Not much has happened in terms of product or business model innovation in the PBX (News - Alert) and UC industry over the last decade. The transition from TDM voice to VoIP happened gradually and as a slow technology evolution. VoIP capabilities were added to existing products without renewing the core architecture. The business model and distribution channel strategy and relationships remained the same; vertical integration and proprietary implementations prevailed. The adoption of VoIP allowed customers to benefit from a consolidation of the cabling plant and the industry learned how to establish QoS and VoIP-enabled enterprise networks, but phones remain limited by hardware constraints, resulting in a specialized and expensive device used to enable basic voice communications.
The transition to a software model has not been easy and the solution focus remains on voice and recently video, failing to realize the importance of presence. The UC industry continues to operate as a separate vertical, not part of IT.
As CIOs take over responsibility for telephony, business processes are being re-examined. Assessments are made of why telephony solutions are so expensive to operate and why maintenance costs remain high. The attachment of telephony to proprietary hardware is viewed as an impediment to renewing the IT compute infrastructure and transitioning to virtualization. Innovation at the device level and new trends such as bring your own device collide with the vertically integrated business model and the slow pace of innovation shown by the telephony vendors. Telephony is expected to just work, but as costs rise the necessity to look for new ways becomes inescapable.
The opportunity is to absorb unified communications into IT. We call it UC cubed. UC cubed represents unified communications delivered via a unified and standardized cloud infrastructure and integrated with IT best practices.
UC cubed supports virtualized communications based on an architecture designed for the cloud from the ground up. It solves ITs’ main problems with UC. Delivered as a pure software solution, it significantly reduces operating costs, and it enables the CIO to consolidate the telephony organization into IT.
After two decades of slow innovation that gave us a consolidated cable plant, it is time to open up a new chapter. UC cubed represents an entirely new paradigm on how to operate a communications and collaboration solution.
Martin Steinmann is CEO at eZuce (www.ezuce (News - Alert).com).
Edited by Stefania Viscusi