5 TRENDS UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS AND COLLABORATION IN 2017Eunike Kristiono
Before discuss about 5 trends unified communications and collaboration (UCC) in 2017, this is the brief definition of unified communcations and collaboration (UCC).
Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) is a combination of enterprise communication tools assembled into a single interface and integrated into a single management system—focusing on making your company more connected, efficient and productive.
Unified communications and collaboration trends saw rapid change in 2016. For instance, team messaging applications, such as Slack, have changed the very definition of a collaboration application. New entrants, such as Facebook’s Workplace, are challenging incumbent collaboration providers. Meanwhile, the shift to the cloud is continuing to accelerate.
these are 5 UCC trends in 2017…
1. Large enterprises consolidate on one vendor, while the small business (SMB) market sees fragmentation.
Companies are constantly struggling with their changing business environments. They wake up one day and all of a sudden they need a new technology solution from a new vendor. To remain competitive, they simply can’t rely on a single UC vendor.
More than 40% of enterprises are planning to converge their UC applications around a single vendor, with the majority choosing Cisco or Microsoft, according to a recent Nemertes Research study on unified communications and collaboration trends.
Meanwhile, choices in the SMB market continue to grow. Pure cloud services, for instance, are offered by vendors such as Mitel, RingCentral, ShoreTel and 8×8. Other products are available via service providers, such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, and they are bundled with WAN and internet services. SMBs can also choose from hosted, custom-built services from partners of Avaya, Cisco and others.
2. Cloud-first becomes the norm.
Nemertes as advisory and strategic consulting firm has found about 40% of organizations are using or planning to use cloud telephony services. Even higher percentages are using cloud web and video conferencing, email and file-storage services.
According to Nemertes, the shift to the cloud will continue to accelerate, as companies look to reduce capital costs, become more agile, take advantage of new capabilities and curb security concerns.
Forty-five percent of participants in the Nemertes study said they see cloud services as more secure than on-premises platforms, largely because of the difficulty and cost of keeping up with threats against internal systems.
3. The age of the API arrives.
About one-quarter of companies are already using APIs to embed UC features – such as click to call or click to chat-into existing business applications. Another 20% of companies are building custom UC applications via development platforms, such as Avaya Breeze, or through their existing development environments.
Some examples of custom UC apps include customized call reporting and handling, vertical-specific apps for internal communications or communications tied to digital transformation initiatives.
4. Stream, stream, stream.
Video is moving beyond conferencing and now becoming integral to digital transformation efforts to improve customer engagement and internal business processes. More than half of companies have deployed or are deploying video content and streaming management platforms.
Use cases have spread beyond executive broadcasts and training videos. Employees can now record and share their own videos. Enterprises can also use video capture via remote monitoring or drone-based video for security purposes and facility management.
5. Team chat replaces the UC client.
The UC desktop app for calling, instant messaging and video chat is quickly being replaced by team chat applications, such as Atlassian’s HipChat, Cisco Spark and Slack. With the recent introduction of Microsoft Teams, Facebook Workplace and the extensibility of consumer chat apps — such as Apple Messages and WhatsApp — business messaging is poised for even further growth.
Many UC vendors have responded by adding messaging applications to their UC offerings, including Avaya, Fuze, RingCentral and 8×8, to name a few. Expect the UC client to continue to focus on team messaging over the next year, as messaging adoption continues to grow.