The problem with communication is the illusion that is has occurred
George Bernard Shaw
We see endless debate on a number of platforms such as Linkedin & Plaxo about the definition of 'Unified Communications' and what often seems like two-way debate between Cisco and Microsoft alone; there is less about usability and what the audience really wants.
Is Unified Communications a debate about technical versions and the 876 bolt-ons via licenses, upgrades, infrastructure and who knows what else? OR should we be looking to learn from the past to move forward in 2011?
Ten years ago, Conferencing was being primarily sold as an internal meeting solution despite its public nature; over time this has become a key medium for the many companies who recognise its worth for external: investor relations, webinars, supplier management, customer engagement, selling, marketing, announcements and many, many more (see Conferencing & Collaboration). With this in mind, we ask: Why is Unified Communications – at least the collaboration element – built primarily for internal business use?? We need to federate users; external joiners have limited, expensive or complete lack of global access - it's 1999 all over again.
To balance this debate, this relatively new concept is by far and away a key priority for IT and quite rightly so, as it offers so many fundamental upsides from a cost perspective as well as end-user gains. As you might expect, every company with a remote touch on technology is offering a 'UC' branded service or product in some way, shape or form.
The TSI squared view is that we need to raise our heads above the technology parapet and look at what we are going to deliver for our users. Many messenger & soft phone applications have been launched and only used with a fractional take up or as a basic 'push the button' concept. We need to move past this approach and consider:
Users' roles not groups or locales and what could they be using UC for?
Do we need this technology today and if we do, how do we execute on usability not just accessibility?
Can we separate the hype of social media from the gain
Unified Communications is about the way people could, should and can communicate. Contact us to discuss this debate; it is a debate on which we have a variety of views.
Please refer to the following areas: