For future success, UC vendors can either broaden their solutions or change existing models and assumptions. Cisco is doing both.
Gartner opens its 2015 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications report by stating that it considers “the large enterprise UC market to be mature.” I agree, and given the similarities among VoIP, endpoint, instant messaging, unified messaging, and soft/mobile client offerings, I see this as a real challenge in how UC vendors can differentiate themselves.
Going forward, a UC vendor can either expand its portfolio from UC to broader solutions and/or change existing models and assumptions. Cisco is attempting to do both with Spark, as it capitalizes on the emerging cloudification, workstream messaging, and communications platform as a service (CPaaS) trends. Cisco’s vision appears to call for leveraging its installed base and expertise in UC and video into a workstream messaging and platform play while simultaneously redesigning established UC methods and practices.