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Mobile UC: High on the vendor agenda

Claudio Castelli | June 1, 2009
UC vendors are taking the lead

There are many different types of player involved in providing end-to-end UC solutions to mobile users. Carriers, IP telephony vendors, handset manufacturers, application developers and system integrators all have a role to play in mobile UC. Vendors are currently taking the lead. Several have recently launched mobile UC products and are now promoting the ecosystem required to drive their solutions into the market.

Cisco has announced Collaboration in Motion, which expands its enterprise mobility strategy introduced last year with Cisco Motion. The approach combines its own products with a new programme for third-party vendors and partners. Significantly, it also includes Ciscos own professional services, which we think is especially important at the beginning of a solution cycle. Cisco relies primarily on its traditional SI partners as channels to market. The unified wireless network approach to mobility on-premises and off-premises currently focuses on delivering solutions to enterprises rather than hosting by service providers.

Another new offering comes from Research in Motion (RIM). Unlike Cisco, it favours its carrier channels. As an important player in enterprise mobility, RIM is also working to solve the puzzle behind mobile UC. It has repositioned its Mobile Voice Solutions (MVS), acquired from Ascendent in 2006, and recently announced deeper integration with Cisco Unified Communication Manager.

Current economic climate to frustrate expectations

Despite the excitement among vendors, there might be one dark cloud on the horizon, at least in the short term. Our recent research with MNCs found that some large enterprises are likely to delay significant UC integration and fixedmobile convergence (FMC) implementation projects while they look to cut costs during the financial downturn.

Unique enterprise requirements must be understood

We believe vendors are doing a good job in developing solutions to help the standard enterprise to be more efficient but they are not putting enough effort into understanding the detailed business requirements of each company.

UC strategies need to be more than just technical solutions that provide fancy functionality. It is important to develop a better understanding of the factors that motivate people to connect, share and collaborate with each other. The increased collaboration supported by UC will translate into business benefits according to the profile, culture and social character of each enterprise. Mobile UC will bring substantial benefits to enterprises but not every company will value it in the same way.

Claudio Castelli is a senior analyst with Ovum.


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