January 20, 2011

Accelerating UC Deployment with a SIP/XML Architecture

  • Zeus Kerravala, Distinguished Research Fellow, Yankee Group
  • On behalf of Avaya

The communications industry has touted VoIP and unified communications (UC) as technologies that can raise the bar on worker productivity and transform the way they collaborate. However, despite much industry hype, most UC applications revolve around basic conferencing services and unified messaging. More strategic UC applications, such as presence and mobile integration, remain near the bottom of the deployment list. This raises the question: If UC has so much corporate value, why hasn't it been adopted more readily?

The answer lies in the underlying architecture used to support UC. Traditional communications systems are highly siloed, closed systems that must be deployed on a location-by-location basis. Although these systems met the communications challenges of our work environment 30 years ago, they cannot scale for today's increasingly mobile and remote work force. To support today's business challenges, a new architecture for communications is required--one that is:

  • Standard: It should be built on industry standards such as SIP and XML to allow for multivendor interoperability and long-term scalability.
  • Loosely coupled: It should be designed as a set of loosely coupled application objects, similar to a company's Web or IP application infrastructure.
  • Three-tier: It should use a three-tier architecture that decouples users and their devices from systems and applications.
  • Centralized: It should deploy UC services and applications centrally and distribute them from the corporate data center over the company network to all remote workers and branch locations.

This report defines UC and the business needs that drive it, raises awareness of the challenges associated with UC deployment and defines what a new UC architecture should look like. Finally, we provide the reader with insights into how best to choose a solution vendor and pursue the next steps in UC deployment.

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1 Comment

As the value of Unified Communications continues to escalate, the challenge now is to make sure that you have an architecture to enable you to take advantage of the features in a standardized and scalable fashion.

This independent paper does and excellent job of providing a roadmap to help you plan and implement this type of architecture.

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