Instant Messaging Still a Key to Unified Communications

It may seem old fashioned, but instant messaging remains a potent unified communications tool. And, according to Allot Communications, it continues to grow.

By Carl Weinschenk | Posted Jul 27, 2011
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Video is a growing element of unified communications, but, of course, it is more closely associated with entertainment. During recent months, its growth has surprised and, to some extent, worried network service providers and the rest of the ecosystem. The idea is that the Internet may be on the verge of melting down due to a massive wave of video.
 
Of course, one study doesn't mean that we are out of the woods. But research from Allot Communications does suggest that the growth picture is a bit more complex than just the explosion of video. The study, which was released this week, said that video streaming still is the dominant data traffic, but two unified communications stalwarts, VoIP and IM, were the fastest-growing application types during the first half of 2011.
 
The firm said that IM and VoIP traffic increased during that time period by 101 percent, eight percentage points higher than video streaming. The firm points out that video started from a larger base, so the comparison should be taken with a grain of salt.
 
Despite this, it is very interesting that VoIP — and particularly IM — are growing so precipitously. Of course, not all of the growth is related directly to unified communications, but it is impossible to have such a platform without VoIP and IM.
 
Like fax — which we covered in a post earlier this week — IM is a common application that can easily be taken for granted.
 
It is not being taken for granted by everyone, however. This week, Lionbridge said that it has integrated its GeoFluent Instant Messaging real-time translation application with IBM Sametime unified communications and collaboration software. Voxeo Labs last week  unveiled Phono Mobile, which uses Javascript and HTML 5 for voice and IM features on iPhones, iPads, the iPad Touch, Android 2+ phones and tablets and other devices.

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