Collaboration technologies next phase of IT

    More businesses are looking for ways to improve their collaboration capabilities through the use of technology, but many industry experts believe some options are more effective than others. The Huffington Post recently suggested that unified communications, social software, mobility, customer care and video and web conferencing fit this bill.

    "Before the advent of collaborative technologies, [employees] could not have found each other easily and might not even have known the others existed," the news source explained. "But with new tools, they can tap pockets of knowledge instantly. Teams may meet every day for two weeks and then never again. Or they may meet once a month for six months, collaborating in communities and forums between those sessions."

    The IT industry is expected to undergo significant changes in the next five years, especially regarding employee mobility. The Huffington Post asserted that organizations should determine what applications are best suited for mobile devices, whether workers have necessary support to work from remote locations and if their businesses can provide flexible work schedules to fit these needs.

    The news provider indicated that collaboration technologies will be essential for helping organizations looking to enter new markets. Businesses are encouraged to identify what customer segments they will target and how they can serve remote customers.

    "Collaboration presents the opportunity to find and engage new customers around the world," the Huffington Post report said. "Virtual, video, mobile and social technologies open up entirely new market segments previously out of reach. Businesses that once depended on physical distribution can reach new or broader audiences."

    UC market soars during 2012 first quarter

    Market analysis firm Infonetics Research recently announced findings of its first quarter study regarding the unified communications, IP, KTS and PBX phone system markets. While some industries experienced a decline during the period, UC sales grew by 16 percent.

    In comparison, the global PBX/KTS system market declined more than 4.5 percent to approximately $2.1 billion from the fourth quarter of 2011. Year over year growth of IP PBX solutions dipped nearly 4 percent, according to the study.

    Infonetics Research principal analyst Diane Myers explained that several trends have impacted certain market declines. She said that more businesses are adding fewer workers and delaying system upgrades, leading to these results.

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