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Enterprise Connect 2017 conference coverage

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Unified communications vendors and users continue consolidation

For unified communications vendors and users, consolidation is currently the name of the game. Unified communications vendors are consolidating via mergers and acquisitions, while users are looking to consolidate their overlapping services into one UC platform.

"We definitely see a lot of user consolidation," said Irwin Lazar, an analyst with Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. According to Nemertes, 43% of companies are looking to center their UC portfolios on a single, primary provider and its ecosystem. That percentage has continued to climb, Lazar said.

By consolidating UC products, organizations can improve the delivery of integrated services, cut the total cost of operation and relieve interoperability issues.

Unified communications vendors are also seeing their own version of consolidation. Team chat vendors, for instance, have been snapped up by the likes of BroadSoft, RingCentral and 8x8 Inc. According to some reports, Lazar said, some smaller unified communications vendors are making themselves available for sale.

"I expect you'll see the pure-cloud vendors starting to be targeted more," he said. "I expect you'll continue to see more vendor integration or acquisition over the next year."

In addition, Avaya's bankruptcy proceedings are a "wild card," Lazar said, as another vendor could buy pieces of Avaya's business. Mitel, too, could be on the acquisition hunt after its attempt to buy Polycom last year. 

In the video above, Lazar discussed industry consolidation among unified communications vendors and users. At Enterprise Connect 2017, he also dissected the current trends of UC analytics and artificial intelligence tools.

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Enterprise Connect 2017 conference coverage

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What are the pros and cons of vendor consolidation for UC users?