Unified comms market is dropping native apps in favour of browser services
The unified communications market is defined by a fragmented product landscape following many years of acquisitions. This signifies a strong and competitive market with a wide variety of solutions, and the investment from large firms means that new developments are frequent.
According to research published in market intelligence service Delta, many UC services are transitioning away from an app-based model to a browser-based one, using progressive web apps and similar.
Of the vendors questioned in Delta, 20 per cent did not have an app-based product.
"I don't see apps as the future," one respondent said. "I see apps as the legacy that was necessary to get us to where we are now."
The CIO in an education organisation told Delta that the app-versus-browser debate had been ongoing for at least five years.
Running services in a browser are mobile-friendly and avoid fragmentation, as all users automatically utilise the same version of a product. Such services are also fast to distribute; they do not require a download, but still have the convenience of native apps with speed, installation to a home screen and gesture controls on mobile. Many are based on HTML5.
However, a blocker to the transition is the ‘resident' nature of apps, which can be alert users to notifications such as calls even if they are not actively running; browser-based services cannot.
The Head of IT at a financial services firm said, "I want a single application. A slight caveat to that is that a lot of vendors are now going web-based as opposed to app-based; so you can load your favourite browser and as long as it works in there - a lot of people are using Chrome, and if it works on Chrome then you can run it on everything, because Chrome is already available on desktop and every mobile."source computing
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