SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Lawrence Byrd
Lawrence Byrd is Director of Unified Communications Architecture and helps define and communicate Avaya's intelligent communications strategy. Lawrence has eighteen...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Lawrence Byrd | March 27, 2009 |

 
   

The Coffee Button: My Favorite UC Feature

The Coffee Button: My Favorite UC Feature This button on my mobile phone automatically picks up my current deskphone call so it's playing in my ear as well as on my speaker phone. Then I go make coffee.

This button on my mobile phone automatically picks up my current deskphone call so it's playing in my ear as well as on my speaker phone. Then I go make coffee.

Unified Communications is about people--it's supposed to help how you and I work every day! This means that UC really has to be flexible--what's important to me may be different from you.By the way, this is why the notion of "who needs more than 35 features" is wrong--applications need to have enough features to meet the needs of different people in very different roles, and for different companies in many different industries. I myself may only use a few--but they have to be there.

My favorite UC feature is my coffee button.

This is the button on my mobile phone which automatically picks up my current deskphone call so it's playing in my ear now as well as on my speaker phone. Then I get up, leave the room and go make coffee, brush my teeth, or let out the dog. I can keep contributing to the call as I need. I tend to get better ideas in the garden, for example--although I'd caution people to make sure they are fully mute-button-dexterous.

A note to phone designers--mute buttons should be four times the size of any other button and be right under one's thumb.

When I get back into my office with my coffee, where the call is still playing on the speaker, I just drop the mobile call. There are no beeps or visible roster changes to others on the call--this is just flexibility in how the call is piped to me.

Now I also use Microsoft or IBM instant messaging all the time on my desktop. I can see everyone's presence and conference call attendance. I have unified messaging, and I am always point-and-clicking from the screen to make calls (dialing numbers manually is weird now). While these other UC features are wonderful, I would give them all up before giving up my coffee button!

I do more with my special feature: it solves the negative-space-time-continuum problem of business these days. This is the problem that there is no longer any time between meetings--in fact, there is negative time; everything overlaps.

Say you just have to get on the next call to say you are there and allow it to start, but you haven't finished the previous call. No problem--I flip the current call to my ear, then hold it on the speaker and dial the next call, say hello on the speaker phone, get the muting right and continue closing out the previous call in my ear. Easy! Both calls are shown on-screen so I can control them, flip back, make more coffee, and so forth.

The important business point here is that organizations deploying UC have to think about real users and their different roles and work practices.

UC is not one-size-fits-all.

So get some help from experts who can help you with an analysis of the roles and needs of your people before deploying UC to ensure you will get real productivity benefits.

And make sure there is plenty of flexibility in the UC solutions you purchase so you get your own coffee button.This button on my mobile phone automatically picks up my current deskphone call so it's playing in my ear as well as on my speaker phone. Then I go make coffee.





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 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.