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What comes next for UC?

January 11, 2016 by Valerie Meffert

The unified communications market has evolved significantly in the past few years, driven by continued innovation among device, system and application developers and the introduction of novel collaboration-based trends. What's more, now that the average enterprise has gotten its feet wet with UC technologies and strategies, leaders have begun work on refinements that will improve return on investment and end-user experiences.

Suffice it to say that there will be plenty more transformation to come in the UC market, as evidenced by the increasing prevalence of the Internet of Things, mobility and big data - each of which does indeed have an impact on collaborative frameworks. Companies would do well to improve their current UC strategies and prepare themselves for the advent of more progressive trends that will need to be incorporated into these standing frameworks in the near future.

Increased emphasis on analytics One of the more prominent transformations to hit the UC market of late has been the rise of analytics solutions that can be used to better position investments for higher returns. Companies have not been quick to the punch when it comes to leveraging advanced intelligence solutions for their UC decision-making, despite already using the technology for marketing and research purposes outside of the physical workplace.

Nemertes Research's Irwin Lazar, writing for TechTarget, urged companies to get on board with enhanced metrics tools that will unlock the areas of UC that are in need of refinement, as well as those that are performing properly. When business leaders have a better perspective on employee behaviors and activity across UC frameworks, they will be far more likely to avoid wasteful spending and set themselves up for stronger performances throughout operations.

Enhanced metrics are critical to achieving optimal UC functionality. Enhanced metrics are critical to achieving optimal UC functionality.

Lazar noted that the time for these strategies is now given the recent drop in success rates among UC users, which is likely a direct symptom of poor analysis and refinement over the entire lifecycles of the investments. With stronger analytics in place, the future of UC will be a bit less disruptive and far more advantageous for the average enterprise.

Security gets real Hackers are now targeting the full breadth of IT and UC technologies, and the IoT is expected to increase risks facing these strategic frameworks. October was Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the National Cybersecurity Alliance held a conference with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to get the word out about the IoT's unique threats.

"The emerging world of IoT has the potential to be a transformational technology. To reap its many benefits, the world of IoT must be safe, secure and trusted," Michael Kaiser of the NCSA explained at the event. "Individuals and businesses that adopt IoT should be sure they know how to keep the devices secure, understand what data is being collected and where its being stored, and how to take advantage of any available user controls for the device."

Enterprises must ensure that their current and forthcoming UC assets - including those associated with the IoT, are properly refined to avoid breaches and subsequent loss.

Valerie Meffert
Valerie Meffert

Having written for companies ranging from MTV and CBS to the Winter Olympic Games and Reuters, Valerie heads up ThinkingPhones' communications and PR machine. At the risk of dating herself, she'd like to point out that her MTV tenure occurred during the Carson Daly era—she takes no credit (nor blame) for "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila." A resident of Park City, UT, Valerie enjoys the four things her town is most famous for: hiking, skiing, film festivals, and weak beer.

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