Getting Past the Dark Side of Unified Communications in Large Enterprises

Next Generation Communications Blog

Getting Past the Dark Side of Unified Communications in Large Enterprises

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

I often write about the virtues of unified communications, but a downside to UC also is emerging for large enterprises.

One of the big promises of UC was consolidating a range of disparate communications technologies and bringing them together both for a single communications experience, and also for easier deployment. Yet, the downside of this consolidation has been perhaps an over-reliance on a single vendor solution. This concentration in a single UC vendor it is limiting the ability of enterprises to adopt the latest technology as it emerges, instead having to wait on their provider or record.

With one vendor providing the entire communications technology, an inconsistency in quality also is emerging, suggests a recent blog post by Brendan Ziolo, Head of Large Enterprise Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, 5 reasons unified communications is hurting large enterprises.

“When there were only a few communications functions, one vendor was able to provide a competent platform for each,” noted Ziolo. “Today however, there are so many options that vendors naturally have functions they excel at and other functions that are far behind what is available in the market.”

Further, UC is reducing the control that enterprise has over its communications technology, and some firms are finding it a challenge to integrate UC platforms after a merger; each firm is deeply embedded with a single solution, and woe to those firms that merge with another and these UC solutions don’t line up. This is more the case with UC than when a range of technologies were used and there was more leeway for mixing and matching.

“Large enterprises are looking for a new alternative to the current unified communications solution,” posits Ziolo. “Many are beginning to look towards more open, cloud-based frameworks that eliminate the challenges associated with vendor lock in and free up the organization to select the best-of-breed apps that meet their business requirements.”

Alcatel-Lucent looks at this and other next steps in the unified communications journey in a recent white paper, Moving beyond Unified Communications.  unified communications

UC definitely has delivered advantages such as ease of use. But like most things, it also has come at a cost that wasn’t immediately apparent but as the white paper explains there is a path forward to resolve the problems.


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