Besides presence, audio quality is another obstacle to effective UC. "While audio quality potential is already available, we usually don’t get quality because of bandwidth," says Kannappan. Data packet transfer is the issue.
Plantronics, which has about 70% of the global B2B headset and UC market, solves this bandwidth-related audio quality problem through arithmetic algorithms - both in its firmware and software.
The UC market is still in the early adoption stage, especially in Asia, according to Kannappan. "It will take a while for UC to be fully adopted as a mainstream technology. It’s already seeing gradual growth. [I believe it’s because] young people are used to applications such as Skype and are comfortable working with headsets and UC tools."
Upbeat about the UC market, Kannappan believes it is just a question of timing: PABX and other landline systems will see technology refresh over the next few years, and when key customers are already on the 'open federation' UC standard, other companies (suppliers, customers, and others in the value chain) will find it effective and useful to be on the 'open federation' platform as well.
In fact, in Asia Pacific, UC has seen significant uptake among:
Natural resource extraction operations, such as mining and energy exploration. Hazardous travel conditions and remote working are key factors requiring effective UC tools.
Contact centers in areas such as the Philippines, where typhoons and other disasters mean staff would have to work in disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC) mode, usually remotely.
Businesses where collaborative discussions among colleagues are critical - regardless of location.
The financial services industry, where current market growth is leading to an increase in HR requirements. With real estate a serious cost factor in many cities in the region, mobile and remote workers can be provided with UC tools, so there is no need to increase office space or for redesign of existing facilities.
Plantronics launched several new UC products at its 50th anniversary celebrations and the opening of its new Asia Pacific hub.