What's Hot in Unified Communications, VOIP for 2010

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What's Hot in Unified Communications, VOIP for 2010

by Jeffrey Burt

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The commodization of core telephony technology, such as basic voice service—including including PBX and first-generation VOIP—will continue. These technologies will not be any less important or critical, but the advent of open source and increased competition will continue to drive down prices.

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Consumerization of Enterprise Technologies

Enterprises will continue to see employees bringing consumer technologies, such as Apple's iPod and RIM's BlackBerry smartphones, into the business environment.

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Melding of Social Networking, UC

Expect to see UC vendors put more hooks into such social networking technologies into their products. At the VoiceCon show in November, Siemens Enterprise Communications said it will support Twitter in its OpenScape UC portfolio.

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Bundling of Apps

Vendors will increasingly bundle their UC applications, which will enable customers to only pay for what they use and allow vendors to offer better pricing and drive adoption of UC in the enterprise, McMillan says.

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More Consolidation

This year already was busy enough, with Avaya buying a chunk of Nortel Networks, Cisco angling to buy Tandberg and, to a lesser extent, HP buying 3Com. Expect more consolidation in 2010 among communications vendors, as well as more partnerships with social networking companies.

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App, Communication Vendor Partnerships

As Siemens has done with IBM, more communications and applications vendors will partner to drive adoption of UC by businesses.

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Video Begins Real Move to Desktop

With businesses looking to drive down their travel expenses, video conferencing is becoming a key part of the overall UC picture, as illustrated by Cisco's $3.4 billion pursuit of rival Tandberg. The desktop will be an important part of that shift.

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Enhanced Mobility

Mobility is a "big element of the overall UC value proposition," McMillan says. With smartphones like the BlackBerry becoming a common sight in enterprises, expect to see more communications applications specifically tailored to mobile devices.

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Cloud Computing, Virtualization Grow

With enterprises trying to become more efficient, look for cloud computing and virtualization to take on a bigger role in UC. Most recently, Cisco and BT unveiled a hosted UC offering that is up and running in England, and will make its way to the United States in 2010.

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Transformation of Enterprise Desktop

The enterprise desktop, notebook and mobile devices will play a key role with UC tools over the next year, with some of those changes reflected in the UI, McMillan says.

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