Bern Elliot

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Bern Elliot
VP Distinguished Analyst
11 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Bern Elliot is a vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner Research. He has been with Gartner for more than 10 years, and he is currently the lead analyst in Unified Communications. He was formerly the lead analyst in Contact Centers. Mr. Elliot's research interests are broad, and ...Read Full Bio

So what is happening in UC (Unified Communications)

by Bern Elliot  |  November 16, 2011  |  Submit a Comment

I was recently asked to sum up what is happening in UC (Unified Communications). Well, this of course is a ‘boil the ocean’ type of question. On top of that I was asked to keep it brief and only deal with the essentials. Well I ended up with the description below.

UC is a broad umbrella term and a lot of technologies are already under that umbrella, and the number is increasing. To try and enumerate the details would not be possible, and would soon be out of date. However the underlying drivers are much more constant and it is a good place to start understanding what is really taking place in this area.

The biggest drivers (IMHO) are:

  • Move of communications to TCP/IP and to software. This has been going on for 20 years now and has completely changed many industries. This leads to next bullet.
  • Integration across formerly separate communications technologies and approaches, as well as of communications with other software areas where there is synergy. Often the synergy can be understood as mutually beneficial contextual information. For instance, integration with collaboration and social applications or integration with customer service and support.

In a nutshell, what we described in those two above bullets is “UCC”. A set of related derived ‘drivers’ are critical to understanding how then this basic broad area is evolving:

  • Increased ability in the mobile area devices, carriers, and WiFi.
  • Use of new media, including video.
  • Blending of consumer and enterprise solutions.
  • Centralization of communications infrastructure, which by the way leads to private and public cloud options.
  • Improved ways to interconnect systems and applications, such as web services.

Rapidly increasing interest in hybrid options, leveraging both private and public cloud options, along with on-premise.
Incredible amount of data now being collected, and the analytic options for exploiting that information.

And so what we end up with is this incredibly rich and dynamic new space, sometimes called UC or UCC.

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