The vast array of communication channels taking priority in the enterprise has a number of companies searching for more cost effective approaches to keep everyone on one platform. This desire is driving the growth of Unified Communications (News - Alert) and collaboration and it’s possible that the best is yet to come.
This recent Intermedia article focused on Unified Communications and collaboration, exploring what we should expect to see in the coming year.
One prominent change evident in this space is the emergence of the hosted softswitch as companies are increasingly adopting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and cloud-based technologies. As implementations of the hosted softswitch mount, companies are increasingly offloading remote access server traffic from the voice network onto the data network.
With the domination of data in the PSTN, the engineering rules for the core network changed. The primary architectural consideration kept the focus on the voice first, the data second. The shifting traffic mix toward public networks flipped the two, putting data as the primary traffic over the core infrastructure. Now, with the growing demand for video, the rule is expected to soon be video first, then data and then voice.
The hosted softswitch may be expected to welcome video as the preferred real-time communications medium.
With the emergence of the IP-PBX (News - Alert), the need to converge voice and data traffic on the LAN began to grow. The life cycle of the IP-PBX began at a time when systems relying on software off the shelf were preferred as the lower cost way to speed development. They quickly replaced the hardware-driven legacy PBX infrastructures and Unified Communications and collaboration were enabled through LAN-based technologies.
In fact, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is emerging as a powerful approach in the enterprise to reduce the cost of communication and collaboration, while also driving more value from the platforms. This approach to the infrastructure is ideal for the small business that needs or wants Unified Communications and collaboration, yet lacks the resources for a premised-based solution. Here, the hosted softswitch is a perfect fit.
The hosted softswitch is finding a comfortable home among the small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as the drive for hosted communications and collaboration continues to mount. These technologies continue to evolve and to save money while also supporting multi-channel communications, investments in Unified Communications are making good business sense.
This trend is likely to continue with the growing adoption of unified messaging and mobile video as companies of all sizes need to support the latest innovations as they focus on their core competencies.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi