The UC space is alive and well even as it moves from the customer premise to the cloud. To learn more about the market I had a conversation with William Whearty (pictured), VP Sales & Product Marketing at Sennheiser where he told me their 70-year history of making microphones and headphones shows we know how to reproduce sound.
Now, the company is making an aggressive push into various segments of the UC market and is working to add certifications. For example, they redesigned their DECT wireless headset last year in the US and will soon roll out a new bluetooth office headset. Next up will be a speakerphone this April. All the new headsets are Microsoft Lync certified and Cisco Jabber certification is coming as well.
Whearty mentioned that he beleives headsets are not a commodity and although his company's products cost 5-10% more than others, he doesnt beleive you will get a lower TCO from any other vendor. He cited Kevlar coated cables - an important area to reinforce as these are a typical headset weak point. Moreover, he explained how many in the industry use a plastic headset speaker ring - while they use Teflon instead, to protect this other headset weak point.
Headsets and audio technology have come a long way from the early day of corded headsets in the contact center which were cheap and plastic. The amount of innovation in today's products continues to amaze as they can reduce background noise and apply complex filters to minimize wind and other distractions.
2014 and beyond could be a very positive time for consumers as Sennheiser gets aggressive and the competition responds with more and even better products.