Unified Communications Gains Some Momentum

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

The State of Unified Communications Adoption

Survey finds Microsoft and Cisco, followed by Avaya, are driving the majority of the market.

Although interest in unified communications has always been high, deployment has generally lagged because of the complexity associated with deploying and managing these environments.


But in the last year both Microsoft and Cisco have been banging the unified communications drum pretty hard; and all that effort, coupled with a pressing interest to find ways to reduce the travel budget while increasing productivity, is setting the stage for a surge in unified communications adoption.

In fact, a recent survey of 121 IT organizations conducted by The Osterman Group on behalf of Azaleos, a provider of managed services for Microsoft Exchange and related unified communications offerings, finds that interest in the next generation of the Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) platform, widely known as Microsoft Lync Server 2010, is running pretty high.

As with most things Microsoft, it looks like this may be another instance where the third or fourth iteration of something is the charm.


But perhaps most interesting of all is that despite the complexity of unified communications, most of the participants in the survey said they expect to deploy unified communications on premise rather than in the cloud.

According to Scott Gode, vice president of marketing and products management for Azaleos, this preference for on-premise deployment probably reflects the current location of most mail servers, a general lack of interoperability between unified communications offeringsand performance concerns over deploying latency sensitive applications in the cloud.

But over time, Gode expects that the unified communications services as a whole will become more federated with some services running in the cloud, others on premise and others concurrently in both locations.

Whatever the deployment model, it looks like unified communications as a whole is finally poised for some rapid, long-awaited growth that should ultimately change the way we work for the better.

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