Unified Communications – Barrier for success

I was discussing the growth of Unified Communications (UC) and the barriers for success the other day, and I realized that there are actually many comparisons between UC and the success of the telephone.

At the moment, nearly every software or device vendor around UC is aiming for THEIR standard. All run on industry standard like HS232, H350 and SIP v1 and SIP v2. But what is every odd, is none of these vendors co-operates to connect their software or devices together. As an example Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007 R2 – a very interesting solution – cannot have a video conference with Cisco’s WebEx? Cisco’s WebEx cannot communicate with the video feed of Skype, but Skype can call Cisco Call Manager through SIP and PSTN, but not connect to a Microsoft Unified solution – unless a system is in between.

When the birth of the telephone began, only switch boards were needed to connect one system to another. I see a need in the market of “virtual switchboards’” before the UC hits the success barrier.