The changing world of unified communications
Unified communications, or UC, defined by TechTarget’s WhatIs team as “a framework for integrating various communication tools with the goal of enhancing business communication, collaboration and productivity” has come a long way since its first appearance over a decade ago, and is now a well-established element of the IT department’s toolkit, indeed, one could argue it is essential.
But while UC is now a fixture, innovation never slows down, and as one of the most visible elements of the enterprise IT stack to the average employee, UC tools are constantly being enhanced with new features and capabilities.
We begin our look at the evolving world of UC with a recap of some of the highlights from a packed agenda at this year’s UC Expo event, which was held at the ExCeL in London at the end of May.
One of the big themes emerging in the wider world of IT – not just in UC – is the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and other automation features. At first glance you might not think there’s much of a play for AI in the world of UC, but you’d be wrong – there are a number of trends now in play that actually, make AI perfect for UC. As one analyst puts it, the intersection of AI and UC is all about “helping people do their jobs better by letting machines interpret data and analyse information faster” – and as Christian Annesley finds out there are a number of trends now in play that actually make AI and UC perfect bedfellows.
Then, Rene Millman looks in-depth at some of the changes underway in the UC-as-a-service, or UCaaS space, which is seeing revolution of its own as legacy UC systems are phased out and replaced by cloud-delivered services. Analysts at Gartner predict that two years from now, 90% of all new UC purchases will be cloud-based UCaaS, up from 50% in 2018, so the time is right for buyers to get under the skin of this particular trend.
Finally, we explore the changing face of enterprise collaboration. As workforces get more mobile and spend less time in the office, one pain point for the IT department is figuring out just how to keep the lines of communication open in an appropriate manner. We find out if enterprise social media platforms hold the answer.