7 UC Predictions from Mitel Leaders for 2024

4 min read

Trevor Kerr | January 31, 2024

The new year is naturally a time for looking ahead. From new technologies to emerging trends and recurring themes, there is plenty to consider as we start 2024.

We spoke with Mitel’s leadership team to see what was on their radar and where they see the unified communications (UC) space heading.

Here is an insightful cross-section of opinions, observations, and predictions from those discussions:

Where will Artificial Intelligence (AI) take UC?

Martin Bitzinger

Martin Bitzinger - SVP, Product Management

“2024 may well be the year of reckoning for AI. So far, the main application of Gen AI has been with chatbots and voice-enabled bots. But the true promise of AI is in other areas. The real value is transitioning from front-end chatbots to ones that can act based on their process inputs. As such, this next step will be for customer support software to go beyond just answering questions and move toward enabling true end-to-end task automation.”

Jan Hickish

Jan Hickish – VP, Global Solution Marketing

“You are falling behind if you do not have AI top-of-mind. We see multiple UC-focused use cases for it, especially within specific verticals. For example, you cannot talk about contact center customer experiences without AI. A practical use for it could be to analyze the mood of callers when determining the best option to serve them or to spot comments on social media so that you can resolve issues proactively and thus positively influence opinions. As we are digging into the full potential of AI, there’s no doubt it will significantly impact customer interactions and improve the overall customer experience.”

2. Focus on Delivering Value, Not Responding to Hype

Marcus Hansel

Marcus Hänsel - CSO

“Next year, hype trends, technologies, and topics – such as generative AI will be diverting attention and influencing decision-makers more than ever. In 2024 and beyond, it will become increasingly important for organizations not to let market hypes influence their decisions. This will become especially apparent as generative AI tools become more commonplace on the apps, services, and platforms we rely on daily. While 2023 may have been a year for experimentation and discovery of AI tools, business leaders must enter the new year with a clear understanding of how these tools can be implemented effectively.

“In 2024, more than ever, clearly outlining your business priorities will become key to making informed and thoughtful decisions and evaluating if new market hype trends and topics add any business value.”

3. Hybrid Cloud Deployments Will Take Center Stage

Luiz Domingos

Luiz Domingos - CTO and Head of Large Enterprise R&D

“I anticipate we will see an increased focus on hybrid cloud deployments in 2024. As we have observed, fully migrating UC in the public cloud has not entirely addressed the demands of certain customer segments, mainly due to concerns regarding security, data privacy, and compliance expectations.

“Many organizations completely embraced full cloud solutions for communication and collaboration but realized that approach has limitations. Organizations often rely on diverse products, including legacy technologies such as DECT, TDM, and analog, which are still in active utilization and functional. Rightfully, they want to continue to draw from that investment."

Hybrid deployments provide businesses with the best of both worlds, enabling them to leverage existing UC, connected with a cloud collaboration application to maximize the user experience. We will see more organizations adopting this strategy to achieve their goals in 2024.”

Charles-Henry Duroyon Portrait

Charles-Henry Duroyon - COO

“Indeed, the UCaaS market, dominated by pure players, should not be seen as the absolute alternative to on-premise unified communications solutions but as a solution suitable for certain business segments or profiles or as a complement to existing solutions. This is the complexity of a hybrid market. However, there are many constraints on businesses: protecting collaboration data, meeting compliance and data sovereignty challenges. These are all challenges that the cloud alone cannot meet. The answer, therefore, is a hybrid mode, and not all players can meet this challenge today. The great replacement of UC by UCaaS is not here yet.”

4. Data Sovereignty will be Crucial

Marcus Hänsel

“In 2024, understanding where your data is stored, processed, and accessed will be more critical than ever. For businesses operating in multiple markets and across different countries, close attention must be paid to local regulations relating to the storage and processing of data. This issue will become even more critical with the broader adoption of generative AI and other emerging technologies that generate exponentially larger volumes of data."

“While this has already been on the agendas of highly regulated industries such as the financial services industry, expect data sovereignty to pick up pace beyond the typically highly regulated industries.”

5. A Growing Emphasis on UC Integration and Interoperability Will Continue

Luiz Domingos

“In 2024, I anticipate a growing emphasis on the integration and interoperability of various unified communication systems. This trend will be particularly relevant in verticals such as healthcare and hospitality. For instance, bedside infotainment terminals in hospitals allow patients to communicate directly with their nurses and doctors, even if they are off-site."

“In the future, I expect to see more of these integrations in the UC market, where various vendors collaborate to address specific vertical use cases. Managed service teams will be required to integrate complex infrastructure and provide an enhanced experience for everyone, from employees to hotel guests and hospital patients.”

6. Security Upgrades Need to be a Top Priority

Martin Bitzinger

“Security is simply a space that cannot be ignored in 2024. It is, and always has been, one of the key considerations for UC players, but it is now more important than ever. We haven’t seen as many attacks focused on the UC systems as they are more proprietary and represent a smaller attack target. As a result, customers are often more hesitant to upgrade their security as they have not yet fallen victim to an attack. But, as cybercriminals and their technology become more advanced, security upgrades should not be overlooked. As such, UC providers must educate customers on any vulnerabilities in their systems and how they can become increasingly resilient. These will be small incremental step changes rather than a full system overhaul, but that does not make them any less important.”


7. UC Market Continues Consolidating, Guided by Hybrid

Charles-Henry Duroyon 

“Until last year, with Mitel's acquisition of Unify, the unified communications market was fairly stable in consolidation, following a phase of takeovers, just as seen in other sectors of corporate office automation or professional computing. What's more, what we were all expecting to be a game-changer - the rise of the cloud, and therefore of UCaaS - has certainly changed the sector, but it has not been the tidal wave that was predicted. Above all, it has served as a reminder that there is no universal model and has underlined the importance for companies to build their own communication and collaboration strategy.”

“There will be many challenges for UC players in 2024, but this year promises to be one of consolidation in a market that is still fragmented and remains largely concentrated in large and medium-sized enterprises. The key to success will be going beyond the divide between on-premise and cloud to offer customized, scalable support.”

Trevor KerrPublic Relations Manager, North America

Trevor has worked in media and communications for over two decades across various government, non-profit, and technology sectors. Outside the office, he enjoys spending time with his family, running, and playing golf.

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