Chris de Silva, Managing Director at NEC Philips Unified Solutions, says that over the past decade many organisations have gained significant cost benefits by adopting converged voice and data networks. Yet people remain the bottleneck or obstacle in the effective and smooth implementation of a specific business process – not being available; waiting upon an email or voicemail reply; working out of the office.
“Unified Communications aims to facilitate efficient communications and collaboration between colleagues, customers and partners, in a secure environment, using the most appropriate route or means, independent of location, device or application.
With the right approach, Unified Communications technologies can deliver quantifiable benefits in increased productivity, efficient remote working and cost reductions. However, these benefits will be hard to attain from the majority of so called Unified Communications solutions on the market.
The arrival of Microsoft into the Unified Communications marketplace has provoked an avalanche of activity from vendors across the IT and telecommunications spectrum and many vendors are simply exploiting the technology to tout glorified new colour and form factor phones and further push the IP convergence model.
These ‘strategies’ are adding untenable cost which is deterring many organisations from investment. Indeed, vendors are achieving little more than undermining the market and preventing organisations – and their users – from gaining the real benefits that Unified Communications and Collaboration can deliver.
Organisations need to be wary of an industry awash with hype and misinformation. But by avoiding simple mistakes the benefits associated with UC can be easily attained – without incurring huge cost and infrastructure upheaval.”