Collaboration not yet a top priority for Latin America, says Informa

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Collaboration in the cloud is not a top priority in Latin America at the moment, but emerging markets could potentially leapfrog to cloud environments quickly, given that many do not have legacy infrastructure, Camille Mendler, principal analyst with consultancy Informa, said during a webinar in response to a question from BNamericas.

Speaking during the webinar, hosted by Orange Business Services and Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Mendler said developed markets are currently leading the charge toward the cloud, particularly the US, Western Europe and some of the more advanced Asian economies.

Eric Schoch, senior director for hosted collaboration solutions with Cisco, said the company believes that collaboration tools will be accessed first in emerging markets via mobile, as it does not make sense to install fixed-line infrastructure.

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"Some of these markets will never have a PBX," Mendler added.

The Informa analyst said collaboration tools are among the first areas of business to be adopted in the cloud, to avoid the depreciation of hardware and due to businesses' interest in merging all of their communications tools onto one platform.

Cédric Parent, marketing director for unified communications and collaboration with Orange Business Services, said younger generations coming into the workforce are accustomed to communicating across unified platforms and will expect the same at work.

He added that it is not only a generational issue, but is also about using the appropriate tool for the task at hand, therefore having all platforms readily available.

"Users want to access capabilities when they choose. They want to be able to use the interface and device they deem to be appropriate at the time," Parent said.

Mendler said that while some 70% of enterprises say they will be using cloud over the next few years, a hybrid model is likely to be used for some time, with companies putting elements of their business in the cloud while keeping other core areas on legacy technology.

Security continues to be a key concern, and that will be a key challenge for IT managers and operators to guarantee over the multiple devices that employees use to access the corporate network.

Cisco's Schoch added that despite all the advantages that cloud can bring with regard to scalability, flexibility, integration and mobility, cost will still be a key factor in the minds of customers deciding to use tools in the cloud.