Cloud computing may enable unified communications

    Many industry experts believed that when unified communications was introduced, most enterprises would adopt UC technology. However, this has not been the case, according to NetworkComputing's Denise Culver. However, the writer posited that cloud computing may give new life to UC solutions, fueling higher adoption rates in the process.

    Culver noted that unified communications did not live up to the hype when it was released, failing to connect and integrate platforms successfully. Other developments hindered the use of UC solutions as well.


    "A bad economy sucked the bravado from traditional first-to-market IT mavericks, who instead retreated to the shadows of their legacy-based PBX systems rather than risk any bottom-line scrutiny that might reveal fiscal irresponsibility," Culver wrote.


    But cloud computing may address many concerns associated with the evolution of unified communications. Jim Burton, CEO of consulting firm CT Link, noted that one UC vendor leveraged the cloud to improve its revenue. In fact, more than 40 percent of all profits for the service provider will be directly from cloud-based UC systems, Culver reported.


    Cloud-based unified communications is different from traditional UC solutions, which involve local equipment and remote-enabled offerings. According to Culver, the cloud allows companies to implement a number of options into certain aspects of an enterprise.


    Unified communications still a young technology


    Forbes contributor Ray Dolan explained that unified communications is still an immature solution, and many IT developments and technologies are expected to take UC to the next level in the near future. As companies have adopted a number of systems, UC has become fragmented, but businesses can address such problems.


    "The first step is to ensure there is a flexible and fluid IT environment that directly and indirectly helps everyone communicate, while allowing IT to manage costs and reduce complexity," Dolan wrote. "That's a seemingly high bar to clear. One effective way to get over this hurdle is by seeking cloud-based VoIP, unified communications and associated applications."


    Dolan also explained that organizations looking for a competitive edge should not be shy about adopting cloud computing because of the technology's cost-efficiency. By leveraging the cloud, companies no longer have to pay for on-premise systems and can integrate a number of platforms into their IT infrastructure to improve collaboration.



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