SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dave Michels
Dave Michels is a Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. His unique perspective on unified communications comes from a career involving telecommunications...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Dave Michels | September 10, 2015 |

 
   

Overcoming UC Limitations

Overcoming UC Limitations A new breed of tools aims to take the pain out of enterprise communications -- inside and outside the company, across modalities, and in real time.

A new breed of tools aims to take the pain out of enterprise communications -- inside and outside the company, across modalities, and in real time.

While reading a PDF file recently, I wanted to follow a reference to something on page 132. Unfortunately, typing that number into the go-to page function took me to page 116 instead. This is because the software counts net pages, including the ones before the start of page numbering.

We are regularly working around ridiculous limitations of our productivity tools. If I can read the page numbers on the bottom of each page, why can't the reader software do the same?

I spend too much time working around software limitations. Despite the fact that we all have online calendars, for example, we endure a ridiculous mating dance when trying to find a time across organizations, as I wrote in an earlier post, Time to Schedule Calendar Upgrades. The same is true when working with UC tools. Sometimes I can't find the app that's ringing on my PC. I can click-to-dial, but I can't click a PIN code. I can start and stop recording, but can't restart. Rejecting a call on one device just sends it to another device... and so on.

As I've mentioned previously on No Jitter, lately I've been working with several emerging workstream communications and collaboration (WCC) solutions, tools that support real-time and asynchronous communications. While I've written about how WCC integrates into workflow, today I'm tackling how these tools address common UC limitations.

Clientless: Generally speaking, software clients are getting better at synchronizing across devices. This enables something like redial to behave identically across devices. But why bother? With clientless solutions, the need to synchronize is replaced with one entity. Most WCC solutions were born in a browser. Most support WebRTC, but some use browser plugins. WCC solutions will lead the revolution toward clientless communications.

Mobile-First/Cloud-First: As most WCC solutions are designed as cloud services, mobility is an inherent feature as opposed to an add-on. VPN connectivity is not needed. WCC solutions are typically as robust on mobile devices as they are on desktops, and they include encryption.

Native Video Conferencing: To this day, the UC suite is voice, instant messaging, and sometimes video. Video shouldn't be an add-on. UC and video has always been something of a shotgun marriage. The video industry never fully embraced voice, and UC vendors have kind of done so with video -- just not multipoint control units and room systems. Because WCC solutions tend to leverage WebRTC, they tend to start with video. In some cases, audio-only is supported by turning off the camera.

portable
Biba's video-centric WCC workspace

Federation: The UC pitch is that IM will increase communications and collaboration -- and it does as long as it's within the empire. Teams increasingly comprise individuals across multiple organizations. Too often dialing "9" to get an outside line also activates a collaborative time machine, even if involved organizations all use the same high-quality UC platform (hat tip to Microsoft and its Skype for Business federation). Many video vendors were quick to support click-to-join, but collaboration must extend beyond scheduled meetings. WCC solutions are inherently designed to operate across organizations.

Messaging: Frustration is growing with email and voicemail. Being always connected has propelled messaging to the preferred means of communication. Business professionals often consider messaging to be a more polite, effective, and responsive way to communicate than alternative modalities. Messaging options have proliferated; we have consumer-class services such as Apple FaceTime, mobile services such as WhatsApp, prosumer options such as Skype, carrier SMS, and enterprise IM solutions. Though WCC solutions are far from universal, they are more so than the other messaging islands as they work on desks and mobiles, and consolidate conversations with content.

Search: Despite the size of the Internet, searching for content is usually easier than searching an email inbox. Many aspects of our conversations and conversation histories are associated with the device (and disappear forever when we change them). WCC solutions bring our real-time and asynchronous conversations together into a single, shareable repository. Two key features make this repository extremely valuable -- persistence and search.

Discovery: Search works best for the content we know exists, but discovery of new content -- such as finding other people with expertise on a given subject -- is trickier. Enterprises can fill this gap with various tools such as social platforms, intranets, and wikis. Unfortunately, most organizations utilize broadcast email and reply-all as a means of sharing information that could be relevant. UC focuses more on exclusive communications -- a conversation between two people excludes everyone else. Inclusive communications allows open, shareable, and discoverable conversations.

Today, several WCC solutions support real-time and asynchronous communications suitable for individual and team collaboration, as discussed in this white paper that I recently co-authored with fellow No Jitter blogger Zeus Kerravala. These include Acano coSpaces, Biba, Cisco Spark, Interactive Intelligence's PureCloud, RingCentral Glip, and Unify Circuit. No doubt, many more solutions will be launched in the next 12 months -- and I'll be watching.

Follow Dave Michels on Twitter and Google+!
@DaveMichels
Dave Michels on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

December 13, 2017

The two major vendors in the Unified Communications space, Cisco and Microsoft, are both strongly promoting their cloud UC deployments. If cloud UC is on your enterprises roadmap, but you dont want

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
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.