Mumbai, Mar 19: IBM today announced a major new initiative for the unified communications market, expanding at 38 per cent annually.
Unified communications seen as a next significant frontier for technology growth is estimated by IDC to emerge a USD 17 billion market by 2011. The IBM new initiatives include a wide range of investments, product and technology advances and collaboration with leading clients and business partners, the Company said in a release here.
IBM's software and services offerings make it easy and intuitive for users to enjoy the benefits of unified communications and collaboration capabilities. IBM's goal is to make it easy for people to find, reach and collaborate with others through a unified user experience.
IBM said that next year, the proliferation of IBM software and services enabling anytime, anywhere productivity will expand across devices from desktops and laptops to a range of devices from the likes of RIM, Apple, Sprint-Nextel and Symbian and across major platforms including Mac, Windows and Linux. Soon, the capabilities of the office will be available to users regardless of their device or location.
IBM's strategy combines unified communications -- the convergence of information technology and telecommunications -- with collaboration to enable a wide range of innovations that can change the way people work together. IBM sees a future in which sweeping changes will reshape the way businesses communicate and collaborate worldwide across the private and public sectors.
IBM predicted five major trends that will propel demand for unified communications and collaboration over the next five years.
They include the Virtual Workplace, Beyond Click-to-Call to Communication Enabled Business Processes, IM and other real-time tools and proprietary, ''Walled Garden'' business models giving way to open interoperability across businesses and public domains.
To meet the demand for these shifts, IBM is investing significantly in a range of resources. IBM Research is currently exploring a growing number of social and collaborative software projects with over 70 researchers dedicated to this work in eight research labs worldwide.
In 2008, over 1,300 IBM software developers and technical experts will make innovative contributions to unified communications. New technical skills programmes for IBM developers are being used to help accelerate software development, including teaching of eclipse-based development. In addition, IBM's Venture Capital Programme is working to identify and fuel promising new innovations in unified communications.