I, along with several of my ANPI colleagues, spent the beginning of this week at the BroadSoft Connections 2012 in Phoenix. The subtitle/theme of the event was “Unleash the Possibilities”. Like so many things technological, it is highly unlikely that we will look back on this event as establishing a new era for Unified Communications (UC), however, I did find it worth noting how far the industry has come in the five years that I have followed UC. The buzz terms of presence, collaboration and unified messaging are now a reality for any number of companies and the price and technology can be practically embraced by SMBs.
Perhaps, the most interesting examples of the current capabilities of the collection of BroadSoft products and services were the live demonstrations that incorporated UC features such as the ability to use click to call, the incorporation of multimedia during video calls or messaging sessions, instant switching between single calls and conferencing, online whiteboarding (dynamic collaboration) and many other real-world solutions to problems business face every day.
Attending an event such as BroadSoft Connections provides a sense of the energy our industry brings to the global community regarding hosted communications. In addition to software developers and major manufacturers, carriers and service providers from around the world attend Connections. This year’s event was the tenth such meeting and, was viewed by many as the best thus far. But the decision to attend is based upon the requirement to continually improve our product offering and meet with the developers and OEMs that enhance and complement the BroadSoft Suite. Hosted communications is a rapidly developing solution area with a very healthy and expanding ecosystem. It is fueled by a global demand for access to and the integration of information.
Frost and Sullivan have forecasted the growth of Hosted Communications to have a CAGR of 31.5% with an estimated market size of $8.27B by 2018 in North America. Europe and Asia/Pacific are experiencing similar growth rates.
Just in case you thought Anywhere, Anytime and Anyway completely describe the key attributes of hosted communications and UC, please note I intentionally left of Any Device.
More on that next week.
Have a great weekend!