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More UC Market Research
On the heels of the aforementioned Gartner study, Infonetics has a report out on Unified Communications, and they reach largely the same conclusion, that the value is in productivity rather than cost savings. However, the Infonetics view seems to tie UC adoption more closely to the legacy environment nonetheless.
On the heels of the aforementioned Gartner study, Infonetics has a report out on Unified Communications, and they reach largely the same conclusion, that the value is in productivity rather than cost savings. However, the Infonetics view seems to tie UC adoption more closely to the legacy environment nonetheless.For one thing, IP-PBXs still come across as something close to a prerequisite for UC. Infonetics analyst Mathias Machowinski is quoted as saying:
It's no secret that Microsoft is predicting the death of the PBX, to be replaced by a software-based communication approach like OCS 2007; but we didn't find many people convinced that this is yet the way to go. What we're seeing instead is companies keeping their IP PBXs, and layering unified communications applications on top.
Infonetics also says that the first iteration of UC will, in fact, be unified messaging: "UC will start as a convergence of voice and e-mail, the most widely used communication services, involving a single in-box for different message types, contact management, click-to-communicate capability, and presence," the release states.
However, this seems less a function of user interest in unified messaging as a standalone application; rather, the key seems to be that UM is the thin edge of the Microsoft wedge; Machowinski says, "Microsoft is seeing early success by leveraging their leadership in e-mail messaging and desktop environments."
Though Infonetics says Cisco and Microsoft have the early edge, the market researchers aren't calling a winner, and say that incumbents like Avaya and Nortel still look strong. Probably the most telling quote from Machowinski: "There are still opportunities ahead for vendors looking to get into or ahead in the unified communications market, because many buyers don't yet know who they will be buying from two years from now."
What rings true to me about this analysis is that you get a picture of enterprises sort of backing into UC, or cherry-picking UC functionality based on the best opportunity to leverage what they already have, and to trial new applications and capabilities in reasonable doses, all while proceeding with an IP-telephony infrastructure upgrade that they are nowhere near completing.
Having a plan for UC may be like having a plan for life: It's nice for those who can manage it, but if you have a set of guiding principles, you can adapt to current and short-term situations and achieve much the same result, even absent a detailed agenda.