Unified communications in the Cloud promises to integrate voice, video, messaging and applications, according to Telsyte.

Senior analyst, Rodney Gedda, made the prediction during the launch of NEC's Cloud Collaboration product, which delivers unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) through a hybrid on-premise and Cloud model.

Based on the research the analyst firm makes every year into enterprise communications, Gedda said UC-as-a-service "really changes the game" in regards to what people expect from telephony.

"With integrated UC systems, we now have a paradigm shift," he said.

Cloud powered communication

Although Gedda admits that UC was hailed at "the best thing since sliced bread" more than 10 years ago, adoption of the technology only hovered around ten per cent due to cost and complexity.

However, the introduction of the Cloud to the equation has the potential to change that.

"We now have Cisco technology put in the datacentre, and providers such as NEC are offering the services to the customer," he said.

Gedda adds that UC&C in the Cloud essentially takes the idea of enterprise communications "to another level."

"It includes what people expect from telephony, but also has the opportunity to integrate messaging, video and more," he said.

Despite the possibilities behind Cloud enabled UC, Gedda admits that there is still a place for on-premise UC solutions, and that it will be the primary delivery method for the forecasted period.

"Having said that, going with the Cloud enables organisations to have one line where they get their standard communication, in addition to other capabilities enabled though the Cloud," he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.