Good and Bad News from The Diffusion Group

A study by the firm suggests that routers and gateways are moving from the home office to the den or living room. Most obviously, that's a negative for home office UC. But there is a positive angle as well: The reason the devices are moving is to facilitate services that will whet users' appetite for home office unified communications.

 By Carl Weinschenk
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Whether the news in a report from The Diffusion Group is good or bad for the unified communications sector depends to a great extent on whether the person looking at the results is an optimist or a pessimist. The best conclusion is that it is a little bit of both.

The report released this week says that the home gateways and routers are moving from the home office to the family quarters of the home. The reason, the report says, is that people are increasingly more interested in networking Web-based digital content than trafficking data between office devices such as PCs, scanners and printers.

The numbers – at least Diffusion's – are clear. In 2006, 18 percent of gateways and routers were in the family or living room and 39 percent were in the office. Today, the report says, almost one-third are in the living quarters, an increase of 64 percent. The portion of devices in home offices dropped to 26 percent, a drop of 35 percent, the press release says.

The good news/bad news angle is clear: Moving the device that links the home to the Internet from the office, of course, makes it less likely that it will be used for UC applications. However, the reason for the move – the increased comfort with IP-delivered video and audio – suggests that these folks are growing more comfortable with UC-type applications. In other words, if the network is being used for video chat in the den, the residence is more likely to use business-oriented video services in the home office.

This article was originally published on Oct 6, 2010
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