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With new innovations for business communications constantly flooding the marketplace, decision makers are challenged to make sense of increasingly fragmented options. Does this mean that the dream of unified communications (UC) is just that: a dream? Indeed, each new entrant in enterprise communications seems to push the idea of unification to a more remote corner of the galaxy.

For the user, a toolkit of different capabilities is available on their mobile or desktop devices from a variety of different vendors. This is not unification of communications. Users are still picking from individual functions in the toolkit for each communications situation—perhaps one app for a call and another to send a text.

Yet, the definition of UC includes integrating communications to optimize business processes. This continues to be the promise of the technology as the market matures and consolidates. Companies have benefitted from UC implementations in a multitude of ways—from long-term cost savings to increased workforce efficiency. In fact, results from Chadwick Martin Bailey research on behalf of Cisco indicates that UC solutions improve employee productivity, reduce the necessity for travel and speed up problem resolution.

Global Market Insights’ forecast for the UCaaS market anticipates a CAGR of 16.4 percent from 2016 to 2023. Drivers include growing enterprise mobility due to BYOD adoption and ubiquitous smartphone usage, as well as greater integration of devices, enabling increased content sharing between laptops/desktops and smartphones.

Enterprises are turning to hosted UC solutions to avoid the initial capital outlay required for on-premises solutions. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also coming onboard as awareness of cloud-based UC benefits reaches their ears.

While UC was originally considered a way to trim costs and simplify IT administration by converging data and voice networks, it has evolved into a mission-critical resource. Now, UC is helping enterprises extend the network and facilitate greater connectedness in areas such as collaboration tools, social media, and mobile applications.

With an enhanced vision, proven benefits, and a growing market, the dream of UC is becoming a reality. Nevertheless, here at Star2Star, we understand the complexity of analyzing UC as a stand-alone solution, and we’re here to help leaders get through the decision-making process. Your investment decision requires an understanding of how communications enhance your specific business processes and support your employees, partners, and customers.

We also take into consideration the robustness of your network infrastructure for handling advanced UC components such as video conferencing.  While some prudence in seeing how markets mature, you don’t want to run the risk of missing an opportunity either. Let us help you pick the UC features that will provide your business with the greatest potential benefit.

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