2013 Equipment and Infrastructure UC Trends

UC Year in Review, Part 2

Today, we’ll review some of the 2013 Unified Communications (UC) highlights from the infrastructure and equipment supplier community.  Most of this ecosystem’s efforts focused on product updates and upgrades, although we did see some unexpected twist and turns along the way.

The year started with updates from Toshiba’s VoIP solution, and before the snow had a chance to melt GENBAND announced its "Making Networks Smarter" vision and launched NUViA, a cloud offering that offers unified communications and rich communications services for service providers and partners to brand.

Logitech expanded options for “the last inch” with some new and improved devices, while Avaya beefed up its contact center solutions.  Digium also joined the bandwagon as an infrastructure provider turned service provider with a cloud-based version of the company’s phone system—targeting SMBs.  Avaya added to its collaborative cloud offer, while Mitel released a cloud-based contact center solution. 

A variety of session border controller (SBC) and application server suppliers (including BroadSoft, Dialogic, F5 Networks, and GENBAND) completed interoperability and collaborative efforts.  SONUS also enhanced its SBC portfolio.  GENBAND, Dialogic, and Sansay also launched WebRTC servers / gateways. 

By spring, ShoreTel had introduced the ShoreTel dock and some new phones, as did Digium by launching new appliances intended for its Switchvox portfolio.  Mitel rebranded its portfolio, while Avaya unveiled a new contact center solution along with outlines for a new strategy meant to transform its efforts supporting collabora

A raft of video conferencing news was heard from Avaya, AGT, and Vidyo as they worked to enhance and expand their customers’ video options.  Pexip entered the video conferencing space as a relative newcomer with founders and team veterans from Tandberg and Cisco.

In the heat of summer, Siemens Enterprise Communications revealed its “Project Ansible” defining a transition for its future UC portfolio.  Mitel and Vidyo announced a partnership to team on telepresence integration, while Vidyo and Google announced they are working together on a WebRTC solution.  Polycom upgraded its management system, and NEC upgraded its UC platform.

By fall, Oracle had launched a WebRTC Gateway, while SONUS added over 100 enhancements to its SBC platform. Avaya updated its collaboration portfolio and added a new cloud service. 

Cisco announced the next phase of its vision for collaboration annual Collaboration Summit event, with an emphasis on security, mobility, and a “work anywhere” approach—along with several product announcements, including the Cisco Expressway, Jabber Guest, and some new voice and video collaboration endpoints.

And just before Thanksgiving, Unify, formerly known as Siemens Enterprise Communications, introduced the latest version of its enterprise communications platform with enhancements and new branding with Version 7 of OpenScape 4000 (known formerly as HiPath 4000.)

In our next installment of 2013 UC highlights, we’ll review other trends that weren’t necessarily product or company related, then we’ll look back at our January predictions for the year to see how close we came.  

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