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Unified Communications: Facing Death or Revival?

on October 20, 2014

The topic of unified communication (UC) is all the rage in today’s corporate world. After all, the ability to have a single medium of communication within an enterprise is an enticing vision. While most businesses are warming up to the idea of having single application to take care of their diverse communication needs, the growth in mobile technology is still looming. 

Which factors throw a challenge to unified communication systems? 

Proliferation of mobile technology has accelerated the use of smartphones and tablets and this trend is changing the way people communicate. For instance, they can simultaneously have access to their email, send a voice record via Whatsapp, text a friend, or tweet an update. So even without a UC system, you can communicate through multiple modes. The only difference is these are grouped activities and are not linked to each other in any way.

According to a recent article by a telecommunication industry insider, the decline of UC systems has been affected by the following three factors, in particular:  

Messaging silos

Messaging applications like Whatsapp, Tango, Line, and Viber, to name a few, have millions of monthly active users who can interact with each other within a particular service. Not just text messages, these apps enable the sharing of images, audio and video as well. Facebook’s Messenger app is another application that has millions of users – users who are messaging, sharing images, video, recordings and the like. While these applications are today primarily used by consumers, there’s obviously a case for business use as well.          

Mobile apps

Mobile apps like Twitter and Skype offer great communication benefits. In situations where you can easily have a video chat over Skype or Hangout, why would you need enterprise-level video conferencing set-ups?      

Communication Enabled Business Processes (CEBP)

Communication capabilities integrated within the processes of an enterprise is called CEBP. Apps embedded within business processes such as apps from your favorite online travel agents or online apparel stores are examples of CEBP. While UC systems work for internal communication, CEBP allows a business to communicate with its partners, peers and customers.        

So is UC dying or changing for good?

We might be tempted to conclude that UC no longer seems as effective as before. However, these challenges might actually change the face of UC systems. Combining UC solutions with mobile technology can not only kill the drawbacks of this system, but it also pave the way for a better and more robust system for communication. In addition, when it comes to security issues, messaging and mobile apps fall relatively short. With lower levels of encryption, security measures and data recovery methods, applications such as Skype and Whatsapp might not be a smart decision—and certainly not smart for business use. So, until these applications bring out their enterprise-grade versions, a dedicated unified communication system looks like the safest bet for your business.      

Sources: NoJitter