The concept of unified communications (UC) cannot yet be consolidated into a single entity but in a nutshell. Its premise is to combine real-time and non-real-time communications together in order to ease communication. A good example is the way Google talk integrates video chats and video conferencing and when one of the users goes offline their message is transferred to email then when they are back online the chat resumes from where it was including the text in the email. This idea is being transferred to voice calls and voicemails, data sharing and emails or faxes, instant messaging and SMS among others. Here’s a look at what COMMfusion and other analysts expect in 2013.
Like other technological advancements it has been found that the idea is likely to take over the market within the next 4 years starting 2013. Although the market is not quantifiable at the moment surveyors have it that the market share increased by 8 percent in 2011 since the conceptualization in 2010. The revenue obtained from UC also increased by 20 % within a year after the full idea was launched. It all comes down to the fact that all IT and Business decision makers will be investing more in the technology in the coming year.
The struggling economy has been a stumbling block to many developments including Unified Communications so although analysts and key players predict that the technology will be very significant in 2013 they fear that the economy might slow down its advancement. The idea of converting voicemails to text messages and vice versa is very exciting for developers and everyone in the industry is willing to bring their own hardware and software and consolidate it into one amazing platform. As a matter of facts the idea might be included in cloud computing whereby large enterprises will be utilizing UC-as-a-service and paying for it like all the other services but this can only come into full-play if the economy will have stabilized a little more.
Unified communications systems have not yet been fully integrated into most businesses so the year 2013 is going to see more of that. Many customers are also looking for systems that can be customized for their own needs and this is going to place pressure on developers because as per research, customers will remain faithful to vendors who will provide them with customized solutions. Of course partnership between various channels will be a necessity and integrators who can successfully make it happen will be having a fruitful year because making different channels co-exist is not an easy task. Microsoft and Cisco have been the main vendors of UC platforms so far and this means there are opportunities open to other interested parties who can create their own versions of UCs.
The two main challenges likely to bar progress in UC in the year 2013 are lack of basic training and poor sales and marketing strategies. Developers are usually more interested in the technical aspects of UC and this is challenging because customers are looking for solutions that they can be explained to in layman terms. Sales departments will have to come down to the level of customers while explaining the concept and how it relates to their businesses.
VoIP Trends and Predictions 2013
VoIP is as much part of unified communications as IM or SMS because the current trend is towards full VoIP in Hosted PBX and SIP Trunk service systems. Voice calls and video conferencing are all headed towards VoIP and it is expected that by 2015 the traditional phone systems will have become obsolete in the first world countries especially in the U.S. 2013 will definitely see more of VoIP as the migration continues but the most significant change expected is the increased use of mobile VoIP services.
According to In-Stat the number of mobile VoIP users is expected to rise to about 288 million before the year 2013 comes to an end. While going the mobile VoIP way subscribers are expected to use different channels to achieve their goals. Over 50 % are expected to use Mobile VoIP providers for VoIP services e.g. White Label Communications, about 30 % will be using mobile operators or 3G MVNOs while the rest will obtain services from WiMAX/LTE operators.
Dual cellular plus Wi-Fi handsets expected in the market in 2013 are also going to boost the VoIP industry because the Wi-Fi will be used to provide the VoIP services.
The year 2013 is very promising for VoIP service providers, resellers and agents as well as Unified Communications vendors provided they take every opportunity as it comes.