Yesterday, we took a look at the biggest communication technology trends in 2010. Today, let’s see what’s in store for 2011.
Integration is going to be a theme and discussion that we see and hear all year in 2011. This could be the integration between a customer’s existing Telephony System and IM/Presence platform for click-to-dial capabilities and presence. It could also be integration of a Telephony System, IM/Presence platform, and videoconferencing network to allow dialing between all systems and presence capabilities.
Social media integration in contact centers is another trend that many companies should be investigating for 2011. Customers are posting on Twitter, Facebook and blogs about the products that we sell and our brands on a daily basis. By integrating social media feeds into contact centers, companies can mine social media platforms for specific data and be able to act immediately based on their business criteria they have setup. This allows companies to be more responsive to customers’ needs and requests.
Having the knowledge to be able to integrate all of the technologies together and also fit our customer’s specific business requirements is a high growth area for SKC that we continue to invest in.
One of the biggest issues facing the Collaboration industry is interoperability. There are all these exciting new pieces of technology and software suites to make up our collaboration space, but without common standards and certified interoperability we can’t be guaranteed a new investment won’t cut us off from communicating with the rest of the business world. Until now, manufacturers would pair up and test their products against each other one at a time, but now there might be a more efficient solution. Some of the major players in this space have teamed up to support making interoperability a little more pervasive and a little easier to attain as a group effort.
HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Logitech/LifeSize, and Polycom have joined together to found the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF), a group dedicated to enabling standards-based, inter-vendor UC interoperability. A growing number of companies are joining these players in the forum including Acme Packet, Aspect, AudioCodes, Broadcom, BroadSoft, Brocade, ClearOne, Jabra, Plantronics, RADVISION, Siemens Enterprise Communications, and Teliris.
The forum–while not developing its own standard–will work to deliver interoperability based on current standards, developing interoperability testing, and certification of UC products to ease customer integration and increase adoption. They plan to tackle video and Telepresence solutions first and are currently exploring the XMPP and SIMPLE standards for IM and H.323, SIP and XMPP/Jingle for voice and video.
2011 promises to be one of the most exciting years for the collaboration space, with companies focusing heavily on integration and interoperability between all products, which allows customers to choose a solution for each business need rather than a manufacturer.