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How Will Mobility Affect Voice-data-video Convergence During the Next Five Years?

Background: With the availability of IP PBX architectures, voice is evolving into more of an application. However, many voice features remain locked behind proprietary platforms. As enterprise mobility emerges with the adoption of standard interfaces, it will join with other applications through technologies such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and service-oriented architectures (SOAs), as well as architectures, such as IP Multimedia System. In many cases, much of the added value in the IP PBX proposition will be displaced. Video has emerged on the high end, but has struggled to become a widely used endpoint technology.

Impact: The demand for mobility in the office encourages greater use of mobile handsets, which will increasingly become business application interfaces that will render planned integration at the IP telephony level redundant. Companies need to re-examine their planned hardware investments for voice, data and video convergence. Overall, mobility extends or refines business applications, adding the attribute of "anywhere, anytime operation." Mobility also closes the loop, making automated processes more continuous, because they no longer pause when mobility enters the equation.

Summary of Planned Research: Coverage will include extensive monitoring of the changing role of the PBX and the potential displacement of wired devices with wireless, emerging unified communications (UC) products, new vendors bringing convergence between the mobile operator voice systems of the cellular world and the PBX world, and new networking technologies, such as Wi-Fi. Call centers and organizational units that often benefit from voice decisions will receive extensive coverage. Microsoft's entry into the voice market will receive coverage as a new approach, but Microsoft has little voice experience. We will also cover trends in videoconferencing. [Gartner]

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