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How Unified Communications Pays For Itself

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Best Practice Tips on Building a Comprehensive Business Case for Unified Communications

Over the past decade, unified communications (UC) capabilities have been developed to enable people to access other people, or to access information much more effectively. This

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Best Practice Tips on Building a Comprehensive Business Case for Unified Communications

Over the past decade, unified communications (UC) capabilities have been developed to enable people to access other people, or to access information much more effectively. This paper describes the foundations of these capabilities, the use cases for innovative UC, the benefits available, and alternative approaches to implementation.

COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY TRANSFORMATION

There are many factors that drive UC’s innovative product developments. One component is the underlying merging of voice, data, and video communications into consolidated architectures. Another is the emphasis by suppliers to bring new solutions to customers. But the critical, long-term driver spurring UC growth is the transformation of the communications industry.

The innovations that are emerging stem from the cascading effects of the communications industry as it changes from being largely vertically integrated within one supplier’s products a decade ago, into a horizontally layered, standards-based, increasingly-open environment. In this environment, system components, operating systems, and applications programs may all come from different specialized suppliers. Most of the communications suppliers now focus on software running on standard hardware platforms. Emerging UC concepts and capabilities continue to extend the importance of software to provide value to purchasers and differentiation among suppliers as these trends extend into the future. The data processing industry went through a similar transformation three to four decades ago. The resulting explosion of creativity in applications programming fundamentally altered business activities for virtually every enterprise on the planet. The communications industry is currently undergoing the same sort of seismic shift.

We see clearly that this new era in communications is characterized by an emerging ecosystem of application developers, partners, and systems integrators. Access to SDKs, APIs, GUIs, and toolkits, all linked to evolving capabilities within suppliers’ solutions, increasingly enable third-party developers, inhouse experts, and the solutions providers themselves to create applications programs with embedded communications functionality. Thousands of specialized communications-enabled programs are being designed for specific industries’ needs, to address generic applications across industries, or created to solve particular business challenges. Some of these are specifically communications-focused. Others are simply better ways to address everyday business issues by incorporating communications functionality within other applications.

 

 

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