Anywhere, Any Time, Any Way Are Here Now

By David Byrd

I, along with several of my ANPI ZONE colleagues, spent the beginning of last week at BroadSoft Connections 2012 in Phoenix. The theme of the event was Unleash the Possibilities.” As is the case with so many things technological, it is highly unlikely we will look back on this event as establishing a new era for unified communications (UC), but I did find it worth noting how far the industry has come in the five years I have followed UC. The buzz terms of presence, collaboration and unified messaging are now a reality for any number of companies and the price and technology can be practically embraced by SMBs.

Perhaps the most interesting examples of the current capabilities of the collection of BroadSoft products and services were the live demonstrations that incorporated UC features such as the ability to use click to call, the incorporation of multimedia during video calls or messaging sessions, instant switching between single calls and conferencing, online whiteboarding (dynamic collaboration) and many other real-world solutions to problems businesses face every day.

Attending an event such as BroadSoft Connections provides a sense of the energy our industry brings to the global community regarding hosted communications. In addition to software developers and major manufacturers, carriers and service providers from around the world attend Connections. This years event was the 10th such meeting and was viewed by many as the best thus far. But the decision to attend is based upon the requirement to continually improve our product offering and meet with the developers and OEMs that enhance and complement the BroadSoft Suite.

Hosted communications is a rapidly developing solution area with a very healthy and expanding ecosystem. It is fueled by a global demand for access to and integration of information.

Frost and Sullivan have forecast the growth of hosted communications to have a CAGR of 31.5 percent with an estimated market size of $8.27 billion by 2018 in North America. Europe and Asia/Pacific are experiencing similar growth rates.

Just in case you thought Anywhere, Any Time and Any Way completely describe the key attributes of hosted communications and UC, please note I intentionally left off Any Device.

More on that later.

David Byrd is chief marketing officer and executive vice president of channel sales for
ANPI ZONE . He previously spent five years as vice president of marketing and sales for Broadvox and before that was vice president of channels and alliances for Eftia and Telcordia.

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