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IBM predicts five communications trends


IBM predicts five trends will increase demand for unified communications. The company foresees these trends as reshaping the way businesses and workers communicate and collaborate.

The predictions, outlined in a speech by Mike Rhodin, General Manager of IBM Lotus software, at the VoiceCon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., are:

* The virtual workplace will become the rule. Desk phones and desktop computers will gradually disappear, replaced by mobile devices, including laptops. Social networking tools and virtual world meeting experiences will simulate the feeling on being there in-person.
* Instant messaging and other real-time collaboration tools will become the norm, bypassing e-mail.
* Companies will go beyond the initial uses of instant messaging and will integrate IM with business processes and line-of-business applications.
* Interoperability and open standards will tear down proprietary walls within business and public domains. Corporate demand for interoperability and maturing industry standards will force unified communications providers to embrace interoperability.
* Meetings will become increasingly ad hoc and instantaneous based on context and need. 3-D virtual world and gaming technologies will have a significant impact on online corporate meeting.


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