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UC Future so Cloudy You Can't Wear Shades

I've been covering unified communications (UC) for nigh onto 20 years. Back then it was about blending voice mail with e-mail -- and not much else. These days it's all about IP telephony, Web conferencing, IM, presence and blending voice with e-mail.

With these new features, UC is finally starting to make sense. I recently interviewed about a dozen very pleased customers of Microsoft's offerings. Now UC is moving to the cloud, primarily through Microsoft's Office 365, which includes a hosted version of Lync, Redmond's latest UC tool.

But many in IT say, "Not so fast, Buster." In fact, the sour news comes from a survey that a Microsoft partner, Azaleos, paid for. A scant 10 percent of respondents said they will use UC over the cloud in the next 12 months. Almost 60 percent lament the lack of control and inability to customize as the major stumbling blocks. Another possible deal breaker: Can one really trust the cloud to stay up and available?

These are, indeed, the early days of the cloud, and providers need to provide proof that their wares are secure, stable, controllable and customizable.

What do cloud providers need to do to get more of your business? Share your thoughts with this newsletter's readers by writing dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 06/27/2011 at 1:18 PM


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