Cloud and UC: It's Your Last Chance to Get Engaged!
To my mind, two key trends are influencing the market for communications solutions today: Cloud and Unified Communications. I base this on the conversations I have with customers as well as a couple of fun facts from the analyst community:
- MZA has forecast that Cloud-based business communication licenses will increase by 89% in the next 5 years and
- IDC found that 73% of businesses recently surveyed use or plan to use UC within the next two years
Analysts have been forecasting the growth of both Cloud and UC for some time, but like many technology trends, the hype preceded widespread implementation by several years. But from what I’m seeing each day here at Avaya, I think it’s fair to say that both are now gaining widespread adoption. Of course, it’s worth pointing out that both “cloud” and “Unified Communications” as terms mean different things to different people. Every adopter has their own view, which is fine. After all, it’s about adding value to the individual needs of an organization, not agreeing with the finer points of some predetermined definition.
What has caused the shift to wide-spread adoption? I think what’s driving both these trends is the need for simplification in a complex world. To me, Unified Communications is all about radically simplifying my day. How do I access my communications tools in an intuitive and straight forward way? One that lets me drag and drop people into a conference call (using my mouse, of course) versus performing one finger acrobatics on a keypad. Or letting me smoothly shift from an IM to a video call with a single click. Similarly, the cloud is about getting access to new services and capabilities without having to pull all the overhead, hardware and training into the backdoor of your business. You get the value and someone else worries about implementation.
Despite my assertion about the arrival of cloud and UC, I’d be the first to admit that it’s a journey, not a destination. Lots of questions remain and the solutions will continue to develop and improve over time – no one ever stopped development at Release 1 (or Release 2, for that matter). So how do you stay informed, ask your questions and learn from others? One of the best ways I know for Avaya customers to do this is to attend Engage. Cohosted with the International Avaya Users Group, Avaya Engage 2019 is now just a week away. We have over a hundred sessions overall and the Team Collaboration track, which Kim Heintze from Trellis Company and I shepherd, has a host of sessions devoted to UC and the Cloud. Customers, Avaya Partners and Avaya subject matter experts are all converging on Austin TX starting on January 20 and as usual, it will be a great opportunity to learn, discuss and plan for success, wherever you’re at in your journey.
It’s never too late to join us so if you haven’t lined up your travel arrangements and show pass yet, its time to (as they say in Texas) Get-er-done! I look forward to seeing old friends and new in Austin and learning more about where you’re at on your journey to the cloud, UC or both. Safe travels and we’ll see you soon!
 MZA Telecoms & IT Analysts: The World Hosted/Cloud Business Telephony Market, November 2018
 IDC: Market Analysis Perspective for Avaya: Worldwide Unified Communications and Collaboration, October 2017