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FMC hype fading; tech needs a new focus

Industry analysts have warned that as the hype over fixed mobile convergence (FMC) begins to fade, the industry must shift the focus of the technology from cost savings to productivity in order for adoption to take off.

Analyst house the Yankee Group said this week that even though the publicity surrounding FMC is being succeeded by more recent developments, the technology still has strong potential to shake up the communications market for enterprise voice and mobility. But uptake will only be driven by shifting the focus to FMC’s features, rather than its potential for cutting costs.

Today, FMC is sold with a focus on reducing cost for the enterprise, but with the subtext of productivity benefits for the end user. Yankee acknowledges that a consequence of shifting to a feature focused approach is that FMC will not be the growth driver many carriers expect but it will instead become a necessary feature in carrier portfolios.

According to Yankee, only 2 per cent of European enterprises have deployed FMC and this number is even lower in the US and Canada. Competition from alternative initiatives, technological immaturity and reduced priority placed on voice communications by IT decision-makers have contributed to this perception and low adoption rate, the analyst said.

“The FMC hype was a bit premature, but the day is not far off when FMC will play a major role in the way many people work,” said Brian Kotlyar, research associate in Yankee Group’s Enterprise Research group. “Integrating voice into mobile applications will be the new frontier for FMC. This will enable true differentiation between the FMC offerings of today that revolve exclusively around voice and the FMC applications of tomorrow that will enrich mobile data and increase ‘Anywhere Enterprise’ productivity.”

Yankee recommends FMC vendors revamp their FMC products and marketing to include a focus on worker productivity benefits. In addition, building partnerships with application and integration specialists will also help vendors drive FMC into enterprises more effectively because it will be part of the toolkit they bring to bear on business problems in the enterprise.


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