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Unified Communications Magazine March 2008
Volume 1 / Number 5
Unified Communications Magazine
Richard Zippy Grigonis

UC Predictions For 2008

One of my favorite quotes is, "It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future". That phrase has been attributed to everyone from Albert Einstein and George Bernard Shaw, to Yogi Berra, Benjamin Disraeli and Winston Churchill. Its earliest use appears to be by Confucius.

By Richard "Zippy" Grigonis, Editor's Notes

In any case, it’s tough to be a futurist, a person who integrates information from various sources and envisions
how the future may look, since if you live long enough, you can (and almost always will) be proved wrong. Just
ask the Club of Rome, whose 1972 book, The Limits to Growth, warned of global ecological and social disaster by
2002, brought about by overpopulation.

Even so, we love predictions, especially when they say something that appeals to us. For we proponents of unified
communications, our cravings have recently been satisfied by Forrester Research, Inc. (www.forrester.com) an
independent technology and market research company that was among the first to scrutinize the nascent world
of unified communications, which it defines as, “The combination of presence and availability with voice, video,
email, and instant messaging, which makes it easier to communicate via the most optimal path with employees,
customers, and suppliers and ultimately streamlines business processes.”

Forrester’s February 20, 2008 report, Top Unified Communications Predictions For 2008, by Henry Dewing (with
Ellen Daley and April Lawson) says, “In 2007, the vendor side of unified communications (UC) saw tremendous
hype, while many buyers struggled with confusion, wondering exactly how to define UC and what UC meant
for their businesses. Still, UC met a growing demand; more than 50 percent of enterprises now report that they
are evaluating, installing, or running UC solutions. The great promise of UC is that it will enable communication
with experts and decision-makers in order to facilitate the resolution of business issues when, where, and
by whatever means is best suited to achieving the task at hand. What should you expect in 2008? Mobility will
become an expected part of UC, video will come of age for multiple purposes, communication-enabled business
processes will start providing return on investment (ROI), and hosted and software-as-a-service (SaaS) UC
offerings and demand will grow. Don’t expect federated presence to break out of the pack yet, though; interoperability
and user-configuration tools remain roadblocks to adoption in the near term.”

All of this sounds exactly spot-on and agrees with what we’ve been saying here in the pages of Unified Communications
for some time now. Both mobility and video will become vital aspects of UC. The report says that, “Setting
mobile and wireless strategy was a critical priority for 15% of enterprises in 2007, and that number will remain
nearly constant in 2008 as more businesses plan mobility strategies,” and “Expect videoconferencing utilization at
firms with new video solutions to rise from less than 10% in 2007 to nearly 50% in 2008.”
Surely, the future isn’t what it used to be.

Unified Communications Communications Magazine Table of Contents







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