Copyright (C) Unified-View, All Rights Reserved.
By Art Rosenberg
Months ago, someone started a discussion on LinkedIn about how to define unified
communications to a prospective customer in a simple, understandable
way. You can see all the suggestions tendered at this link:
I didn’t try to read all the comments, but scanned through them
enough to see what is most overlooked in trying to explain what "UC"
really is these days.
I’ll save you the trouble of looking up my comment on that LinkedIn discussion by posting it here.
There were so many comments on this issue, I couldn’t really read them all in this discussion, but what I think most people are missing
is that UC is so dependent on the individual end users involved, and their communication roles in a business process. That means the
individual end user, either as a contact initiator or as a contact
recipient/respondent. Then, it becomes an issue of the individual end user’s
situational and preferential modes of communicating, as well as the
endpoint device capabilities for multi-modal user interfaces and
connections. With the rapid consumer adoption of multi-modal smartphones and tablets, UC-enablement is now a practical reality for everyone and every online application.
As one commentator pointed out, UC was all about her iPhone, which
gives the user the multi-modal flexibility to exploit UC, however it is
supported. Which brings me to the next key point - UC is not just
about person-to-person contacts, but increasingly and explosively to
automated applications that initiate contacts with people. That now
includes online “mobile apps” that exploit smartphones and tablets to
deliver time-sensitive notifications and “alerts” with options for
self-service applications and “click-for live assistance.”
So, with this kind of “BYOD” dependency on mobile devices, the
responsibility of a business organization to support “UC” becomes very
complex and difficult to do with internal, premise-based, hard-wired
resources. It’s all about wireless connectivity and access to software applications of all kinds. Thus, the virtual
“cloud” solutions (private, public) come into play as “virtual platforms” for
UC-enabled (integrated) business process applications that will service
various types of end users with mobile and remote desktop endpoints,
including customers and customer-facing staff (agents, experts) that use
contact center technologies.
The benefits of UC enablement (integrations) remain the
same for business process performance and individual productivity, as suggested over and over again by the various comments, but
when it comes to how will UC be implemented, the game has changed
dramatically. The technology challenge, of course, is how to migrate existing
business processes to the cloud-based, UC-enabled future from existing
legacy technologies, particularly for real-time telephony and video
options. So, don’t start off with explaining how the technology works,
but rather why it is needed and worthwhile doing for changing and improving different end
user communication needs involved with particular business processes.
time-sensitive contacts from or to a person, inside or outside an
organization are important, that’s where the priority “hotspots” can be
addressed with UC-enabled solutions.