This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Unified Communications magazine
Unified communications is providing businesses of all sizes with increased productivity and the ability not only to manage their voice, e-mail and fax communications, but also to tie those communications into existing CRM and other databases that their employees use daily.
As a whole, revenue from PBXs and KTS systems was $2 billion in the first quarter, which was a 4 percent sequential dip, according to Infonetics Research. Despite the decline, the enterprise telephony market continues to grow from the lows of the first half of 2009, the research firm indicates, noting this space has advanced 7 percent year-over-year from the first quarter of 2009 and that the North American PBX (News - Alert) equipment market posted the highest year-over-year growth between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010 worldwide. And unified communication applications are expected to see growth in the year ahead, Infonetics says.
Nemertes Research, author of a recent report called “Managed and Hosted Unified Communications,” expects UC-based managed services to double or even triple by next year.
“The increasingly virtual workforce has led to growth in adoption of applications such as VoIP, unified messaging, videoconferencing, Web conferencing, and document sharing,” says Nemertes.
To highlight some of the movers and shakers in the unified communications space, Unified Communications Magazine and its parent company, TMC, are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s UC Excellence Awards. Congratulations to Clarus Systems, Cypress Communications (News - Alert), Digium Inc., Esna Technologies Inc., and NEC Corporation of America.
Clarus was selected for its Clarus Migration Certification Service for Cisco Unified Communications Manager. Cypress received accolades for its C4 IP solution. Digium was noted for its Switchvox SMB 4.5. Esna won an award for its Telephony Office-LinX (TOL). And NEC Corporation of America was highlighted for its UC for Enterprise solution.
"As a dedicated Cisco Technology Partner, Clarus Systems (News - Alert) understands the value in properly assessing Communication Manager performance and availability both before and after migration. With our flexible array of services and products, we are able to compliment a partner or Cisco's Advanced Services teams and enable them to significantly reduce cost and risk involved with performing these complex migration projects on time," says Brendan Reidy, president and CEO of Clarus Systems. "Our ClarusIPC Plus+ flagship product can also be utilized by systems integrators directly to ease the concerns of their clients over the daunting, but necessary, Communications Manager 4.x->6.x migration."
With Clarus Systems, a Cisco UC migration team can cut costs and maximize efficiency by focusing on migration issues as soon as they arise and hone in on problems solely introduced as a result of the upgrade, without being sidetracked by existing, pre-upgrade, problems, according to Clarus.
The C4 IP solution from Cypressprovides a comprehensive and flexible solution that includes voice and data, handsets, softphones, collaboration and video services, unified messaging and advanced PBX functionality. It is backed with LAN/WAN management, a 24/7 redundant national VoIP network, high-touch customer service and a robust business continuity architecture.
Digium’s Switchvox SMB 4.5 unified communications-enabled IP PBX delivers key applications that have been traditionally accessed through the Web interface directly to phone handsets. The new version of the Digium product, which has been expressly designed for SMBs in mind, and is based on its Asterisk open source telephony engine, also adds greater flexibility and control for users and administrators.
It offers new Phone (News - Alert) Feature Packs that extend the solution to Polycom phone handsets for maximum control of the communications system. Features that were previously only available through the Web interface are now made available through Phone Feature Packs to these phone handset displays. This lets users access powerful features from the phone handsets, such as call recording, visual voicemail, searchable company directories and call parking lots.
Telephony Office-LinX from esna integrates voice and fax with all major messaging platforms, including Hosted Google (News - Alert) apps, Microsoft Exchange 2003/2007/2010, Lotus Domino, Novell GroupWise, and Zimbra.
This SIP-based software solution enables users to access, manage, and respond to any kind of message (voice, fax or e-mail) using any device from anywhere at any time. Its messaging engine and call processing applications allow legacy voice mail users to migrate to a new SIP-based messaging platform while maintaining existing legacy interfaces and applications.
NEC Corporation of America’s UC for Enterprise solution was designed to meet the growing needs for business collaboration, mobility and productivity.
That company last year around this time enhanced this suite with the introduction of UCE Mobility, Microsoft Outlook integration for UCE Desktop Client, and new integration capabilities for the UCE Attendant. "As organizations trim expenses and look to improve efficiencies in their business, they understand that giving their employees access to mobility and collaboration tools can help fill in the gaps," says Jay Krauser, general manager of core solutions and engineering at NEC Unified Solutions. "These enhancements, which are the result of input from customers and dealers, bring new levels of productivity to the enterprise that can result in bottom line savings."
Edited by Tammy Wolf