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Marty Parker
Marty Parker brings over three decades of experience in both computing solutions and communications technology. Marty has been a...
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Marty Parker | February 10, 2010 |

 
   

UC Now More Than Ever

UC Now More Than Ever In these turbulent times, Unified Communications (UC) is a safe haven where you can find excellent returns from moderate investments.

In these turbulent times, Unified Communications (UC) is a safe haven where you can find excellent returns from moderate investments.

In these turbulent times, Unified Communications (UC) is a safe haven where you can find excellent returns from moderate investments. The turbulence is coming from two directions, economic and technical, and UC is the best response in both cases.Economically, the recession appears to be global and is likely to last for several years based on government forecasts in both the US and European Union. In this situation, companies need to economize, of course, and probably need to adjust their business models. UC solutions can be the answer to these needs. Software-based UC clients, both desktop and mobile, enable tele-working to cut office space costs, as well as telephone tolls and cellular bills. Presence keeps these remote resources visible and accessible. Click-to-communicate or conference via IM, voice, or web-sharing, with video options allows business to proceed as needed without the time and expense of travel. UC has also dramatically reduced costs for external audio, video, and web conferencing services, while improving conferencing experiences using the new software clients.

UC enables extension of the enterprise value chains to include contractors and partners much more easily and effectively. In the past, companies seldom provided their suppliers with telephones and extensions on their PBX, but that's changing: Enterprises increasingly include suppliers and partners in UC applications, whether through guest accounts or through UC federation for presence, IM and click-to-communicate.

UC also enables breakthroughs in business processes, by eliminating communications "hot spots" that often accompany traditional telephone-based methods. With presence and software resource locators, expertise can be found without delay, enabling transaction acceleration and collaboration enhancements. Case studies show this in many industries, with highlights in manufacturing, financial services, health care, and government.

Technologically, this is also a time of great uncertainty. We see forecasts that social networking is the new communications medium, with Facebook replacing meetings and Twitter replacing the coffee break. The Siemens demo of Twitter as a communications console at VoiceCon San Francisco 2009 is just one example of this type of change. We see other new themes in communications such as Cisco's emphasis on collaboration as the new communications paradigm, with major elements provided with WebEx extensions "in the cloud." The future of the PBX is up for grabs, too, driven both by company mergers (InterTel into Mitel, Ericsson into Aastra, and now Nortel into Avaya) and by the evolution to SIP-based service architectures, both of which adjust the product roadmaps. (See Jim Burton's article on the new "SAX" concept.) Avaya Aura Session Manager is one example of this evolution of communications networking and applications.

Selective UC investments make great sense in response to these technology risks. The library of UC case studies provides the proof points of and recipes for UC success. Since almost all UC applications are focused on a specific user group and business process area, the investments can be contained and specific with direct links to the benefits and ROI. Also, most UC products such as IBM Sametime, Microsoft Office Communications Server, Cisco's WebEx, and most of the IP PBX vendor's UC elements (presence, conferencing, video, mobility) can be implemented as overlays to voice infrastructure. This buffers the UC investments from much of the technological uncertainty suggested above.

To learn more about your UC investment opportunities, please join me for two important sessions at VoiceCon Orlando 2010, both on Monday, March 22. In the morning, the "UC Deep Dive" will provide design and configuration details of the most common types of UC implementations. In the afternoon, the "UC Options--Who's Offering What?" session will review the UC offerings and pricing from a dozen leading suppliers. This much information just isn't offered anywhere else. I hope to see you there!In these turbulent times, Unified Communications (UC) is a safe haven where you can find excellent returns from moderate investments.





COMMENTS



April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.