See the other entries in this series:
In my previous post, I touched on first-day impressions of InfoComm 2015, and the ideas that emerged from a session on “Workspaces for Tomorrow.”
Now I want to recap the IMCCA meeting that followed, “UC as a Service: Has the Cloud Changed Our Sweet Spot?” The lively Simon Dudley, who accurately calls himself a Chief Contrarian, led a group of panelists that included experts from Polycom, Starleaf, Cisco, AVI-SPL, Videxio, and Blue Jeans. The session started with Simon posing a simple but thorny question: “What is unified communications?”
One response described it as video, content, audio, instant messaging, and email all brought together, which felt a bit incomplete. Another definition put it in terms of actions rather than technology: talk, connect, share, and be able to look back at what was covered. The Blue Jeans panelist provided an answer that gave context to the others: UC provides the ability to shift from any form of communication to another.
Joe Laezza, AVI-SPL SVP of UCC and Service Solutions, followed that line of thinking by asserting that UC is not a technology, but rather an application.
Other highlights from the panel:
- Small companies can have the same collaboration tools as those used by larger ones.
- Solutions have to suit the means of communication. I took this to mean that unified communications systems must unify those devices people prefer to use when they connect and collaborate with one another.
- The convenience afforded by a technology surpasses any other benefit a supplier may use to convince a customer.
- The supplier of unified communications technology is often as important as the technology itself, as clients will need ongoing support for their systems.
- Combinations of cloud and on-premise solutions will give end users the quality and convenience they want.
- Context and content will become more important as collaborators have multi-site video sessions between their in-person meetings.
- Cloud-hosted UC services will become more secure than those kept on-premise.
- Three years from now, the UC market will be dominated by a small number of video-in-the-cloud carriers. This should be a good development, as the cloud, because it removes pressure off of IT departments, is putting business decisions in the hands of business people.
Check in later today for some thoughts on day 2 of InfoComm 2015