White Paper

How Unified Communications Pays For Itself

Source: ShoreTel

By Don Van Doren, principal and co-founder, UniComm Consulting

There are many factors that drive UC's innovative product developments. One component is the underlying merging of voice, data, and video communications into consolidated architectures. Another is the emphasis by suppliers to bring new solutions to customers. But the critical, long-term driver spurring UC growth is the transformation of the communications industry.

The innovations that are emerging stem from the cascading effects of the communications industry as it changes from being largely vertically integrated within one supplier's products a decade ago, into a horizontally layered, standards-based, increasingly open environment. In this environment, system components, operating systems, and applications programs may all come from different specialized suppliers. Most of the communications suppliers now focus on software running on standard hardware platforms. Emerging UC concepts and capabilities continue to extend the importance of software to provide value to purchasers and differentiation among suppliers as these trends extend into the future.

The data processing industry went through a similar transformation three to four decades ago. The resulting explosion of creativity in applications programming fundamentally altered business activities for virtually every enterprise on the planet. The communications industry is currently undergoing the same sort of seismic shift.