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September 25, 2012

Jon Arnold Looks to the Future of Unified Communications

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

When you speak to an analyst, you can be prepared to get some excellent insights into their area of expertise. Such is the case with Jon Arnold (News - Alert), Principal of J Arnold & Associates and UC Expert at UCStrategies, who will be at the upcoming ITEXPO West 2012. An expert on unified communications, he’s seen the many changes that communication has gone through, and knows how to prepare for the future.

Over time, unified communications have shifted from a premise-based model to cloud, although neither completely dominates the market. Before the cloud, decisions were made based solely on the vendor and what they provide, but now the delivery model has to be taken into account as well. This has left several businesses trying to figure out what form of UC works best for them, if they need on-premise, cloud-based, or some combination thereof.

“While most businesses aren’t ready to fully adopt cloud-based UC, the good news is they don’t have to,” Jon Arnold says. “Vendors are offering various forms of hybrid UC solutions, allowing businesses to keep the infrastructure they’re comfortable with, and have the rest in the cloud. I expect this trend to grow, as businesses still need to develop confidence that cloud is the right path for all things UC.”

Having seen the change, it’s then possible to predict the future trends. For example, video will be playing a bigger role in UC soon enough, as one can see from its growth over recent years. It’s become more affordable, making it a viable option that will soon become as commonplace as e-mail and voice chat.

However, to truly see where the future of technology lies, we should look to today’s youth and see what they’re using. Text messaging used to just be something kids did with their phones, now there are group messaging apps for everything. Video chats are common on sites like Google (News - Alert)+ and TinyChat, while they’re slowly but steadily being adapted for business use.

“Learn from their children,” says Jon Arnold. “The Millennials are the future, and they have a highly intuitive sense for using the tools that make UC valuable to companies. There is definitely a generation gap out there, especially for more recent applications like video and social media. Within the next 5 years, I believe these types of applications will eclipse telephony in terms of delivering value and productivity gains.”

For his own predictions, Arnold believes that market leadership will be shifting from telecom-based vendors to IP and Internet technology-based ones. While the major players such as Cisco (News - Alert) and Apple will remain key figures, not all of them will remain, whether through acquisition or otherwise. Meanwhile, cloud will continue to grow and become consolidated, particularly around video.

Jon Arnold will be at ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2012 next week, where he’ll be paying close attention to the speakers and presentations.

To find out more about J Arnold & Associates visit the company at ITEXPO West 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Jon Arnold, Principal, will be a speaker at the event. For more information on ITEXPO West 2012 click here.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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