Analyst: Comms vendors leading mobile UC

Communications vendors are currently leading the way in supporting the ecosystem required to deliver their mobile unified communications offerings.

Communications vendors are leading the way in providing end-to-end mobile UC (unified communications) offerings by supporting the ecosystem surrounding their products, said an analyst.

Claudio Castelli, Ovum senior analyst, said in a research statement, several recent vendor announcements are showing efforts made to close the loop in providing end-to-end UC offerings to mobile users.

He mentioned examples such as Cisco's Collaboration in Motion program, which combines the vendor's network services with its products, and Research in Motion's (RIM) move to integrate its mobile PBX, Mobile Voice System (MVS), with Cisco's UC Manager product.

Castelli said such efforts to integrate products are showing vendors are taking the lead in providing the support structure for enterprise users.

However, Castelli noted that more effort is needed on the part of the vendors to understand the cultural environment within each user organization.

"UC strategies need to be more than just technical solutions that provide fancy functionality. It is important to develop a better understanding of the factors that motivate people to connect, share and collaborate with each other."

While he said the increased collaboration that will take place as a result of a UC implementation will benefit the company, the project's success is affected by the company's "culture and social character".

"Not every company will value [mobile UC] in the same way," Castelli said.

Furthermore, he said the economic situation might derail current vendor hype. Some large enterprises are likely to delay significant UC implementations and fixed-mobile convergence projects while cutting costs, he added.

A Frost & Sullivan report released late last year, however, predicted the downturn will help boost spending on UC projects, in an effort to cut communications cost and related travel expenses.

The H1N1 pandemic has also recently forced some companies, faced with quarantined employees and restricted travel, to start examining enterprise communications offerings as well, said vendors.

Beyond dollars and cents, Gartner recently recommended users prioritize intended productivity and collaboration gains over cost savings.


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