Mobility Key to UC Success

Given the choice between being tethered to a desk or having the benefits of mobility, the overwhelming majority of today's workforce would choose mobility. In fact, estimates show that about 35 percent of European enterprises spend more than 30 percent of their telecom and networking budgets on mobility, and North American enterprises are quickly following suit.

At the forefront of these decisions is mobile collaboration – the ability for a mobile phone to seamlessly roam between cellular domains. It provides support for unified communications (UC) tools, such as email, presence, IM, and contacts. Mobile collaboration also supports private branch exchange (PBX) desk phone functions, such as extension dialing, call forwarding, and call transfer.

Perhaps most importantly, mobile collaboration is viewed as the missing piece that will finally complete the UC puzzle for companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ). Though their UC offerings have been around for a couple of years, they simply have not garnered the excitement that was initially expected. Many believe that excitement and the desired uptake in UC will be achieved as the benefits of mobile collaboration become more widely recognized – benefits such as reduced opex and capex, improved productivity, greater flexibility, and better leveraging of existing infrastructures to maximize logistics potential.

These are just some of the findings in this month's Unstrung Insider, "Mobile Collaboration: The Final Piece of the UC Puzzle."

Some expect that mobile collaboration will grow rapidly because the productivity and cost benefits often outweigh those that can be achieved when UC is applied to desktop systems alone, says Edward Ashley, product line manager at NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701). "Cellphones are, after all, the preferred communications device because we carry them around all the time," he says. "Additionally, a high percentage of the average workforce is mobile, and many calls are not answered immediately – for instance, when someone is driving, or in a meeting, or in a noisy environment. The office environment is very different: When the phone rings, you pick it up."

Mobile collaboration is also being driven by the applications behind it – apps such as single number reach, visual voicemail, presence, and IM. Enabling such applications at the mobile level – and enabling the UC office to become completely mobile – will likely be the key to the success that UC has been seeking.

— Denise Culver, Research Analyst, Unstrung Insider

The report, Mobile Collaboration: The Final Piece of the UC Puzzle, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Unstrung Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.unstrung.com/insider.

Sign In