SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jim  Burton
JIM BURTONFounder and CEO, CT Link, LLCCo-Founder, UCStrategiesJim Burton is Founder and CEO of CT Link, LLC. Burton founded the...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Jim Burton | September 22, 2016 |

 
   

'Change' Is in the Air for Enterprise Communications

'Change' Is in the Air for Enterprise Communications Perspectives from an industry thought leader and IT professionals show the evolving views on voice and other communications services.

Perspectives from an industry thought leader and IT professionals show the evolving views on voice and other communications services.

I want to call your attention to two of this month's pieces on UCStrategies.com, both for their focus on some of the fundamental changes charging through our business. The first is a podcast I did with Jonathan Rosenberg, Cisco fellow and VP/CTO for Cisco's Collaboration business, and the second is an article by telecom analyst Jon Arnold about a survey on modern business communications from UCaaS provider Dialpad.

Both of these pieces bring a view of where the business communications market is heading, and discuss what users and value-added resellers (VARs) need to know as they prepare for the future. When it comes to gleaning insights on what's going on in enterprise communications, it's hard to find anyone with more depth than Jonathan. His career includes stints working on SIP at the Lucent Technologies research lab as well as at SIP infrastructure provider Dynamicsoft, which landed him at Cisco when it acquired that company in 2004. A brief sojourn took him to Skype, and then Microsoft, before he returned to Cisco in 2013. Today he is one of only 13 Cisco fellows, the company's most senior technical position.

Value in the End Point
The interesting thing about Jonathan is that most of what he talks about are issues related to integrating with business workflows, adoption, and user experience -- this despite his panoply of technical achievements. As is typical with Jonathan, the subject matter tackled in the podcast is wide ranging. One of his first points is the user experience with personal technologies, and how that is shaping their expectations for enterprise communications tools.

Not surprisingly, a lot of the podcast conversation dealt with Cisco Spark, in particular how the company intends to drive its sale, and how Spark stacks up against offerings from Slack and Microsoft. Jonathan describes a three-pronged approach starting with the freemium viral component, delivering a familiar user experience modeled on consumer technologies, and finally backing the offering with resources only Cisco can muster, including "an army of sales guys."

Going forward, the real key is having APIs that allow other applications to provide value-added functionality by integrating Spark's capabilities and to lock customers in for the long term, he told me during the podcast. That will likely entail more VARs getting into development so they can meet customer needs for customized applications.

Jonathan said he also sees some real differences between what Cisco is offering vis-a-vis some of the consumer capabilities. With regard to Slack, the main difference is real-time communications, obviously Cisco's forte. Of course, with Slack's acquisitions of Spaces and Screenhero, we haven't heard the last of the company's capabilities in terms of screen sharing and real-time communications.

He also had an interesting observation regarding WhatsApp and the difficulties enterprise customers might face with it. In particular, the messaging company's security might be too good and not accessible by IT. He notes that the app's security "is so heavily encrypted that not only can WhatsApp not access it, neither could an IT department." He went on to say, "It would be so secure that their information security team couldn't get access to any messages in case there was a subpoena issued or some digital data loss that they had to forensically investigate. Who leaked the company memo through WhatsApp?"

Jonathan said he sees value in well-integrated end points. "We think the fact that we make the endpoint hardware integrated into our solution is a huge differentiator," he said. That is where he takes a different tack from what we see in the DialPad survey.

Voice Response
Through Lab42 Research, DialPad surveyed 1,014 professionals. Roughly half of survey respondents were with SMBs, a quarter from midsize companies (51 to 1,000 employees) and a quarter from enterprise customers (1,000+ employees). The survey focused on remote workers, and found that 84% of respondents supported a remote workforce; at least some employees were allowed to work from home in 67% of organizations.

With regard to the desk phone, 59% of respondents said they believed they were an outdated piece of technology and only 22% saw the desk phone as an "essential tool" three to five years down the road. Nearly two thirds of enterprise and midsize respondents hold that view, as well as a whopping 89% of SMB respondents. Also of note, 45% of respondents said their organizations provide and pay for employee cell phones, and 61% support BYOB plans.

It is interesting to see where Jonathan's views and those presented in the DialPad survey come together. In the DialPad survey, respondents indicated that voice is the most important communications tool for external communications and the second most important tool for internal communications after email. Further, 89% said they believe the phone system should integrate with apps, a view Jonathan certainly shares. Finally, on the importance of text, 89% said they believe the phone system should be able to text mobile devices and external clientele.

It is indeed instructive to see how the two viewpoints in these pieces compare and contrast. To be sure, how people view the importance of traditional voice service is changing, with a shift either to something like Spark or something else entirely. There is growing interest in text as the key new medium, either in a social collaboration tool or something else. Probably the biggest point of agreement is the drive to integrate voice communications into apps.

For enterprise communications, the times certainly are a changing, and both IT professionals and VARs will need to be adjust their viewpoints and their capabilities to get in line with what users will be demanding in the years ahead.





COMMENTS




April 25, 2018

Yesterdays simple phone call to a contact center or business location is rapidly becoming todays interactive session, spanning multiple channels and devices. If you need to know how Omnichannel can

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

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
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 BlogGeek.me 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.