In 2014, communications remains virtually the last vestige of proprietary systems in the enterprise. In an era of open standards, legacy vendors continue to offer closed-end systems that do not allow businesses to take control of either their technology investments or their technology futures.
In simplest terms, many enterprises have come to rely heavily on technologies from a single provider. Whether it is an enterprise-wide communications system or individual departmental applications, the path of least resistance for many businesses has often been to continue to upgrade existing proprietary technology.
This piecemeal approach has the effect of creating artificial technology islands within an organization. For example, communications technology components are deployed and managed separately from customer management applications. This creates an artificial boundary between these two sets of systems. Only the most determined businesses ever achieve integration between such systems. But even for these companies, a lack of suitable APIs, resource and skill constraints, and costs related to outside consultants often make these integration projects costly and challenging.
The difficulty in integrating such silo-based systems translates into missed opportunities for both the kind of technology-based productivity gains unified communications can bring, as well as the ability to utilize a robust business intelligence environment to transform large volumes of cross-enterprise data into actionable information for better decision making and competitive advantage.
An open-architected unified communications ecosystem brings today’s forward-looking enterprises liberation from single vendor proprietary systems and their high upfront and ongoing costs, the economies of scale of a cloud communications delivery model, and unprecedented enterprise-wide visibility and consolidated reporting of all enterprise communications systems via a powerful business analytics engine.