Canalys has announced its latest trends analysis regarding the impact of consumerization on unified communications (UC) and collaboration, signaling a growing opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to out-innovate their larger enterprise counterparts. The report also highlights how the consumer experiences of corporate decision-makers are shifting vendor business models.
Some traditionally enterprise-focused UC vendors have incorporated consumer-inspired products and features into their offerings. Pad-style devices, such as the Cisco Cius, are one such example. Other vendors are forming new alliances across different technology markets to help address hybrid customer demands. Virtualization specialist VMware, for example, announced a partnership with LG Electronics Mobile to promote a single device for business and personal use. Meanwhile, Avaya has opted to focus on a user-friendly collaboration environment via its Desktop Video Device.
More consumer-focused brands, such as Skype, are aggressively seeking greater credibility as business solutions providers. Brands with strong consumer backgrounds, such as Microsoft and Google, are set to gain from this market trend.
‘Consumers’ constant exposure to new technologies in the software and Internet world has put greater pressure on UC vendors to match the pace, which traditional players have had trouble doing in the past,’ said Clark. ‘At the same time, the very heart of lucrative PBX sales – desk phones – is at serious risk, as more mobile and PC-centric end users challenge the status quo, further threatening established vendors.’
‘Due to changing business models, more traditional UC vendors will need to shift not only their offerings, but also their go-to-market strategies,’ said Clark. ‘On the surface, the new UC business environment offers channel partners opportunities to grow, by providing software as a service, or consulting. The slow uptake of the former, however, indicates that the channel has yet to adapt its sales processes to reflect a more value-added approach.’