It's always fun to take some time to empty out the junk drawers of the unified communications-obsessed mind. Paying attention to trends, talking to hundreds of people in the industry, seeing products evolve and watching as companies try to address their implementation challenges and drive ROI keeps us on our toes (and often causes us to mutter aimlessly to ourselves while we wander the halls).
So with no further ado and in no particular order here are some of the topics that we've been kicking around by the water cooler at The UC Buyer :
- The SIP trunking market is going to continue to explode in 2015 as more and more companies take advantage of the benefits of session initiation protocol and begin the process of cutting the cords of their old trunks for flexibility and cost savings.
- Businesses that have implemented UC will find their culture changing as they adapt (in a good way) to the significant changes in business processes this tech delivers. Once you become accustomed to having consistent seamless communications – regardless of location – you can never go back.
- Speaking of that, call me old school, but it still throws me off when I have a one-on-one call scheduled with someone and they send me a Lync meeting invite instead of just sending me their phone number.Seems like a lot of extra work.
- In the age of mobility, companies are realizing that for UC to truly deliver it is all about the user experience. Expect to see software turn toward more simplified consumer-like app interfaces. An interesting one to watch will be Microsoft taking advantage of aspects of the Skype interface for Lync.
- Even though I haven't spent a ton of time with it, I like what Unify is doing with their new Circuit product. Clean lines, consumer-like interface, and apparently built natively in WebRTC. Expect to see an interview with these guys coming up soon.
- The cloud-based UC and UCaaS market will continue to grow and be heavily adopted in 2015. (Yeah, I know, I'm just like Nostradamus) Service providers are ready to support it, the applications and infrastructure are maturing and it just makes too much sense for too many companies
- While some employees will be like Charlton Heston and his rifle when it comes to their desk phones, the majority of knowledge workers are becoming more than happy with mobile devices, smart phones and headsets as their audio endpoints of choice. See: The desk phone is dead. Long live the audio endpoint.
- I read a couple of articles lately about leveraging voice over Wi-Fi as way to avoid legacy carriers and the need for a telephone bill. This should be an interesting topic to watch over the course the next couple of years, especially with the millions of hotspots deployed by cable providers throughout the country as a service to their broadband customers. I can't even sit in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot anymore without a Comcast or Verizon Wi-Fi network coming up and asking me to login.
- VoLTE is on its way. We are going to be seeing VoLTE hit the streets in 2015 with both Verizon and AT&T starting to roll out their new networks and retire 3G. Woo hoo! Hi-def voice and one less antenna for all of us to carry around in our phones.
- Are you as surprised as I am with how important providing employees with high quality headsets seems to be to a successful unified communications deployment? I guess that goes to show, don't skimp on the small stuff….Employees like the small stuff.
- Everyone is saying that 2015 is the year of video... finally. With all of the UC endpoints now in place it certainly makes sense. I guess this means I'm gonna need to start shaving more often.
- WebRTC is going to be really interesting to watch this year. Here's to hoping that the big boys stop fighting about the protocols and standards and we can all start using this potentially revolutionary technology.
- The fact that Toll Fraud is almost a $50 billion year problem was a real eye opener to me, and my guess is to thousands of IT managers around the world. Watch for businesses to get serious about this risk this year by deploying session border controllers and other solutions in a big way.
- I'm still not sure if Microsoft's decision to change Lync to Skype for Business is a brilliant marketing move or a disaster waiting to happen. With the wide scale adoption of Lync by so many companies in the last few years, it seems like they may be messing with a good thing. Time will tell.
What's on your mind? What do you think is going to happen in the next year? Are there topics you would like us to dig into for you? We always want to hear from you, fill out the comment form and get in touch.
Here's to a great 2015!