VoiceCon Preview: Keeping up with Unified Communications


One of the main themes--if not the central theme--of VoiceCon is Unified Communications (UC). A recent study carried out about Frost & Sullivan--commissioned by Cisco and Verizon--found that collaboration tools like VoIP, instant messaging, and high-definition video meetings resulted in cost savings averaging four times the return on investment for firms using the IP platforms.

A recent finding from IDC claimed that mobile workers around the world will number 1.2 billion by the end of 2010--thanks to unified communications. Just last week, Avaya released a new version of its IP Office for small and medium enterprises with some new unified communications offerings including advanced collaboration tools using voice, instant messaging, presence and video collaboration using a softphone. Once just a big company play, increasingly UC is penetrating the smaller businesses as more and more affordable and scalable options arise.

With hosted UC services expected to "take off," with worldwide revenue doubling over the next four years according to Infonetics, it's no wonder Cisco is simplifying its licensing agreements, UC partnerships have arisen between major players and companies are launching products to help advance communications in the healthcare industry.

Apart from walking the show floor to see the various offerings for UC deployments out there, conference goers will have the chance to witness a number of discussions on the state of the UC markets and where we are going from here. On Monday participants can check out the Unified Communications Executive Forum featuring panelists from Cisco, Microsoft, Siemens, Interactive Intelligence, Avaya, IBM, VoiceCon, and UCStrategies. The Summit will look at how the UC market has evolved, issues facing buyers and sellers and integrating new UC technologies with old networks.

On Wednesday conference goers can continue the discussion with a number of the companies mentioned above and additionally Motorola and Mitel in the Unified Communications Leadership Round Table. In this discussion executives from UC vendors will discuss what technology is available now and what will be available in the next 12 months. Right after this discussion, Wainhouse Research hosts a talk comparing the hosted UC offerings of Cisco, IBM and Microsoft.

For more check out the VoiceCon event listings on Unified Communications...