Although more enterprises are adopting unified communications – the integration of voice, voicemail, e-mail, text messaging, and presence into a single user interface – market research firm In-Stat reports that rapid adoption won’t take place until the “millennial” generation is connected.
Comprising those users born between 1981 and 2000, millennials entering the workplace will bring serious adoption of unified communication, David Lemelin, senior analyst at In-Stat, told EnterpriseVoIPplanet.com.
For additional companies to use unified communications, more workers will have to be comfortable with a UC dashboard indicating their presence. “Not everyone’s comfortable with being reachable 100 percent of time,” Lemelin explains. “Presence becomes a bit of a chore for people. That’s one of the reasons why it’s not as fully integrated as it will be down the road.”
The “millennial” generation are more accustomed to indicating their presence, and aren’t afraid to “click to call.” he says. “They’re used to clicking to communicate with some people.”
As this generation hits the workforce, by 2012, worldwide unified communications product revenues will reach $18 billion, according to the research firm.
Lemelin says the industries in which indicating presence through an onscreen dashboard are particularly suitable include the health care field, as well as professional service jobs such as lawyers, financial advisers, and architects.
The unified messaging aspect of UC has particularly caught on, he says.
According to Lemelin, for UC to gain more traction, more IT managers will have to convince their CFOs of the technology’s effectiveness. “The CFO doesn’t necessarily have a lot of people asking for it,” he explains. “When the CFO is analyzing this investment, it’s efficiency, effectiveness, cost savings—things that are less tangible for a lot of CFOs.”
Lemelin says the technology to implement UC has come along quickly, but widespread adoption by companies will take more time.