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The global unified communications market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.11% through to 2015, with key factors such as the increasing globalisation of enterprises, and the increasing demand for enterprise mobility set to influence growth.
Unified communications (UC) is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards aka IWB's or Interactive White Boards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax).
UC allows an individual to send a message on one medium and receive the same communication on another medium. For example, one can receive a voicemail message and choose to access it through e-mail or a cell phone.
If the sender is online according to the presence information and currently accepts calls, the response can be sent immediately through text chat or video call. Otherwise, it may be sent as a non-real-time message that can be accessed through a variety of media.
The increasing adoption of smartphones is driving demand for unified communication solutions as these support a mobile workforce. Many UC providers and vendors have integrated mobile support and included features that enhance the use of smartphones in UC.
Key players currently dominating the unified communications market include Cisco Systems Inc., Avaya Inc., Microsoft Inc., and Alcatel-Lucent SA.
For more information on the global unified communications market, see the latest research: Global Unified Communications Market
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