The secrets to unifying unified communications | #EC16

Wes Durow

During the first day of the Enterprise Connect 2016 event in Orlando, FL, there were plenty of discussions on the topics of Unified Communications (UC) and their prioritization for companies from many different backgrounds and technical focuses.

John Furrier, cohost of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, and Jim Burton, cofounder of UCStrategies, were joined by Wes Durow, CMO of Mitel Networks Corp., to talk about these subjects, the move to 5G and beyond, and the helpfulness of remaining agnostic when it comes to operating environments.

Pushing UC forward

Durow began the discussion with a pragmatic assessment of UC and its specialists. “I think we’ve talked the last 10 years about unified communications, and the reality is that we haven’t unified it,” he said, though he seemed positive on the opportunities for improvement in this regard in the near future. Giving consideration to the improvement of seamless data transitions from one device to another, he felt that “cloud and the transition to mobile are really going to drive that transition.”

For now, finding ways to make blended environments operate in ways that are uniform and effective is one of the top priorities for Durow and his teams at Mitel Networks. With more than 2 million cloud users drawing on its services, his assessment was that the changes were unlikely to slow any time soon.

“It’s not just public cloud environments, but hybrid and private cloud environments, and what we look forward to next is really this transition to mobile cloud,” he said.

Crossing device boundaries

To keep up with these changes, staying several steps ahead of proprietary systems lock-in is essential. Pointing to smartphones being the first and last devices used by people every day, and looking back to the revolutionary emergence of iPhones and their modeling, Durow noted that being able to move smoothly from one device’s system to another’s, without any data incompatibilities or the like emerging as a result, would be key.

“The move to 4G is the first transition point to IP, so we can really natively talk back to an enterprise network,” he said. “5G is just more speed … so all the notions of being able to really do rich, collaborative communications are wiped out. It’s now simply: ‘How do we make that experience intuitive, native and seamless?’”

Looking for where some of the biggest points of disruption could be found, Durow highlighted “this intersection between what the service providers are doing, what the device manufacturers are doing and how it plays back in the enterprise.” Moving past traditional “machine-to-machine” data and on to the “machine-to-person” form is what provoked the most enthusiasm: “That’s where things really, I think, get exciting and start to take off.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Enterprise Connect 2016.

Photo by SiliconANGLE