Akhavan at CeBIT

by Dave Michels

At CeBIT 2012, Siemens Enterprise Communications CEO Hamid Akhavan summarized the the value of having UC embedded in everyday workflows and processes. There is a lot of opportunity in harmonizing communications media, devices and systems to achieve a more agile, responsive, collaborative and efficient workforce.

I agree with him that UC is frequently framed as just a point solution, such as instant messaging, or requiring a ‘rip-and-replace’ scenario. During his keynote, Akhavan also provided several real-world customer examples to emphasize how enterprises are choosing and working to realize the full promise of UC. The goal of UC should be making the system work better and deploying it in a way that allows enterprises to achieve improvements in productivity and customer service while simultaneously decreasing communication costs.

Akhavan stated several trends in the enterprise: consumerization of IT has driven into the enterprise the requirement of seamless mobility, social collaboration and an improved user experience. At the same time, flexible deployment options such as cloud or hosted offerings provide greater access to communication tools while still delivering the security and reliability CIOs demand.

Siemens Enterprise Communications just announced several updates to OpenScape including  improvements in mobile federation, UC functionality, and scalability.

Separately, Akhavan said if there in no significant deterioration in market confidence, the company will launch an initial public offering in the United States in the second half of this year. The US is his first choice partly because The Gores investment group based in the US owns 51%  and partly because technology stocks tend to get a better valuation than comparable companies in Europe.  Siemens AG holds a 49% interest. Akhavan said they would likely use the proceeds from the offering for acquisitions.

CMO, Chris Hummel will be speaking at Enterprise Connect later this month.