Trend stories are often pretty predictable, but we were impressed with a recent post on Unified Communications by Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research over at No Jitter and FierceVoIP.
He looked at five key trends, based on Nemertes’ extensive interviews with enterprise IT leaders. Some of these trends are ones you might expect--but not all. What surprised us was the interest in UC among contact centers. A vast majority of companies surveyed are planning for UC in the contact center, where it can give agents the tools to resolve issues quickly and decrease the need to escalate the calls.
Another surprise was that three out of four companies surveyed have plans for virtual desktops. Lazar pointed out that this means that people planning for UC implementations have to accommodate thin-client interfaces for most business applications, which presents other challenges for voice and video streams.
Not surprisingly, the Nemertes survey found that cost savings (hard ROI, if you will) is still extremely important in the face of flat IT budgets. SIP Trunking, for example, draws huge interest because it can offer immediate cost savings thanks to the elimination of local exchange trunks. Here's a factoid for you: 96 percent of companies surveyed are either deploying, planning to deploy, or evaluating SIP Trunking.
Mobility is one of the few areas where enterprises expect to increase spending next year. We see this trend as well, particularly with the prospect of incorporating mobility into enterprise UC systems, through solutions such as Sprint Mobile Integration.
Finally, social networking is continuing to make inroads into the enterprise. As we've discussed here, incorporating social networking with UC will be a priority for many enterprises, especially those providing goods and services to the mass consumer market. UC offers the tools that enable companies to respond rapidly to what’s being posted about them on Facebook and tweeted about them on Twitter--and that trend is just warming up.