Carriers can clarify UC confusion

A report from Forrester Research pointed out that about 55 percent of almost 2,200 corporate enterprises surveyed said they were confused about the value of unified communications for their companies. Is this a knock against unified communications, which has been a key technology and service theme in the industry over the last year, and likely will star again at this week's NXTcomm trade show in Las Vegas?

Not necessarily. When a market gets confusing, that is exactly the right time for smart companies rich in technology expertise and strong customer relationships to step out and take advantage. The confusion about unified communications means that it is exactly the right time for carriers to step out and help corporate customers make sense of a unified communications trend that may not be so much more than convergence by another name.

It is true that beyond typical convergence, unified communications involves an increasing degree of collaboration and systems alignment to help create enterprises that feel seamless, and where awareness of user presence is a key feature. However, the ongoing network and service convergence that carriers are involved in is well-equipping them to handle such demands.

Forrester also reports that an increasing number of enterprises are launching unified communications pilot projects, but that those tests are not necessarily turning into commercial installations. Carriers thus far arguably have been overshadowed in the unified communications sector by major vendors and systems integrators, but perhaps they can now make sense of the sector where others have not by tying capabilities to real services and network reliability and availability reputations. In a land of confusion, they can provide the clarity.

And, what a better place to launch a mission to provide clarity than at NXTcomm during our Unified Communications Conference Wednesday and Thursday. Hope to see you there.

For more:
- read this story at Network World