormald, Senior Director, Unified Communications, InterCall Asia-Pacific

The only thing constant about technology is that it keeps changing. Unified Communications (UC) has emerged in recent years as a disruptor of the collaborative communication technologies. The simple telephone conference call has evolved and placed a wide variety of conferencing and collaboration tools under one umbrella.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the collaboration services market in Asia is expected to reach US$1,209 million by 2018 contributed across all conferencing platforms.There will be moderate growth in audio conferencing services, while web conferencing services are expected to lead the growth in short term. Video conferencing services will experience rapid adoption and lead the growth in the longer term.

Whereas companies mostly operated non-unified-communication solutions in the previous years, the year 2014 saw a wider acceptance ofUC in the market, which resulted in midsize and large organisations adopting UC solutions. Some of the major developments included companies focusingonreducing their operational costs by decreasing infrastructure, communications and transportation expenses.

Another phenomenon observed in 2014 is the increased market acceptance of Google IT which has gained favour with small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, enterprise telephony is still not supported.

Organisations have also had to assess their UC strategy due to the impact of fast-growing trends. The impact of trends such as BYOD presents significant implications for security and regulations. According to a report by IDC, close to 60% of all surveyed organisations across APAC stated they have some kind of mobility policy to cater to BYOD.

As 2015 gets underway, the UC market will continue to grow, as technology continues to evolve and enterprises become more open to cloud-based UC solutions. InterCall sees the following trends which willshape the UC landscape this year:

Cloud goes from strength to strength
The well entrenched technology of on-premise solutions for conferencing and collaboration has seen a serious challenge from cloud-based solutions.

SMEs with multiple office locations prefer cloud-based solutions as they can be rolled out easily and are supported by the cloud provider's IT services. The key growth areas which have emerged are India, Australia, South Korea and Singapore.According to IDC, within major industry verticals, cloud-based UC adoption continues to grow the fastest in retail, education, health care, hospitality and professional services.

Cloud is an attractive proposition to CIOs due to its seamless integration with existing infrastructure, rapid deployment,on-demand nature, the services being operating cost as opposed to capital cost, reduced IT administrative overheads and ability to counter technology obsolescence with constant updates.


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