Say goodbye to PBX

Microsoft's Unified Communications has marked a new era in business communications, and it is fast replacing traditional hardware-based phone systems including desktop phones and the legacy PBX, according to local Microsoft Unified Communications specialists Galdon Data.

The Company's director Garry Ackermann says within the next three years, more than 75 per cent of new business applications will include embedded unified communications. "The reality is that plain business calls will become outdated with more than 50 per cent of Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) calls incorporating more than just voice."

Three years ago, business communications technology began the transformation from technology silos into an integrated software platform. Now, Microsoft's Unified Communications software has been adopted broadly by millions of customers. Forrester Research estimates that the market for unified communications software will grow to $14.5 bn (about R120-bn) by 2015.

Microsoft's UC includes a complete communications solution with full enterprise telephony. It is a familiar and powerful way to communicate and collaborate using a sleek, simplified Communicator client that works with Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Server and Microsoft Exchange; and a versatile platform that allows customers to embed communications in applications.

In addition, customers will be able to use instant messaging, presence and other capabilities of the software both on-premises and in the cloud with Microsoft Office Communications Online.

"With software at the centre, innovation in this industry has accelerated, leading to the introduction of new capabilities that leapfrog traditional hardware-bound communications systems. Customers have flocked to Office Communications Server since its introduction in October 2007, because businesses are quickly seeing cost savings and productivity gains," he says.

"In a world where everything hinges on productive communications, it is time for businesses to start seriously looking at unified communications," he concludes.

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