Unified Communications hype disguises real prospects

Real transformational changes may take a generation to accomplish

Despite the bullish predictions that are made about the positive outcomes that it could deliver, unified communications (UC) may in reality take a long time to accomplish the objectives that supplier promise.

This is the bottom line finding of a new report buy In-Stat that criticises what it says is industry hype surrounding UC making it, in the analyst’s opinion, sound like it will cause seismic shifts across the business world.

In-Stat does accept that in the long term even what is says are the ‘most grandiose’ predictions may prove accurate, but only because definitions of UC are so broad. It points out that some reports on uptake quote numbers, such as 50% of enterprises evaluating, installing, or running UC applications. Yet In-Stat claims that these include minor steps such as a unified messaging installation or a web conferencing subscription.

"Real transformational changes will take more time, perhaps even a generation, to accomplish," explained David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst. "But, it's possible that a new generation, dubbed 'Millennials,' bringing to the workplace communications habits formed in their early years (text messaging, social networking, blogging, etc.), portends more rapid adoption."

For its part, In-Stat regards messaging as the most mature aspect of UC and that conferencing is the most compelling near-term opportunity for service providers. In all, In-Stat predicts worldwide UC product revenues to reach $18 billion by 2012.

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