Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
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Beth Schultz | March 26, 2015 |


Finding a Fix for the 'Un-Unified' Nature of UC

Finding a Fix for the 'Un-Unified' Nature of UC Oracle executives see the need to make communications integral to enterprise apps of all sorts.

Oracle executives see the need to make communications integral to enterprise apps of all sorts.

If your organization has been dragging its feet rather than moving forward on enabling real-time communications for your employees and with your customers, you may just want to step aside before your more savvy competition tramples you.

If you haven't figured this out already, take a moment to consider those dratted Millennials. You know they think and act differently, shunning their noses at email, say, in favor of texting. That's just the attitude Mark Hurd, Oracle CEO, gets from his daughter about his preferred means of communications, he told attendees at Oracle Industry Connect 2015 in Washington, D.C., yesterday.

Today you might find that troublesome, but not so problematic since Millennials only have about 13% of buying power, Hurd said. But the situation gets pretty serious tomorrow, when that percentage creeps up to around 20 to 25%, he added.

Traditional workflows and enterprise applications -- even email -- aren't going to disappear, but they do need to enable real-time communications and collaboration if they're going to stay relevant. As I mentioned earlier this week in my post, "Marching Toward Communications Ubiquity," the cloud, WebRTC, and embedded communications are starting to make new ways of work possible.

Oracle understands the need, as evidenced in the enterprise communications strategy it's crafted around it. "We're not just looking at unified communications, which is your traditional telephony and call center. Our focus is on making communications -- and I mean communications in a very broad sense -- a feature off an enterprise application," Mayank Choudhary, a director of product marketing with Oracle Communications, told me in an interview at Oracle Industry Connect.

As an example, he walked me through a demo of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite, an enterprise application that brings together instant messaging, presence, text messaging, calendaring, and task management in an email environment infused with real-time voice and video capabilities as part of the workflow. "We're all about removing the discontinuity and preserving the context -- all within one app," he said.

As one proof point, Choudhary launched an audio conference from within the suite's Web-based IM client, transferred the call to his mobile, and carried on the conversation from there. Such a scenario showcases how Oracle leverages WebRTC for real-time communications from the browser, as well as showing how other pieces of its communications architecture come into play.

Architecturally, the three big pieces are the network layer, comprising the Oracle Enterprise Session Border Controller and the Oracle Enterprise Communications Broker for connectivity to the PSTN and SIP trunks; the platform layer, which features the Oracle Communications WebRTC Session Controller; and the user layer, which is where the application itself resides. "It uses the platform features and the core network features to provide that seamlessness of collaboration," Choudhary said.

What Oracle wants to do is address the "un-unified" nature of today's so-called UC environments by leveraging new technologies like WebRTC and the all IP-based, secure environments the company can create given the assets it gained via the Acme Packet and Tekelec acquisitions, Brian Kracik, another director of product marketing with Oracle Communications, told me in an interview. "We want to take our software-defined communications core, which is context aware and event driven, and provide the next-generation customer experience, including TCO, productivity, competitive advantage, quality assurance, and global transformation, out to edge."

What it's really about, Kracik said, is "getting the right communications to the right device at the right time."

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