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Collaboration Predictions for 2010

In “Collaboration Predictions for 2010,” Cisco’s Senior Vice President for our Voice Technology Group Barry O’Sullivan provides a view of prospects for collaboration markets in the coming year that emerged over the course of 2009. Barry’s global team is responsible for developing the company’s IP telephony systems, IP phones, customer contact solutions, and unified communications applications including presence, messaging, conferencing, business-to-business unified communications, and customer collaboration. Click here for the full xChange Magazine story or read below.

Here, then, are Cisco’s 10 predictions for 2010:

1. Enterprise Collaboration Suites Converge – today’s disparate text (IM, email, social software), voice (telephony) and video (desktop, room-based and telepresence) solutions begin to converge this year as leading vendors release combined solutions promising further productivity and total cost of ownership gains. Early adoption by industry leaders will begin in the middle of the year and accelerate in the second half of the year.

2. Video Goes Mainstream – many organizations will maintain reduced travel budgets by investing in and promoting the use of a variety of real-time, high-definition video solutions, as well as on-demand offerings. Video usage will be pervasive throughout business. Additionally, simplified internal video sharing capabilities will support the growing use of recorded webcasts for time-shifted one-to-many communication.

3. Intercompany Communication and Collaboration – larger organizations will seek to apply the same productivity enhancements they found for their employees amongst their networks (e.g., suppliers, distributors, agents). We will see rapid standards evolution and product innovation to support demand for intercompany collaboration with secure text, voice, video, and presence capabilities.

4. Smartphone Acceleration Continues – global mobile subscriber numbers will grow and smartphone adoption will accelerate faster than regular non-smartphones. By the end of 2010, a significant number of mobile subscribers will use smartphones, as features and applications only available on one or two devices become more broadly accessible at lower price points.

5. Select Emerging Market Acceleration – larger organizations in India and China will accelerate growth fueled by their economies returning to higher global export and domestic demand, as well as local infrastructure investments. In response, they will look to leap-frog developed-economy competitors through strategic use of technology including unified communication and collaboration solutions for distributed workforce productivity. Most notable, though, will be continued mobile phone adoption; subscriber growth across India and China in 2010 will exceed the total U.S. population.

6. Consumerization of IT – the trend toward employee-directed technology spending will continue as IT departments embrace community-support models and begin to experiment with creative budgeting solutions that recognize and further empower the “prosumer.”

7. Connected Device Proliferation – in addition to the smartphone adoption, an increasing number of mobile computing devices will support employee collaboration. The fourth and fifth generation of netbooks will be released, offering, amongst other features, larger screens and native dual-boot for reduced time-to-collaboration. Additionally, we’ll see more creative bundled pricing models as carriers seek to capture more share of an increasingly mobile workforce.

8. Voice and Video Stream Interpretation – we will see significant enhancements in real-time and historical analysis of voice and video streams particularly in the areas of transcription and key-word spotting. These enhancements will lead to a host of new technology that allows for the development of applications supporting more responsive (conversation trend analysis) and productive (real-time language translation) organizations.

9. Policy – organizations will look to standardize the application of policy rules across the enterprise in response to tightening regulation and the ever-broadening complexity of the IT environment (driven, in part, by the a few others trends mentioned earlier in this post, such as smart phone adoption, the consumerization of IT and intercompany collaboration).

10. Customer Collaboration – organizations will continue to evolve the way they interact with their customers, responding to the ground swell of demand for consumer / vendor engagement in public arenas such as social networking sites and specialized forums. We expect to see early majority adoption of social customer care (what we call customer collaboration) solutions among larger organizations.

While we can’t be certain that the world will see a broad economic recovery in 2010, we believe that many organizations will re-launch investments that had been underway in mid-2008. In addition, more forward thinking CIOs will build on the productivity gains they realized out of necessity in 2009 to increase their lead over competitors.

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