The UC Champs

CRN Network, May 10, 2012, 1200 hrs

Info-Tech Research Group has named Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Siemens Enterprise Communications and IBM as the champions of the unified communications market.
According to the report, by mid-2013, 35 percent of the workforce will personal devices for work-related tasks, and 89 percent organizations will allow the use of personal device for email. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and the general rise in mobile device usage have driven the need for unified communications (UC) vendors to support a variety of devices.
"The UC market is no longer limited to presence and messaging; it now includes rich communication tools like video, voice, and document sharing, all working together seamlessly or at least with fewer and fewer seams every day," James McCloskey, Senior Research Analyst, Info-Tech Research Group.
According to the report, Avaya compliments its IP telephony systems with its high-end, IPT-agnostic UC solutions. Avaya's Aura platform has rich features and is architected to enable UC in organizations with multi-vendor IP telephony systems.
Cisco also received a Champion ranking in the report. With interoperable IP telephony, UC, video conferencing, mobility and collaboration solutions, Cisco has a comprehensive strategy for enterprise communications. Their Cius tablet and VXC line of thin clients are designed for UC, optimizing the real-time communications experience while supporting desktop virtualization, said McCloskey.
Microsoft ranked as a Champion based on its well-rounded offerings. Microsoft’s UC solutions can be integrated with competitors' IP telephony systems.
Siemens' set of UC tools can be deployed in any architecture, with full ability to run on mobile devices, making it a Champion.
IBM has a strong focus on the collaboration aspects of UC and also ranks as a Champion in the report. While IBM is not in the telephony business, they provide Sametime as a UC solution that works with virtually any IP telephony system, the report said.