Research firm Gartner recently released its Magic Quadrant for Unified Communication report, which focuses mostly on ranking vendors and solutions providers. However, the methodology can also be leveraged to provide further insight on the industry and trends driving the sector forward.
In particular, as the unified communication market becomes more crowded and popular, companies that have either already adopted a solution or are looking to do so are now inspecting their available options more closely to ensure that it yields the highest return on investment possible. The five variables that businesses are especially noting in regard to UC include:
- The cloud, as organizations increasingly adopt unified communication and collaboration as a service (UCCaaS) to ensure that end users can access the system from any location.
- Mobility, since employees are more frequently using devices like smartphones and tablets to conduct mission-critical tasks.
- Interoperability, to make sure that the UCC or UCCaaS solution deployed is able to sync with other applications and software used by the enterprise.
- User experience, because a system that employees find difficult to use will invariably lead to a lower ROI.
- Broad solution appeal, as companies want a solution that unifies as many communication portals as possible.
“Except for Cloud and hybrid, all of these factors relate to the ability to deliver measurable changes in personal productivity or business process efficiency for the enterprise buyer of UC solutions,” industry expert Marty Parker wrote in a recent UCStrategies article. “In our enterprise UC consulting experience, we are seeing exactly this pattern. If there is no compelling reason to change, the vendors can bundle all the free UC licenses they want into the IP-PBX contract, but the UC functionality will not be deployed or adopted. Increasingly, we are seeing communications ‘unified’ with the applications and devices which the user must have to do their job.”
What Gartner’s report means for individual companies
The research firm noted Cisco as one of the leaders in this field, but that does not mean that companies should just go ahead and adopt an out-of-the-box Cisco solution, UC industry professional Kevin Kieller wrote in a recent No Jitter article. Instead, businesses should keep the main adoption trends highlighted by Gartner in mind along with their own unique needs.
“UC, like most complex technology undertakings, often succeeds or fails based on very specific details,” Kieller wrote. “‘Slideware architectures’ that can connect any two systems simply by drawing a double-headed arrow, don’t ‘cut the mustard’ (sic). If you select a solution for your organization based solely on a quadrant diagram or a few slides then you could, and should, be held accountable if the solution does not deliver measurable improvement.”
In order to help make sure that a Cisco-powered UCCaaS is implemented with Gartner’s five key points in mind, consider partnering with FlexITy. As a leading provider of managed IT services and the only firm in Canada that supports the full range of Cisco UCC solutions, FlexITy can help ensure that the implemented system is installed with key business concerns in mind. By thinking about UCCaaS in this manner, FlexITy’s systems can support enterprise initiatives today and in the future.