Relatively quiet 2013 saw unified communications strengthening

Hype was scarce for UC in 2013, but necessity is steadily emerging.

Building confidence in IT changes takes time. The most important factor for IT buyers in these cases is determining when to make purchases to maximize their value. Strike too early and the projects may be untested and riddled with errors. Wait too long and every competitor may already be an expert with the new products. It's imperative that organizations figure out just what they need in the moment and follow through. The tools that make up unified communications strategies, such as mobility features, instant messaging and video conferencing, have been on the rise for years now. The time has come to combine them into comprehensive approaches.

Hard-fought optimism
Removed from its buzz and hype, 2013 could be called a quiet year for technology. That's the view taken by Unified Communications Strategies contributor Dave Michaels. He contended, however, that this lull does not mean programs like UC will have a slow 2014. In fact, he stated that he sees the strategies everywhere, and that many of the key components are now standard. In these circumstances, a lack of drastic realignment in 2013 is not a crisis.

Michaels explained his measured optimism by explaining that companies are not seriously considering removing components such as office phones. They are merely choosing between the options, keeping the functionality. He also indicated that video technologies are no longer being seen as a drastic new deployment but are still present. They have simply graduated and become a common part of the milieu. Technology trends don't need to grab headlines to be prominent. In fact, the lack of frantic hype concerning UC in 2013 may simply be an indication of its acceptance.

Everyone's looking
Research and Markets recently released its end-of-year overview of the UC market. The source explained that there are indeed new buyers interested in selecting new communications options, with firms of all types seizing the benefits of effective contact and visibility. Firms today have spread their operations all over the world, and Research and Research and Markets pointed to a need to tie these many branches together into cohesive entities.

In the present climate, UC is simply not a hype technology. Instead, it is a necessity that firms will seek out of their own accord. The next few years could see this position strengthening further as the leaders of various industries realize that they cannot cope without capabilities such as video conferencing and solid instant messaging infrastructure. Necessity seems poised to drive the field in the years ahead, to UC's benefit.

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