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Five unified communications trends that change the collaboration game
This article is part of the Network Evolution issue of October 2013 / Vol 4 / No.5
Unified Communications is poised for rapid change that will be driven by a perfect storm of mobilized workers, innovative technologies and a changing vendor landscape. On the vendor front, Microsoft Lync is challenging Avaya and Cisco for market dominance, while new cloud-based providers promise to allow IT to scrap its own servers, disband centralized technology budgets and assign spending to specific lines-of-business. Meanwhile UC technologies are evolving to enable new kinds of communication through a wider variety of endpoints. WebRTC offers the power to democratize UC by extending features like voice and video into any desktop or mobile web browser. Additionally, UC vendors are integrating wired and wireless worlds to better serve the growing base of unwired workers who spend more time on tablets or smartphones than at desks. Finally, video isn't just for conferencing anymore, as consumer services such as YouTube and Vine drive enterprise video collaboration and content sharing in the enterprise. The following five trends ...
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Technologies like unified communications and SDN promise IT operational efficiency as a return on investment, but that can be difficult to measure.
From WebRTC to consumer video in the enterprise, UC technology innovation is changing the future of collaboration ... again.
A new generation of application visibility and control (AVC) tools allows network managers to peer into applications across their WLAN infrastructures and optimize how that traffic is delivered. These new AVC tools will help network managers deliver a wider range of critical applications to both personal and enterprise-issued devices.
In the new programmable WAN, network hypervisors can provision virtual network segments on demand to support specific applications or sets of data.
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SDN vendors promise network efficiency, but that will be hard to realize in the short term since SDN implementation requires so much capital spending.