SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jacques  Pavlenyi
Since joining IBM in 1998, Jacques Pavlenyi has held several positions with key areas of the business, launching web-based data...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Jacques Pavlenyi | June 06, 2011 |

 
   

The Future of Unified Communications is Social

The Future of Unified Communications is Social CIOs are definitely being impacted not just by social business trends, but how these trends are specifically affecting their communications infrastructure.

CIOs are definitely being impacted not just by social business trends, but how these trends are specifically affecting their communications infrastructure.

Lately, I've been seeing an accelerating trend in the Unified Communications (UC) market linking UC with Enterprise 2.0 (or social business). I saw a lot of discussion of this at Enterprise Connect 2011 and at Interop Las Vegas. It's been a topic of discussion with several industry analysts (including reports I've seen from Wainhouse Research, UCStrategies, Forrester, Gartner and others) over the past couple of months. And it's also been confirmed by some new IBM research. The just-released 2011 IBM CIO Study had some insights that showed CIOs are definitely being impacted not just by social business trends, but how these trends are specifically impacting their communications infrastructure:

* 66% of CIOs from top-performing organizations see internal communication and collaboration [emphasis mine] as key to innovation

* 74% of CIOs see collaboration and communication as a key driver in transforming their organizations

This trend is important. As the economy continues to improve (meaning enterprises are focused more on strategic projects vs. pure cost savings), it further implies that UC decisions will also move from a pure cost-savings project to more UC-as-business-transformation project. I like to think of this as the 3rd wave of UC:

* Wave 1: "IP-PBX", focus was on cost reduction and consolidation
* Wave 2: "Unified Communications and Collaboration" ("UCC"), focus is on integrating online meetings, presence, chat and VoIP with more traditional tools like e-mail and business process applications.
* Wave 3: "Social UC"

As the market moves forward, it's time to reposition UC as more social. It's a world where voice and video are not stand-alone tools, but truly integrated with traditional collaboration tools (Wave 2) as well as the newer collaboration tools like microblogging, status updates, and our broader personal and professional social networks.

Imagine you're a sales representative with Spacely Sprockets. You receive a pop-up on your screen: it's an inbound call from Anil, one of your Customer Service Reps. Because you're on your mobile phone with a new prospect and don't want to be interrupted, you park his call. Anil marked his message urgent, so as soon as you are off your call, you get a text of the voice message Anil left. It seems Anil saw a support tweet from one of your best clients, Alexandra, complaining that their last shipment of sprockets was 1,000 units short.

You click to open a video chat with Anil to learn more, and discover something is wrong with the contract. You go into your contracts e-form application, and see that Denise, assigned as the contract lead, is online, so you click to invite her into a 3-way online meeting where you can all review the contract together. Looks like there was a typo in the contract (oops). While Denise corrects the contract, you do a quick search to see who in Shipping supports Alexandra. You find Dan, invite him to the online meeting, and set up a replacement order. From Alexandra's twitter ID, you click-to-call her from your mobile phone. You tell her Spacely Sprockets made an error, and quickly invite her to the online meeting. Alexandra joins from her tablet as she's at her daughter's softball game (that's where she tweeted from, a few minutes ago). From her web browser, she sees the corrected contract, the revised order that will be overnighted, and the 5% discount off her next order you offer her as a thank you for her continued business.

The reality is that we want to be able to pivot between different modes of communications as best fits the business challenge at hand. Younger workers especially use this pivoting technique in their personal lives and increasingly demand it in their work lives as well. When you need to take quick action, voice and video are still preferred communication modes. It's just that we're shifting from 100 years of "interruption culture" to one where voice and video are just two communication modes among many. It's common for people to now tweet or IM you to ask if it's ok to call. In a March 18 New York Times Culture section article, Judith Martin (a.k.a. Miss Manners) was delighted to see the culture shift:

I've been hammering away at this for decades. The telephone has a very rude propensity to interrupt people.





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.