Communications platform as a service is changing the collaboration relationship between businesses and their customers, partners and employees through embedded communications. Traditional business communication and collaboration tools were limited to serve broad use cases, according to Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Brandenburg.
Limited vendor offerings create clunky user experiences and lack the ability to tailor products to fit specific business needs. Now with the programmability of CPaaS and embedded communications capabilities, users are no longer limited to specific vendor products, he said.
CPaaS effectively breaks down the different elements that are integral to business communications and collaboration, such as voice, video and messaging services, and makes them easily customizable. With the help of APIs, these tools can be coded and embedded into business applications to allow organizations to structure their communications around what works best for operations and workflow.
Read more about how Brandenburg believes CPaaS and embedded communications are disrupting legacy communications and collaboration technology.
SD-WAN not a threat to MPLS survival
Though the popular opinion about MPLS seems to be that software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is only a short time away from making it obsolete, Nemertes Research analyst John Burke said rumors of MPLS’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Rather it appears those adopting SD-WAN are planning to keep MPLS in some capacity.
Most organizations will change their strategic plans for MPLS. While not eliminating it entirely, MPLS will likely go from being everywhere in the network to connecting only larger, more critical sites.
MPLS networks have high reliability and are able to differentiate traffic with different needs. The addition of SD-WAN will help keep lower value traffic off the MPLS network, which will help mitigate costs associated with rising capacity needs, he said.
Read more about how Burke says an SD-WAN-MPLS strategy creates a stronger network.
Cisco strategy light on collaboration software offerings
Cisco appears to be falling back on its hardware-driven roots in its latest collaboration product updates, despite a number of software-focused acquisitions. The updates focus heavily on updates to existing video conferencing hardware, new headsets and its Webex Edge architecture, leaving those who were hoping for more software updates feeling underwhelmed, according to Tim Banting, analyst for Global Data.
When Rowan Trollope took over as general manager of Cisco’s collaboration unit, the company seemed to focus more on software in an attempt to follow market trends. Since Trollope’s departure in May, however, Cisco has shared little about its plans for future development. A number of shakeups in senior leadership have also added to the uncertainty surrounding Cisco’s strategy on the collaboration front, Banting said.
While Cisco has stayed quiet about its strategy, competitors like Microsoft and Zoom have been delivering significant software updates. The unified communications market is rapidly changing, and with so much uncertainty around Cisco’s strategy, it’s unclear if it will be able to keep up with the competition.
Read more about Banting’s concerns for Cisco’s software development strategy.