Jim  Burton
JIM BURTONFounder and CEO, CT Link, LLCCo-Founder, UCStrategiesJim Burton is Founder and CEO of CT Link, LLC. Burton founded the...
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Jim Burton | August 08, 2011 |


The Next Phase in Communications

The Next Phase in Communications Real-time analytics will add a new level of value to UC.

Real-time analytics will add a new level of value to UC.

In October last year I wrote an article that appeared on this site titled The Next Phase in Unified Communications, where I discussed what I see as the 3 phases of UC evolution.

The first phase is UC for User Productivity (UC-U), best illustrated by the click-to-communicate concept. It has taken a number of years to evolve, but most vendors offer this capability today.

Phase 2 is UC for Business Productivity (UC-B), and it is what most vendors are promoting today. This is where the big ROIs can be found--integrating communications into business processes or CEBP.

Phase 3 will be UC-Analytics (UC-A), but it has not yet reached the broad market. UC-A adds analytics and metrics to business processes. We have started to see UC-A in contact center applications, where key performance indicators (KPIs) like average time in queue and first call resolution have long been used. Over time we will see these same type of analytics spread to many communication interactions from conference calls to instant messaging.

Real-time analytics will add a new level of value to UC. Keeping with a contact center example--we are starting to see calls being monitored in real time for key words and phrases. During an interaction (call), a system looks for phrases such as "cancel service" or "let me talk to a supervisor" to indicate that a caller is dissatisfied. A supervisor can be advised of the problem call and a series of problem resolutions could be presented to the agent while the caller is still engaged with an agent.

We are starting to see the evolution into the UC-A Phase, but it is not likely to be defined as "unified" but rather what many now call Social Business. Here are some things that are driving this change:

* Social networking accounts for 22% of all online time.
* Next year, smartphone shipments will outpace PCs.
* The social data analytics opportunity will grow to 1 Zettabyte this year.
* There are four billion cell phones on the planet--400 million of which are capable of running 2.3 million applications.
* 200 trillion text messages are received every day in the U.S.
* There are also 140 million tweets each day.
* Facebook now has over 700 million registered users.
* The average US teenager sends over 3,000 text messages a month.
* More than 25% of U.S. consumers aged 18 or older have already given up their voice landline for voice.
* Companies are starting to drop their phone number from promotions and replacing them with Facebook and Twitter tags.
* Congress and the White House are increasingly communicating with their constituency using social media--now if they could just communicate with one another....

Then consider the changes that are coming to the traditional voice market:

* There are over twice as many mobile phones as there are wired phones in the U.S. today.
* 150 million PBX and key system lines are expected to move to VoIP in the next 3 years
* The early IP-PBXs at the end of life and accounting write down--estimated to be nearly 20 million lines by the end of 2012

This all adds up to major change. Vendors and enterprises are learning from the behavior of consumers. They are recognizing the value of mobility and the benefit to have access to new types of information. However, they also understand the importance for security, manageability, reliability, resiliency, ROI and investment protection.

There will be many factors driving the next phase in communications and I will write about them in the future. Two of the more important ones will be: the evolution of endpoint devices and Social Business.

As those 150 million PBX and key system lines move to VoIP and the early IP-PBXs are replaced, enterprises will be looking at endpoint options. When you analyze the rationale for wired desk phones you find that their day has come to an end. A laptop or tablet soft client with a Bluetooth headset or USB phone or a cell phone has many advantages. And in many cases can do more and cost less.

While UC provided important productivity improvements, Social Business will take productivity to a new level. Rather than the linear way in which people analyze data today, social business tools serve up a variety of related information based on historical data--what they have been looking for or working on. A simple example of this is when you do a Google or Bing search you will see a list of related searches.

UC-U made routine communications simpler and more efficient, and UC-B integrated that with business processes to increase efficiency and productivity. With UC-A, we’ll be moving to an environment driven by ideas derived from social business. Your dashboard will dish up information, white papers, case studies, articles, etc. on topics that both you and your colleagues have been working on. It will also link you with individuals and work groups in your company or other groups you may be federated with that are interested in or working on similar topics. We will be moving to networks that don’t simply "connect you," but that can find the people and information you need to be connected to.

Our industry is always evolving but the cycle times are getting shorter. Enjoy the ride.


Check out this recap of Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017, and register now to join us in 2018 and save $200 off or get a Free Expo Plus Pass.

Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.