Column: UC and Telecom Carriers, a Perfect Match

By David Portnowitz, vice president of marketing at Star2Star

For phone and Internet carriers, offering a unified communications (UC) solution was considered optional as recently as five years ago. These days, however, businesses are increasingly expecting to implement UC and may view it as a prerequisite of using the services of a specific provider. Research released by MDS noted that 75 percent of IT and telecom decision-makers were actively seeking to move towards a UC infrastructure sometime in the imminent future.

The advantages of UC technology—the convergence of multiple communication channels into a single platform—are well documented. UC offers a wide variety of features that streamline communications, reduce costs, increase mobility, provide greater flexibility, and drive higher levels of productivity. Looking at these benefits, more and more IT personnel are pushing their companies and clients to adopt UC. As end users begin to see UC’s features as crucial to growing or sustaining their businesses, it will be incumbent upon carriers to provide the services.

Considering a new generation of employees is joining the workforce and moving up the corporate ladder, the expectation that service providers will offer UC is almost certain to grow stronger. With the market projected to grow to upwards of $16.9 billion by 2018, not meeting that expectation will almost certainly translate to lost revenue. Simply put, carriers who do not offer UC are going to find themselves in an increasingly uncomfortable position in the near future. All businesses are familiar with supply and demand, and if operators need to supply what IT managers demand.