One Way or Another, Mobile Unified Communications Will Grow

Video is an increasingly important element of the mobile communications experience. Organizations must recognize that folks in the field will use their smartphones for video-based collaborative communications, and take steps to track and control those sessions.

 By Carl Weinschenk
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Mobility and video are increasingly important elements of unified communications, so it is natural to assess how the two will work together in the future.

A partial hint was released this week in a report by Juniper Research. The firm appears to think that mobile video has a healthy future, but that it's far from a killer app. The report, "Next Generation Smartphones: Strategic Opportunities and Markets, 2010-2015," says there will be 29 million users of smartphone video by the end of the period of the study. That's a significant number, but not enough to represent a dominant application.

The Juniper report doesn't speak specifically to unified communications. Of course, only a fraction of those users will regularly participate in mobile video UCC sessions.

Despite Juniper's conservative estimates of the overall category, mobile video is a promising UCC platform. Products are appearing. For instance, last month, Damaka introduced Two-Way-Push-to-Video Call for BlackBerry. The company's product suite, the release says, offers a number of features including presence, IM, application and desktop sharing. The company offers versions of its products for Android, iPhone, iPad, Symbian and Windows Mobile in addition to BlackBerry.

Businesses should keep mobile UCC as structured and formal as possible -- it is potentially too dangerous to be allowed to gradually seep into the organization. Companies, especially those with significant mobile workforces, should encourage UCC -- and do everything they can to monitor and control it. 

This article was originally published on Oct 13, 2010
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