Explore the top 10 tips on UC solutions from 2012

Before you look to the future of unified communications, take this opportunity to review our top 10 tips on UC solutions of 2012.

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The holidays can be a busy time as you look for those perfect gifts, take the kids to see Santa or prepare yourself before seeing your nosey extended family. With this is mind, we understand if you haven't had time to keep up with all the expert advice on SearchUnifiedCommunications.com. Before you look to the future of unified communications (UC), we wanted to give you another chance to take a good, hard look at this year's top 10 tips. With topics like free UC, business collaboration technology, UC as a Service and telecom solutions, it's certainly been a busy year, so why not take some time to get yourself up to speed?

No. 10: Putting the 'U' in 'UC'
Vendors each have their own definition of UC, so what is it exactly? This tip explains what sets UC apart from other communications and offers a detailed description of various unique UC components.

No. 9: Which voice telecom solution should you choose for your organization's size?
There is no one-size-fits-all voice telecom solution. The size of your organization determines the practical telecommunication product for you. Which of them work best for each business segment? VoIP expert Matt Brunk gets to the bottom of this question in this tip.

No. 8: Free collaboration tools spur better enterprise UC applications
A major goal of UC is to create a single platform for worker communication and collaboration, and one must acknowledge the fact that existing applications already have made huge progress toward this goal. Free applications such as Microsoft/Skype and Google Apps seem to be just as capable and functioning as commercial enterprise collaboration tools and UC apps. With that said, these free collaboration tools are prompting commercial vendors to improve security and integration -- sparking the question: Is free UC good enough, or should you splurge for commercial UC products?

No. 7: 10 questions to ask your potential collaboration vendors
Are you having a hard time deciding between collaboration vendors? Ask your potential collaboration vendors these 10 questions. Don't choose the wrong vendor -- ask the right questions!

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No. 6: Study reveals unified communications and collaboration market drivers
As the mobile workforce continues to grow, employees have had to find the means to communicate with co-workers. This ever-increasing need for mobile access, along with advances in video communications and social software tools, has inspired the creation of new communication technologies and is growing the UCC market. This tip acknowledges the need for UCC solutions and uncovers what forces are driving this largely untapped market, according to a new study.

No. 5: Hosted UC and its five major advantages over on-premises solutions
Competitive carriers, UC vendors and the majority of enterprise IT professionals are skeptical of the value of UCaaS, but should they be? Analyst Zeus Kerravala says no. According to Kerravala, hosted UC or UC as a Service (UCaaS) services have reached feature parity with premises-based solutions. For many smaller organizations or companies with limited IT staffs or budgets, a hosted UC service is actually better than premises-based. These services offer five main advantages over on-premises deployments in the new IT reality.

No. 4: How the iPad affects your enterprise video-conferencing strategy
The iPad has seen rapid success, quickly making its way into the enterprise. Its video capabilities are infiltrating enterprise video-conferencing strategies, which must be managed by IT and network managers, not just tolerated. It is vital to incorporate the iPad into your enterprise video-conferencing strategy by checking the network impact, buying the right tools, educating users and checking out the competition. Read this tip to find out how you can incorporate the iPad into your video strategy.

No. 3: Assess the benefits of business collaboration technology
Collaboration technology is an asset to any organization, and this helpful tip proposes a business case for using collaboration services in the enterprise. It also offers counterpoints to business case arguments and stresses the need to develop UC solutions and strategies that provide a migration and/or integration path for legacy systems while addressing governance, compliance and security requirements.

No. 2: Compare business phone systems with freeware solutions
If you could envision the perfect UC product, what would it look like? Is the ability to integrate UC features with existing business phone systems enough, or do you want to be able to manage UC features collectively? Skype and Google Voice both offer free UC capabilities, but which one is better? Does one bring you closer to UC nirvana than the other? This tip gives some insight into this question and explains the five major differences between free and for-a-fee phone systems. Perhaps Skype or Google Voice is the UC solution you've been looking for all along.

No. 1: What the future of unified communications holds
While none of us possess a crystal ball to tell us what the future of UC holds, the president of CIMI Corp., Tom Nolle, is more than qualified to speculate -- which is exactly what he does in our top tip of 2012. Nolle foresees the UC market evolving radically by 2020, fueled in part by mobile broadband and cloud services adoption. By that time, will communications, collaboration, application execution and information be truly unified?

Looking for tips from 2013?

This was first published in December 2012

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