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Smartphones will accelerate video conferencing across enterprises

Yogesh Gupta | June 28, 2016
Indian CIOs should involve real users and not just IT and business decision makers while they strategize UC&C blueprints, says Somak Roy at Forrester.

In sheer numbers, the winner would be mobile, though room-based VC is not going away. The essence of communication is non-verbal communication, and you need large form factor devices to capture the latter. Whenever the stakes are higher, such as negotiations, company employees do request a room for VC, and that is unlikely to go away. VC room facilitates the interplay between people seated around a table at one location. Nobody has figured out a way to enhance that feature with smartphones yet.

Do you see Indian CIOs work up to UCaaS (UC as a service)? Any possible roadblocks with this business model?

As-a-service tends to work best when the standard software works for a multitude of companies, across regions and sectors. Unified communications is by-and-large standard in nature without many industry-wise and region-specific variations. Hence, UCaaS should and does work fine as a business model for companies.

The benefits and challenges are similar to those associated with any other SaaS software. Regarding the downsides of the latter, you got to a put a cap on the spending, or it could quickly get out of hand.

Any Do's and Don'ts for CIOs and IT managers of India Inc. to strategize a good UC&C blueprint?

The number one 'don't' for CIOs is ignoring the feedback from real users. Another 'to do' would be the fact that the technology selection exercise should not be led by IT and business decision makers alone--real users must be involved. At the very least, feedback from real users must be incorporated into the decision. Non-usage of expensive business software is a very real problem with UC&C.  

What role will telcos / service providers like Vodafone, Airtel etcetera play in UC&C?

Service providers and telcos are likely to remain as infrastructure providers to enterprises. The sales process for software and enterprise computing is very different from that used for telephony. Indian telcos have not had major successes with cloud computing or mail boxes, though there are a few cases of success. That is unlikely to change with UC&C.



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