Microsoft Inc.’s Lync unified communication systems along with other mobility and collaboration trends will disrupt the enterprise communication and collaboration space in 2014, according to a report from market research and analyst firm.
The other three factors that will “disrupt” the space are hosted IP telephony and cloud-based unified communication and collaboration (UCC); social collaboration and; mobility and the bring-your- own- device (BYOD) trend.
Major enhancements in Lync 2013 and Microsoft’s multi-prong cloud-based UC strategy involving Lync Online, Lync v-Dedicated and Hoster Pack version 2 will boost adoption of the system this year, according to the Frost and Sullivan report titled, Communications and Collaborations Technology Trends to Watch in 2014 and Beyond.
For instance, the report found that Lync Voice’s share of world Internet Protocol (IP) telephony platform licenses has been growing steadily. From seven per cent in 2012, Frost and Sullivan predict that Lync’s share will rise to 20 per cent by 2015 and will be a “major threat” to established telephony vendors.
The report said Lync offers the best fit for business with a Microsoft infrastructure. The system offers big business opportunities for channel and technology partners and communications vendors.
However, businesses should do their homework before rushing into a Lync implementation, said Elka Popova, program director at Frost and Sullivan.
“Assess existing assets IT resources and businesses objectives,” she said. “Determine if you are a good fit for Lync.”
Organizations can benefit from Microsoft’s existing investments and expertise in UC, desktop application integration and potential integration with other existing telephony platforms.
However, the report noted that businesses eyeing the system should be aware of the system’s limited choices of desktop phones and what services third party contact centres offer.
The report said another market disruptor will be the growing adoption of hosted IP telephony.
In 2012 the North American hosted IPT installed based was 3.7 million and the study foresees a compounded annual growth rate of 26.8 per cent up to 2019.
The growth is being driven by the unified communications as-a-service (UCaaS) trend among large enterprise organizations, the adoption of private clouds and the prevalence of hybrid clouds in big companies.
Social networking is now top of mind of most organization although business adoption is still lagging. Estimated global business users of social networking are 208 million.
The trend is creating a culture shift in business and is touted as a way of boosting sales, marketing and customer contact, although return of investment is hard to measure.
The global mobility and BYOD push is touching both employee-facing and customer facing operations of businesses large and small, according to the report.
Sullivan and Frost estimates more than 66 per cent of businesses now use smart phones for business purposes, but only 42 per cent have formal BYOD policies.
There were about 1.9 million mobile voice and UC client licences in 2019. That number is expected to grow to 20.1 million by 2019.
About 33 per cent of businesses consider BYOD a significant security risk.
Frost and Sullivan recommend that business businesses embrace BYOD but come to it with a clear vision for strategy and implementation.
Organization should consider security through network, application and device management; selective personnel access to corporate apps on personal devices; balancing corporate data protection against respect of user’s privacy; and using provisioning and management automation tools.