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As unified communications moves toward a software-based solution, do you see a demise in use of cert

Learn what UC expert Tony Bradley thinks about the future of hardware tools.

As unified communications moves toward a software-based solution, do you see a demise in use of certain hardware tools, such as the desk phone, in the future?
In a word -- no. Or, at the very least, I think that is a LONG way off. The move to software-powered voice and software-based PBX technology will result in cost savings for enterprises and greatly expand the potential of what is possible. Software-powered voice opens up the ability to develop custom code and add-on applications that can revolutionize the way companies use their voice communications. Rather than molding business processes to work within the confines of what voice communication is capable of, voice capabilities can be extended and customized to fit the needs of the business process.

Specifically to your question though, people are attached to their phones. There will certainly be an evolution where more users will rely on software-based soft phone clients, or mobile phones, and other devices that can be connected with a unified communications infrastructure. But, companies and users will be reluctant to simply give up those phones. Instead, enterprises will rely on remote call control (RCC), and dual-forking to accomplish simultaneous ringing between the desk phone and the software client, and to integrate the desk phone into the unified communications experience as tightly as possible. If anything, I think you will see analog phones die a quick and sudden death as enterprises adopt IP phones that have more functionality and extensibility related to unified communications.

This was last published in February 2009

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