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Monday, July 22, 2013

Ready For Personalized "Business Interactions" With Mobile UC?               

As all forms of person-to-person and process-to person contacts converge under BYOD for multi-modal, mobile devices to accommodate the different needs of individual end users, it is getting more difficult to quantify business communications infrastructure requirements for any organization. That is why there is such a big interest in migrating to “cloud”-based, hosted and managed services, rather than investing in new premise-based telephony systems that is based on the wired PSTN. This is, however, an evolutionary transition for most organizations that have existing legacy PBX and desktop technologies that still work.
The UC Strategies Experts were headed in the right direction when they defined “unified communications” (UC) as “communications integrated to optimize business processes.” That is a fundamental perspective way of the technology for making both person-to-person and process-to-person communication applications more inter-operable and integrated. However, “UC” doesn’t describe what has become even more important to the adoption of technology, i.e., the different user interfaces and modalities for flexibly and seamlessly exploiting all forms of contact and interaction between both people and with automated applications.
“Use Cases” Correlate Business Processes With Specific Types of Involved End Users
Most importantly, it has now become more difficult for organizations to quantify their operational interaction/communication needs (functionality, network capacities, etc.) for their many different end users, both inside and outside the organization. That includes business partners and consumers/customers, as well as different types of employees in an organization. However, the flexibility of private or public network (“cloud”) solutions can help the selective transition of an organization’s existing business communications to the next generation of what I have started to call “business interactions.” Communications flexibility is not just for a particular business process, e.g., often referred to as Communications Enabled Business Processes (CEBP), but must also include the personalized contact and interaction needs between different individual end users involved with that specific process.
One way to plan for that perspective of more flexible and interoperable “business interactions,” is to recognize that most business organizations in major vertical industries have similar business processes that need to integrate with communication applications on a personalized end user basis. That is where BYOD and interaction flexibility comes into play, i.e., each type of end user involved in a key business process needs to be identified in terms of their job responsibilities or “roles”, as well as for the communication facilities that they will utilize. That will also include “customer” roles of consumers, who are part of a business process. This will be the new way that business interaction requirements will have to be defined in order to implement communication flexibility efficiencies for “optimized” business processes.
Start With A “Use Case” Business Process For Its Interaction Needs
While the technology is still developing the new tools for business interactions and marketing is looking for the right term to describe how both end users and automated business process applications will dynamically interact, business organizations of all sizes should start reviewing “who does what” in their high priority business activities. This perspective must now include mobile end users, who will also be more multi-modal and flexible, when it comes to business interactions.
In addition to making and responding to contacts, end users involved in a business process will also need access to contextual information that is always part of a business interaction with both people and automated applications. Finally, start planning on IP-based “click-to-contact” people for all involved end users, using federated presence information for calls or IM to gradually replace legacy phone calls over the PSTN. That’s where telephony is going and the migration is starting now in the "clouds!"

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