Unify Reflects on the Unified Communications Industry in 2014, Shares Expectations for 2015

New Way to Work, contextual conversations, less email lead the way

January 6, 2015, Munich and Boca Raton, FL – Unify, a leading communications software and services firm, today recapped the Unified Communications (UC) industry in 2014 and provided expectations for 2015. The company cites 2014 as one of the most volatile years to date in the UC industry, with the acceleration of the shift from hardware to software focus, vendor consolidation, and restructuring of key players’ sales and partner models as they vie for leadership. For Unify in particular, 2014 marked significant progress in its shift to a true Software as a Service (SaaS) company, culminating in the launch of Circuit, where it defined and delivered a new category in the New Way to Work, and a radical shift in the human work experience.

In January, Unify Chief Executive Officer Dean Douglas declared 2014 the year of the New Way to Work (NW2W), driven by the rise of the anywhere worker, bring your own device (BYOD), and the role of millennials in the workforce. Unify saw these issues as priorities for C-level executives in 2014 as they sought improved productivity, managed for top talent and drove for competitive differentiation.

“The tumultuous nature of the market this past year is a huge indication the industry recognizes that the New Way to Work is here, and organizations need to get onboard or stand to lose market share and talent,” said Dean Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of Unify. “Today’s workers demand intuitive apps, instant gratification from technology, and the ability to work from anywhere with seamless collaboration across multiple devices. We’re pleased to see other industry players join the New Way to Work conversation that Unify started in October of 2013, and we’re looking forward to continuing to lead the movement in 2015 as we pave the way for enterprises of all sizes to adopt the New Way to Work.”

Unify sees the following as the top trends to watch for in 2015:

  • Less email as people discover more efficient and effective ways of communicating. New generations of workers entering the workplace are discovering new ways to communicate and collaborate, such as Circuit, that weren’t available when their senior counterparts started working. Visit #emailfail on Twitter and watch these videos.
  • The concepts Unify introduced under our New Way to Work umbrella take a major leap forward: Validated by a slew of recent announcements we have entered a new phase in the enterprise market. The NW2W leverages contextual conversations to incent and empower end users to share their intellectual capital more freely. Collaboration and innovation are enhanced by more open and engaged interactions within enterprises and between enterprises at scale. To make this a reality, effective collaboration technology must provide an omni-channel experience that enables voice, video, screen sharing, messaging, and file sharing in a single pane of glass.
  • Collaboration platforms, along with the apps, will ignite. As in the consumer world, business platforms and process will be simplified. Unify’s Circuit and other entries to the market today are largely apps, but the underlying concept of Circuit is that of a platform, designed to provide an open environment aligning communication and collaboration with business processes. Just as Tesla has opened their API’s for their category smashing automobiles, Unify is setting the roadmap for the future of collaboration via Circuit as a platform.
  • Physical location will continue to lose importance for the day-to-day operations of a business. Work is something we do, not a place we go to.
  • “Work-Life Balance” will become “Work-Life Integration.” As the world adopts the NW2W, leading organizations will attract and retain the best talent by offering workplace flexibility, and communication and collaboration technology to make this a reality.
  • The Internet of Things goes mainstream, drives need for improved security in the cloud.  Occupying almost 1/3 of the total planned telecom spend in 2015, IOT will see massive uptake across all vertical markets and will spur an explosion of data over the next 24 months that will surpass the capabilities of most providers today to manage and secure it. With the increasing volume of services delivered from the cloud, vendors will need to address how best to keep vital customer data safe.
  • It’s all about the Data.  People are increasingly demanding that data relevant to their conversation is present and easily available. Meta Data and tagging broadens beyond simple geolocation and attaches real time information to the conversation – deepening context and providing new metrics, including the “social” aspects, of the conversation.  
  • The rise of Social Selling, Social Advocacy and the Engagement Cloud.  Simply put, Social Selling enables sellers and buyers to have a more direct and holistic engagement resulting in stronger relationships that can focus on customer needs and finding the right solution to meet those needs.  The concept of an Engagement Cloud is premised on the idea that people will expect companies to manage all their interactions across all business processes in a coherent stream of conversation, continuous, retaining all relevant human and machine interactions.

“We believe the next stage of collaboration is not about technology–it’s about humans,” said Bill Hurley, Chief Marketing Officer at Unify. “This is why Unify has been focused on the human element of collaboration and communication since day one. With Circuit, we stepped back and took a completely fresh look not at what UC technology is, but what it could be, to develop a solution that is natural and intuitive for human beings to use, with a focus on the human condition as it relates to the New Way to Work. Our goal is to become the first enterprise platform as a service that ties together all forms of communication, collaboration, and workflow – both human and machine based.”

The following a listing of Unify’s key business highlights, accolades, and achievements in 2014:

  • Spotlighting Unify’s transformation from a hardware to a software and services company, 2014 brought the highly-anticipated announcement of Circuit, previously known as Project Ansible. Circuit defined and delivered a completely new category of technology for the way people and companies want to work, bringing together voice, video, screen sharing, messaging, and file sharing in a single pane of glass, thereby removing the burden of app switching from people so they can focus on collaborating. Following the launch of Circuit, numerous industry players announced solutions for unified communication and collaboration, however Circuit is the industry’s only solution that is not “Frankensteined” together from the parts of other, disparate solutions.
  • Unify announced enhancements to the OpenScape Enterprise and Business product portfolios to provide an enhanced user experience modeled after Circuit, with improved security and reliability. OpenScape Business was scaled to accommodate more than 1,000 users and OpenScape Contact Center Suite was improved to include new analytics, and mobility offerings to support anywhere workers, and the NW2W.
  • Unify unveiled the Unify Partner Program which expands opportunities for partners around the world with Unify’s leading UC solutions portfolio.
  • Customer momentum remained strong, with customers globally across the education, healthcare, public sector, utility, and manufacturing industries choosing Unify to build engaged workplaces and implement the New Way to Work. University of Oxford, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, We Energies, and Palm Beach County are just a few that examples of organizations pioneering new strategies for communication and collaboration, and embracing the NW2W.
  • Unify launched its NW2W Ambassador Program in 2014, honoring business leaders globally who challenge the status quo of today’s business landscape. Jerry Sullivan, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Orlando Utilities Commission, Jabra business solutions leader Holger Reisinger, the City of Mannheim, Germany and the Municipality of Maastricht were all named NW2W Global Ambassadors this year.
  • Unify launched its NW2W Index in 2014, a series of global surveys to learn how workers around the world define the NW2W, and how important flexible work and effective collaboration are to them.
  • Unify won its fifth consecutive 5-star partner rating in the CRN2014 Partner Program Guide.
  • Unify was positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the Leaders quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony” report published October 21, 2014, co-authored by Sorell Slaymaker and Steve Blood
  • Unify was named a “Leader” among 11 of the most significant vendors in The Forrester Wave™ On-Premises Unified Communications and Collaboration, Q2 2014 report, published June 26.

For more information, visit www.unify.com. Additionally, follow the NW2W conversation on Twitter at #NW2W and on LinkedIn.

About Unify
Unify is one of the world’s leading communications software and services firms, providing integrated communications solutions for approximately 75 percent of the Fortune Global 500. Our solutions, including Circuit, unify multiple networks, devices and applications into one easy-to-use platform that allows teams to engage in rich and meaningful conversations. The result is a transformation of how the enterprise communicates and collaborates that amplifies collective effort, energizes the business, and enhances business performance. Unify has a strong heritage of product reliability, innovation, open standards and security.

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