Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unified Communications goes mainstream

I remember Fred once told me we dramatically overestimate the success of a given technology in the short term, and then dramatically underestimate it's impact in the long term. It's definitely been true for VoIP and Unified Communications - they hype was unbelievable, and VoIP pundits predicted the rapid death of traditional telephony, then as the promise failed to materialize overnight, and people suffered through the unreliability of early systems, they lost interest.

I remember having conversations a few years back with colleagues about how cost-reduction will drive VoIP adoption, but the true benefit of VoIP and UC will be business productivity and integration with other enterprise systems. I was happy to see an article today titled "Vertical Apps Drive UC Interest" in FierceVoIP . The article cites a report from Light Reading that finds that vertical market applications in finance and healthcare, as well as Fixed Mobile Convergence and Collaboration are driving adoption of Unified Communications.

In the next few years we'll finally start to see the true promise of VoIP - softphones for your mobile device that completely integrate with your office PBX, archiving and searching customer calls in your CRM system, and many things we can't even begin to imagine. The future is here.

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