The rise in service orientated purchasing and a move towards hosted offerings will be the major trends that drive the unified communications (UC) industry this year, according to newly appointed head of services at NSC Group, Col Rennie.
He claimed 2013 will be a pivotal year for the UC industry as more businesses demand flexibility in their Cloud based communication offerings.
According to Rennie, 'service orientated purchasing' will become the new buzz phrase within the industry.
"While it has been an underlying trend for the past couple of years, the rapid growth in smartphone ownership along with subdued business conditions mean businesses will need cheap and simple ways to communicate effectively with both customers and employees," he said.
Rennie also said businesses will look to UC providers to offer innovative, cost effective services that utilise all available technologies as the purchase and maintenance of large communication infrastructures will not be a possibility due to the slow economic recovery.
While the smartphone revolution has led to an explosion in the way customers interact with companies, he said the move toward a more flexible workforce is another key reason why many businesses will seek to unify their communication processes.
"Australia's continued love affair with smartphones along with the national push for greater teleworking options has created a 'perfect storm' for the UC industry.
"Businesses across all sectors will now need to streamline their internal and external communications in order to stay connected with their workforce," Rennie said.
He also suggested UC providers should best tailor solutions to individual clients.
NSC Group managing director, Trevor Boal, claimed the hiring of Rennie, along with the investment in the company's Communication as a Service (Caas) offering, Breeze, reflects the increased importance many customers are placing on Cloud based communication infrastructures.
Boal claimed the greater utilisation of Cloud technologies has shifted the goalposts for the industry. "Organisations will have to be more in tune with their customer's needs in order to present the best Cloud based solutions for their customers. As an industry, this is where our focus should be. And the companies who can offer the best CaaS solutions to their clients will have a very fruitful year," he said.
Rennie commences his role at NSC Group this week.