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Big Daddy Steps to Unified Communications

The communications industry buzz makes unified communications (UC) sound like it will cause seismic shifts across the business world, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

In the long run, some grand predictions may prove accurate because definitions of unified communications are so broad, with reports on uptake quoting big numbers, such as 50 percent of enterprises evaluating, installing, or running unified communications applications.

However, apparently even the small baby steps of progress, such as a unified messaging installation or a web conferencing subscription, are being counted within those reports.

"Real transformational changes will take more time, perhaps even a generation, to accomplish," says David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst.

"But, it's possible that a new generation, dubbed Millennials, bringing to the workplace communications habits formed in their early years (text messaging, social networking, blogging, etc.), portends more rapid adoption."

That said, I believe that UC isn't just for the young, it's for the young at heart. Frankly, I can think of one baby-boomer who is ready to make the full long-jump leap today.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Worldwide unified communications product revenues will reach $18 billion in 2012.

- In-Stat's survey of VoIP users demonstrates messaging is the most mature aspect of UC.

- Conferencing is the most compelling near-term opportunity for service providers.

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