UC’s Advent is Welcome, But Should Not Distract Enterprises from Their Core Fixed Services

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises should be excited about the potential benefits of UC – including BYOD and mobile device management (MDM).
  • Enterprises should also remember that traditional IP telephony and networking services remain business critical.

I wrote in my last blog that unified communications (UC) services are now finally achieving critical mass, and that widespread adoption is expected in 2014. In response to this positive surge, the marketing teams at every major ICT provider will be in over drive to proclaim the most unified, most mobility-driven, and cloud-based proposition. And, as I write on Christmas Eve, there are reasons for enterprises to celebrate this advent. BYOD, as I have previously written, is both a security concern and a potential efficiency driver if handled correctly. MDM packaged with single number dialling and unified email and messaging and (probably) presence functionality is something that enterprises should now be looking to roll out to all mobile workers. MDM on its own should be applied to every worker within an organisation, and cloud/network-hosted delivery is the only way for most enterprises to achieve this.       Read more of this post

UC Take-up Is on the Verge of Critical Mass, but Pricing Models Remain Negotiable

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Uptake of unified communications solutions is growing, and enterprises that are not alert to this trend may be at a disadvantage.
  • Utility pricing looks great on the surface, but enterprises should work with providers to achieve pricing models that deliver genuine value for money.

Research released jointly by Cisco, SFR and Telindus to coincide with SFR’s recent launch of its hosted Cisco HCS proposition has suggested that 39% of French large enterprises are currently involved in ITC projects that involve the deployment of hosted unified communications (UC) services for their employees, whilst 15% of French large enterprises already have deployed a hosted UC solution of some sort.  Research also shows that the numbers are similar or slightly lower in other Northern European countries. Read more of this post

Premise, Hosted or Both? What UC Model Will Prevail in the Future?

Cindy Whelan

Cindy Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • As the unified communications (UC) market develops, enterprises have access to a wide range of solutions from equipment vendors and service providers that offer hosted and on-premise UC solutions.
  • Enterprises that want to deploy hosted and managed UC solutions must consider which entire service wrap has the best model for their needs.

Carriers have long supported premises-based managed IP PBX solutions, typically based on platforms from Avaya, Cisco and Siemens.  In 2011, as interest in unified communications services began to grow, major service providers added hosted UC offers based on the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) platform.  In 2012, service providers continued to build out their UC solutions, adding support for Microsoft Lync.  BT launched a pilot program for a dedicated hosted Microsoft Lync solution in February 2012, followed by its October 2012 commercial launch of hosted Lync in the U.S.  In November 2012, Verizon opted for a different approach with the launch of a managed customer premise-based Microsoft Lync solution that can be offered alongside a professional services practice specifically designed for Lync implementations. Orange Business Services has had a dedicated hosted Microsoft Lync offer for some time, and plans a Microsoft Lync ‘as a service’ shared hosted platform in 2013.  Many more carriers have certified their SIP trunking solutions with Microsoft Lync, even if they don’t yet provide a fully managed UC solution for the platform. Read more of this post