In a phone interview the other day, the journalist asked me:
Why would Unified Communications change your life?
Without thinking of it and thinking of a smart, catchy and very impressive answer – I mumbled “No”. Was I wrong? I actually does not believe so. Unified Communications will change my work style and make my work more productive and profitable. But it will probably not impact my life – as I always distuingvis between work impact and life impact in terms of quality. Looking at it from the dawn of todays launches in Unified Communications, it will probably make my life more terrible the next 1-3 years.
First of all I will have ½-1 hours more time on my hand everyday, secondly – there is no policies or regulations in terms of how Unified Communications is implemented in the business and how to cope with video-phone-calls, anywhere access and the anoying factor of my presence status now is online, when I but in an Out-Of-Office just to get my inbox to ground zero. Thirdly – not only do I stress to make micro-management Outlook Rules and Policies to arrange everything in folders and search folders (I need to find information FAST, RELIABLE and CORRECTLY; call me a legal junkie, but I like to know my background facts and information in seconds), Unified Communications will also make me shuffle Voice Rules and Policies to serve my possible recipients or senders. At last – my phone will disappear. I just noted the other day that my desk today is very dull;
- A docking station for my IBM Lenovo t400s
- A stand for my Microsoft bluetooth headset
- A picture of my girlfriend (could be digitalized, but why should I miss a lovely face just because Windows fucks up?)
- My Moleskin dictionary of the great people I have met in my live (but also the Black Pages – You probably know if you are in there)
- That it…
No phone. No monitor. No keyboard. Just a white table and very clean. Even the size of the table was brought down to 140 x 80 – just because I now have it all in my pc – Microsoft did it tell the future. IM A PC.
Analysing these facts, does actually not impact my life only my work style. When I know I am a better person, when I know I am getting less ill – when I know I impact my life through Unified Communications. You probably will read it online – of get it as a voice message through Unified Communications 😉
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.
Unified Communications (UC)- It is just another buzz? I will actually beg to disagree, through different compelling factors
First of all, social networking is growing rapidly. Face book is used by 1/3 of all internet users at some point in time, and the tendency of using social networking is growing more and more. The combination of social networking and instant messaging (from ICQ to MSN) give companies a real tool to combine the two worlds, while having a business benefit – I will get back to this later.
E-mail is becoming a pain. Let’s face reality 8 out of 10 people hate e-mails. It is time consuming and people react to the usage like it was a phone. UC have the opportunity to increase the usage of “phone style” communication, while having the benefits from e-mail by record tracking and presence information.
A new research shows that normal face-to-face meeting of an average of 1hour, 20 minutes is being reduced to 40 minutes while using online meeting facilities (WebEx, Live Meeting etc.). This is very compelling and gives every company a direct solution to lower meeting costs, not only on travel expense, but purely on increased business productivity.
So why does this suit SaaS?
The majority of all UC solution is either expensive in implementation and hardware/software, and often the deployment of Unified Communications is scheduled over a long implementation period, and the groups of innovators in companies are the movers of the technology and the adoption is long from the laggards. SaaS enabled you to soft-ramp implement the solution, as a low-entry cost and having the lever to turn down the whole project if the organization turns down the solution.
Enterprise is on the move for SaaS. Unified Communications is a SMB/Enterprise tool, where the usage and business increase is most compelling. Enterprise companies demand on-demand (SaaS) offering, where UC fits perfect with a true service oriented solution.
Let’s not UC with video conferencing, but Unified Communications is here to stay, as an experience for companies, organizations and groups. The technology still pushed new boundaries and we often see new areas of usage – online doctor meetings, assistance for car problems etc. With the move of mobility the wave 2 of UC will be initiated.