CTO Edge blogger Charlene O'Hanlon has created a nice slideshow out of the graphics used by Plantronics for a survey the vendor released last week..
I wrote a post on the survey for Unified Communications Edge on Monday. The survey offered a lot of interesting tidbits, including the finding that only 2 percent of Fortune 1000 companies aren't or don't plan to get into the unified communications game. Other group responses were just as positive for unified communications and its vendors.
Charlene's post ends with a key question and a request:
Would your company benefit from implementing a unified communications solution? Send me a message and let me know if this survey-and the others like it-are real barometers of the business climate, or if they're still smoke and mirrors.
Please do. As a blogger, I guess I'm disqualified from answering. But if I did respond, I would say that the tide really is turning. Another way to say that is that where this smoke, there may be mirrors-but there definitely is fire.
If UC is judged by the company it keeps, it stands to reason that this approach to business communications is in increasingly good shape. During the past year, major deals-such as Cisco's acquisition of Tandberg and Avaya's acquisition of Nortel Enterprise Solutions-suggest strongly that the smart money is seeing the viability of unified communications.
The trend line that would appear to validate Plantronics' findings is continuing. This week, Microsoft and Nokia announced a mobility-based arrangement. The companies have released the Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia, which will connect Eseries smartphones with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. The arrangement will provide presence capabilities and automated access to instant messaging, email, short message service and calls from the handset's address book.
Yesterday, Nortel Carrier VoIP and Applications added a Web-based UC application to hosted UC platform. The new application is designed for quick launch of collaboration services, including application sharing, document presentation and interactive white boards.
The point is that a day does not go by without a big-name company launching or extending a UC initiative. The two announcements this week focused on areas into which UC is expanding. It is important to note that these are two different types of expansion: Mobility is, of course, a relatively new and rapidly evolving way in which to provide deep corporate communications services. Collaboration, which is a bit more amorphous, is the use of UC in more participatory and interactive ways.
The moves into mobility and collaboration both suggest that UC's growth is far more than smoke and mirrors.