Unified communications encompasses a wide range of capabilities, including email and audio conferencing. Businesses can benefit from implementing UC solutions, and the market is expected to grow to $12 billion by 2018, according to Infonetics Research. This success is attributed to the rise of cloud services, as opposed to premises-based operations.
The Switch to the CloudBy the year 2016, more than 50 percent of medium and large organizations in North America will be running UC via the cloud, Infonetics Research reported. In last year's survey, more than half utilized on-premise services. The opposite is true in the most recent report.
"Cloud solutions are inherently more flexible than premises-based solutions, offering businesses the ability to scale users up and down, centralize management, and deploy new features and applications quickly," Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research, explained.
Video conferencing also has a large role in business communications. In 2014, 88 percent of respondents planned to add the service to their UC solutions. This year, that number has increased. By the beginning of 2016, 93 percent hope to have video conferencing in place. This allows for businesses to communicate with remote employees - both those who work from home and those traveling - and clients, who won't have to come into the office. Teleconferencing simplifies meetings and allows for everyone to be present no matter their location.
Business Requirements for UCWhen searching for a UC provider, companies cite product reliability, technology innovation, and security as the characteristics that drew them to a specific service, according to the 2015 Infonetics report. Choosing new software for a business requires the best solution so CIOs don't have to search for a new system in a few years. They want to invest in a program that will last long-term and will provide upgrades to ensure a smooth workflow. When businesses can count on the product to work, update itself and protect its assets, they'll keep it in the long run.
Mobility is also important when it comes to choosing a UC provider. Mobile device integration ranked high with 74 percent of respondents, according to last year's survey. Being able to be reached from anywhere, as well as access business documents from any location, proves important for any business where people are on the go. Through unified communications, productivity increases, as employees can work from anywhere, PCWorld explained. It also allows them to use their own devices, which saves the company money.
With the availability of a plethora of communication tools through UCaaS, more and more businesses are switching to cloud-based services. This provides them with less expensive, easily accessible resources for employees to utilize.