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A clear foundation key for UC deployment

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While experts are frequently sharing a mixed view of what the next year holds for unified communications deployment, it is clear that the technology's success is dependent on the ability to develop a foundational communications strategy that enables robust UC setups, according to a recent ITWeb report.

Industry expert Wayne Speechly told the news source the unified communications should not be approached as a system of collected services that can enable advanced telephony systems. While that perspective is accurate, it limits the scale of UC's potential impact on enterprise collaboration. Instead of simply providing integrated solutions, UC is able to completely changing how businesses communicate. It unifies all of the disparate service options and technologies, creating a streamlined center for operations.

As a result, Speechly said successful UC rollouts are dependent on organizations developing a clear idea of where they want their communications system to be in the future. This creates a firm foundation to build from and informs decisions about which specific technologies and service to deploy, according to the news source.

While more businesses will likely focusing on developing clear strategies for UC deployments during 2012, that is not the only change coming for the technology. Industry expert Bennie Langenhoven told the news source that cloud computing will play a prominent role in the unified communications market, creating major growth opportunities during the year.

Langenhoven explained that hybrid cloud computing infrastructure will likely become key when it comes to unified communications deployments. He told the news source that there are still some businesses that are hesitant to fully embrace the cloud for UC deployments, especially since voice is critical to many companies. Instead, many organizations will establish hybrid clouds, using private architectures for critical UC elements while turning to a third-party vendor to cost-effectively outsource non-essential services.

Cloud-based unified communications solutions offer businesses substantial benefits that cannot easily be matched with a premise-based option. All of the hardware is owned and operated by the third-party vendor. This not only reduces costs, but also improves business continuity by allowing a company's telephony systems to remain available if the office is hit by an outage. The operational benefits are also substantial, as the cloud can give organizations access to high-performance technologies that they would not be able to afford to host on-premise. This allows innovative solutions to flourish and helps companies gain key leverage over competitors.