In today’s business world, organizations are now looking at flexible, secured and high-end solutions in order to eliminate communication gap. This has increased the adoption of UC solutions’ deployments across industries. With employees needs changed with time, organizations are now using collaboration tools to add different applications to make communications smoother. Enterprises are actively on the lookout for a single platform that combines all of the collaboration features they need to increase productivity and work together efficiently.
The Unified Communication solution is creating a collaborative ecosystem to enable new and wide variety of communication through multiple end-points delivering a fully integrated set of applications helping organizations to simplify the process and deliver exciting & newer possibilities.The growing need of sharing content among organizations is driving the UC market globally and technology vendors are finding new markets, (mainly the SMEs), for UC products. Contact Centers are increasingly deploying Unified Communications solutions to help improve customer connect initiatives.
Cloud based services for Unified Communication and hosted model offers huge yield for mid-size organizations. These are less expensive to deploy and can result significant savings. Use of one interface for all communication, sharpens the organizations businesses edge by increasing flexibility & efficient user experience, at the same time speeds up the decision making while reducing IT costs.
“Channel partners have to continuously thrive for upskilling themselves with new technology specifically cloud.”
Director Sales Engineering
India and SAARC
Unified Communication market is still at a very nascent stage, according to 6Wresearch, India UC market is expected to reach $1,500 million in 2018, at a CAGR of 12.4% from 2013-2018. Voice-based unified communication solutions have acquired major piece of the market revenues in the India UC market and video conferencing is emerging as the fastest growing UC market in India. Videoconferencing has long moved from equipment to software, web-based solutions. Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) has a lot of potential and it has increasingly become popular and comes across as an extremely valuable service. As businesses keep growing and continue to adopt advanced IT infrastructure, the conference rooms in the organizations will become more complicated with too many solutions and services. VaaS will help in clearing the clutter and will be a helpful solution to adopt.
“The benefits of Unified Communication are more significant in case of small and medium businesses; it enhances their communication capabilities and allows them to operate at par with larger organizations without a huge outlay of capital and IT manpower.
Dr. Devasia Kurian
Presently, customers are looking for three things: higher revenue, improved customer satisfaction, which also leads to move revenue, and lower costs to enable it all. Major problem they are facing today is driving revenues. We are in the midst of an unprecedented change in the way we find, purchase and consume products and services, and businesses that can’t keep up are being left in the dust. The problems customers are facing seems overwhelming to them: their engagement tools don’t mesh with their customer data. Applications and unique capabilities they’d like to create seem too costly, complex and time consuming to justify. And they’re concerned about all the aspects of the transforming their solutions.
Unified Communication: Benefits
With thriving economy, enterprises are opening multiple branches across the world. However, changes in working patterns have increased the number of mobile workers and have forced the employees to access multiple communication applications. Unified Communications helps enterprises solve these problems. The name itself indicates unification of all communication solutions enabling enterprises to effectively respond and listen to customers and business associates.
“I would suggest all partners to understand the technology, its applications and pros and cons before entering in the UC market.”
A converged network for Unified Communication offers tremendous capabilities, since the integration of communications systems increases collaboration, employee productivity, regardless of their location & device used and client engagement. Dr. Devasia Kurian, CEO, *astTECS excerpts, “The benefits of Unified Communication are more significant in case of small and medium businesses; it enhances their communication capabilities and allows them to operate at par with larger organizations without a huge outlay of capital and IT manpower. However, along with these exciting benefits a significant amount of focus is imperative to ensure, network performance, security, scalability and quality of service (QoS).” In general, UC can help organizations transform the way it operates at every stage of the business cycle, from design and build through sales and service. At the same time, it allows the IT team to focus on core, strategic projects that advance your company’s objectives. Further, UC can help:
- Boost productivity, efficiency, and teamwork
- Streamline the supply chain and order tracking
- Improve responsiveness and speed to market
- Convert sales more quickly and build customer satisfaction
- Reduce travel-related expenses
Unified Communication: Security as a Concern
In today’s thriving economy the interface with customer has become more strategic and UC offers powerful collaboration tools that deliver a differentiated customer experience, however security threats are significant and growing. In the unified world, where the PBX, Voicemail, email, laptops etc. co-exist on the same LAN infrastructure brings with it certain dangers – dangers of misuse intrusion and attacks. Organizations should prioritize their investment in tailored security and data protection systems, as an integrating platform opens wide range of ports, which creates a security risk.
There are multiple ways to enhance security, some of them include; access protection, secure access, password protection, blocking of ISD calls on PRIs at the premises, to name a few.
In the last few years, the security concerns over cloud deployment have contributed to slower growth not only in India, but across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East and African regions. This trend is changing however: businesses are increasingly open to considering cloud in all its forms as a viable option for digital transformation. We believe that India needs to address challenges related to data privacy, security, intellectual property rights and cyber-crime to make the market conducive for adopting cloud based services. Basic infrastructure in terms of stable and continuous power and bandwidth is necessary for adoption of cloud based services. With these factors being catered to, the cloud computing industry will have a bright future for growth in the Indian market. India is ready to migrate to cloud-based solutions and services and its business decision makers are eager solve their challenges today with lowest risks and highest potential growth, while still be on the right path to transform.
Unified Communication: Partner’s role
The role of channel partners has evolved extensively over the last few years. In order to optimize efficiency with technology ensuring enhanced partner services with greater value proposition, channel partners have tremendous opportunity to capitalize on evolving trends and grow their businesses profitably. They would play a very significant role in helping customers implement the most effective and efficient UC technology and educate them on the constantly evolving communications landscape.
According to Kuntal Shah, Director Sales Engineering, India and SAARC at Avaya, “Partners are very crucial part of our business, they have a significant contribution in our enterprise business and plays an important role in supporting our enterprise customers too. Partners do service oriented business and customers have high dependency on them, so it becomes imperative for us and partners to keep the customer engagement platform at a high level wherein customer needs are addressed at the right time. With cloud migration and softening economic growth, the channel partner landscape is evolving rapidly. This shift is challenging for partners as with cloud migration business decision making for technology is also moving outside IT. Channel partners have to continuously thrive for upskilling themselves with new technology specifically cloud.” Avaya channel partners have a significant role to play in cloud deployments for midsize companies with their established knowledge of the customer and expertise with Avaya products. Now, partners have gained more flexibility to approach the customer by offering hybrid cloud solutions in a market that has considerable growth potential and is looking for a cost-effective path to advanced communications.
Unified Communication: Challenges for partners
A thriving partner community is an essential element for a company’s continued growth. Alliances with right channel partners are not only cost-effective for a company but are also important to improve company’s operational efficiency.
The cloud is increasingly taking a front seat among IT decision-makers, and for good reason. On-premise communications solutions like PBX and e-mail have stagnated, while cloud-based unified communications is growing 20% year-on-year globally. This rising demand for cloud services is creating new opportunities for those channel partners who leverage cloud offerings to customers and bundle multiple services. The disruptive shift to a cloud-based model gives partners new touch-points with customers, creating new opportunities for relationship-building, management, ongoing revenue streams and new customer acquisition.
A study by Garter estimates the global public cloud services market to reach $204 billion and in India is expected to have a continuous high rate of spending on cloud services through 2019 when the market is expected to reach $1.9 billion.
Unified Communication: Tips for Partners
As customer needs are evolving, it is essential for partners to align themselves with these challenges. Channel partners are embracing the changes at a faster pace. The virtual desktops/mobility extensions offer anytime, anywhere and any device access information even on the move. For its 500+ partners across the globe, Matrix runs training programs at regular intervals to impart required knowledge. The training programs enable partners to offer improved services, leading to higher customer satisfaction. Ruchir Talati, Marketing Manager, Telecom Business, Matrix Comsec says, “UC technology is one of the latest concepts comprising of many technicalities such as telephony, video communications and social networking. Therefore, I would suggest all partners to understand the technology, its applications and pros and cons before entering in the UC market.”
At the end…
Organizations should plan for a long term communications strategy to realize the full potential of Unified Communication, so that they can migrate seamlessly to address the demands of future requirements and select a provider that offers full-service, has a better support system in place and offers a greater proportional cost savings that can be realized quickly.
By: Satinder Kaur firstname.lastname@example.org