Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Trends Will Fizzle in 2014 - UCStrategies Podcast

We can't all be winners, and UC is really no different from other tech waves that come and go. In the early going, everyone is a winner until the novelty wears off and vendors have to start making money. We try lots of new things - some just streamline things we've been doing all along or make them more accessible, like desktop video. Others are more radical - like WebRTC - that threaten to reinvent the whole space.

I'd say we're past the novelty stage with UC, and there's already been a fair bit of consolidation, but there's more to come. This just means the stakes get higher for everybody - vendors, operators, channels and even IT decision-makers - and it already looks like the top end of the market is a two-horse race between Cisco and Microsoft.

There's lots of life left to UC, though, and the future is still be written, but not everything we've been trying over the past year or two will survive through 2014. Depending on who you speak to, the casualties will vary, and that's what we talked about during last week's UCStrategies podcast.

A fundamental challenge with UC is its fluid nature - it can be almost anything you want it to be, and that makes it really hard to know when you're done - or able to add something new. So, we covered a lot of ground, including social media, BYOD, video and WebRTC. All of these things have been trying to find a home within the UC envelope, but vendors can only keep trying for so long, and then you reach a point where something has to change. Either you drop it and move on, somehow keep it going as a loss leader, or go back to the drawing board and keep tweaking until it hits a nerve.

Nobody ever said innovation was easy, and to hear what we think are prime examples of this, you'll want to give this a listen. This week's podcast was moderated by Michael Finneran, and you can download the audio file here. If you think we're off the mark or missing something big, we'd love to hear about it - thanks!

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