Telecommunications companies in Australia and New Zealand are set to capitalise on the growing use of UC for enterprise social networks as well as ramping up security offerings next year, according to IDC Australia.
Speaking at an IDC Predictions briefing in Sydney this week, Telecommunications A/NZ associate research director Dustin Kehoe told delegates that he sees UC being used for internal collaboration as well as external collaboration by companies.
For example, Kehoe recently had a discussion with one of the big four Australian banks about its use of internal social networking for brain storming sessions.
The bank has 24,000 users on its internal social network. He said that the bank staff came up with 21,000 ideas with 4000 of those ideas implemented internally by the bank.
“This is the power that enterprise social networks bring to UC,” Kehoe said.
Turning to UC and the contact centre, he said cloud-based social networking sites such as Facebook were acting as a “disruptor” for traditional call centre vendors.
“We see a combination of the multi-channel contact centre. For example, that means using Facebook to do micro-marketing and getting customers to authenticate their details through Facebook to process payments,” he said.
“We’re also seeing mobile apps replacing call centre agents and that is going to happen more next year. It’s all about the multi-channel experience for consumers.”
Drilling down into one of IDC’s top 10 predictions that mobile device management (MDM) will disappear and IT managers will reconsider perimeter-based security he said MDM only solves part of the mobile security problem.
“There are a lot of good MDM solutions out there in the market,” Kehoe said. “However, they only solve the smartphone problem and we are now using PCs, smartphones, tablets and e-readers on multiple operating systems.”
According to Kehoe, many businesses now have end points extending out to the field to accommodate mobile workers.
“The discussions I have been having in 2012 with clients are around re-thinking security. For example, if I am in an airport lounge and it is an unsecured access point and I am trying to access a human resources file, the [security] policy in the network will tell me- sorry Dustin, your access is denied,” he said.
He added that the penetration of telecommunication carriers within the security space has been “very low”.
“We think that the [security] discussion will change in 2013 as carriers will engage with partners or they will buy solutions from vendors.”
Concluding with wireless local area networks (WLAN), Kehoe said this sector could prove to be profitable for telco vendors next year.
“There are some verticals that are 100 per cent dependent on wireless local area networks [LAN] infrastructure to make things happen,” he said.
“In the health industry it is all about application density because voice systems are connected and patient call systems are often connected to wireless LAN.”
In addition, some industries such as the hotel and motel sector were dependent on a fast WLAN in order to retain customers.
For example, Kehoe pointed out that when business travellers check into a luxury hotel they expect clean bed sheets and fast wireless connectivity.
“How many times have you been to a hotel, paid A$30 and you feel like you’re sharing an ISDN connection with 300 other guests?
“Are you going to recommend that hotel even if the breakfast is brilliant? No, you’re going to complain about the Internet experience.”
According to IDC, buying decisions for WLAN will become mature as certain sectors attempt to keep guests and customers happy.
For example, companies will have a discussion about how optimisation and application acceleration can be interwoven into improving the quality of the user experience when they log onto WLAN.
“In 2013 and beyond, organisations are going to spend more time looking at wireless LAN solutions and not just get something cheap, cheerful and fast to connect guests or users,” he said.
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick
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