Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) is the integration of real-time applications such as video presence, IM, email, voice mail, fax, video conferencing, web collaboration and CRM. Through the integration of all of the various forms of workplace communication, UC&C provides for a number of operational advantages for both large enterprise and SMBs alike.
Through the enabling of multiple modes of communication and the ability to collaborate across mobile and static work locations, response times for clients as well as interdepartmental issues are reduced. Further, the capability to provide more effective connectivity and communications among employees also facilitates the ability of an organization to move more aggressively to hoteling and telecommuting environments, without the inefficiencies of people being “hard to reach”. So, what is driving the migration and adoption of UC&C? Below are some interesting statistics:
- Project Delays due to communication problems: 27% of employees (Forrester)
- Wasting more than 75 minutes daily managing multiple channels of communication (email, IM, etc.) (Sage Research)
- Failure to contact a co-worker on the first try 36% of the time (Sage Research)
- 52% of people utilize more than one mode of communication to get in touch with a co-worker (Sage Research)
- Mobile users on UC platforms typically gain over 40 minutes per day in productivity (Sage Research)
A Growing Market Segment
The UC&C market is growing rapidly; different research firms place the annual growth rate anywhere from the high teens to the high twenties. The growth in this market is driven by the aforementioned advantages, but also the fact that it is now simply less expensive and less complicated to implement UC&C systems for both enterprise and SMB business than in the past.
Recent product and service introductions have brought us cloud platforms to provide Unified Communications and Communications-as-a-Service (UC&CaaS). UC&CaaS platforms provide all the attendant benefits of cloud platforms in a general sense, including freeing up your IT staff to deal with other issues, the ability to scale up (and down) more easily with lower CapEx/OpEx, and not needing to devote huge rooms to video gear.
Further, with IM and chat supplanting email, UC&CaaS platforms make more and more sense. The addition of “social” into the mix for both internal use and outbound closed-loop marketing affinity activities also makes this trend an inevitable one. Security and compliance needs are also driving the “enterprisation” of the UC&CaaS platform, as these particular modes of communication lack the persistence of email.
For both the SMB and enterprise, there are overwhelming statistics and business drivers that make the UC&C market a lucrative growth opportunity for both vendors and service providers alike. As a service provider, such as a Managed Network Operator (MNO), Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Internet Service Provider (ISP), or similar business, the opportunity is to provide a versatile platform on which a business can rely on multiple services based off of IP telephony and broadband services. For UC&C to proliferate even more rapidly than it has over the last two-three years, the platform on which it is based must be flexible enough to accommodate both incremental and major changes to features and functionality.
For a service provider, deploying a platform that allows H.323, SIP and intelligent routing capabilities that scale enable it to be in a strong position to provide UC&CaaS–based offers to downstream wholesale customers, as well as large enterprises with their own specialized needs.
As a leader in delivering world-class turnkey telecom solutions, Panamax and its Bridge2Call solution provide a flexible, scalable way to address the UC&CaaS market. The platform allows for voice and data to be managed and billed on a single platform. With order processing, service configuration and activation, authentication and dynamic Interactive Voice Response (IVR) features, Bridge2Call is a flexible solution that enables service provider users to keep pace with and capitalize on the dynamic UC&CaaS market.