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Google Possibly Entering the Unified Communications Industry

Andy DeAngelis
August 23, 2012

8/23/2012- Votacall Hosted VoIP & Cloud Based UC Solutions- Boston, Massachusetts- There is some discussion and debate whether or not Google is a Unified Communications provider. The old PBX industry has been replaced by Unified Communications and have continued to develop everyday with better technologies emerging. Unified Communications is such a broad term that relates to a vast array of products and services offered by providers. As most people know, Google has a wide variety of products and services and is a huge conglomerate with its hands in many pies. Since the company is so diversified, it is hard to imagine that none of its products/services fall under the Unified Communications (UC) sector.

Yes, Google does not offer much in the way of hardware products, but they have a bunch of software that adds to certain hardware devices. The issue remains what people think of UC and where it is headed in the future. Many terms involved with the industry are mobility, collaboration, video, APIs, Speech recognition and HTML5; they can all be found within Google's list of strategic priorities. Google is 15 years old and ever changing, they have the ability to adapt to the technology markets because of vast resources and a next to none research & development team. Their research has given them a solid product line that has allowed them to achieve a market cap similar to Microsoft, and far larger than the leading UC market share leaders Avaya and Cisco Systems.

Google's Android own 68% of the global soft-phone market, beating out competitors Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Microsoft. This product works on the tablet and smart phone sectors and has the ability to continue to grow. Steve Jobs stated the iPhone was "Five years ahead of its time." and he may have been correct. However, 5 years later we see significantly less advantages of the iPhone compared to the Android and other competitors as they have apparently caught up. The Android software, powers Cisco system's tablet the Cius which was recently abandoned and Avaya's Desktop Video Device. It also can be found in a range of electronics from TVs to IP phones, generating a massive market share and revenue number.

With the addition of Google Voice, Google has the ability to further develop a UC sector. The companies idea is to complete the development of this feature in hopes of applying it to an old PBX system. With this combination, an old system could be up to date with Unified Messaging and all the latest UC, mobile configuration, voicemail to email and many other features most Cloud Communication and Hosted VoIP Providers offer. Google Voice needs development or an addition to become successful.

Google Video could be the right combination, with video and voice this could turn into a UC mainstay. Google Talk is supposedly going to be replaced with Google Hangouts which already offer IM video with over 10 participants possible. This could incorporate a conference call between employees around the globe, similarly to Avaya's and Cisco's video conferencing products. A cool feature is that these video's can be broad-casted across YouTube and be watched and stored from anywhere. This service would be offered across tablets and smart phones in addition to computers, to help maximize its affect on the UC community.

Google App is designed to be the business aspect of Gmail in an attempt to generate revenue. Within these services, a user can utilize google Docs which is designed to attack and compete with Microsoft Office. The benefit is the documents can be uploaded and edited from anywhere, creating a UC function which can out perform competitors with simple data storage. Google Chrome can access these services and is functional on all computer facets (PC, Apple...).

As spoken about before, the research and development Google commits to allows for all these things to happen. With constant technology being pushed out of Google, there is no reason to say they cant become a Unified Communication provider in the future. However, with all the products and services already available, they do offer some UC facets and could be considered a provider. They have such a diversified product/service base, therefore their market cap is massive; allowing for lots of revenue and profit to be generated. With all this revenue, Google can afford to develop and launch new lines of services that can officially enter the UC industry. In the next couple years we may see google become a serious UC power, possible competing with Avaya and Cisco Systems in the future.

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