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More on IP-PBXs and UC: Look at the Big Picture
If you take a broader view of communications and think about how you might integrate communications to optimize business processes (UCStrategies.com's definition of unified communications), you will start by looking at the big picture, not just one of the components. Companies need to ask, what is the business problem we are trying to solve or improve - not, do I need to upgrade my PBX? I agree that you cannot run your business today without a PBX, but do you need a new PBX to get the benefits of UC? I am not suggesting that you may not need a new PBX - rather, it's critical to first determine what problem you are trying to solve. You may find that you need a new PBX to solve your problem. Then again, you may find that this is not necessary, saving you a lot of money. I also agree with Allan Sulkin (which is unusual). As you pointed out, Allan and I have been on opposite sides of emerging technology issues for many years. I am pleased to see that Allan recognizes that the PBX is "fading away". The issue here is, when will it fade away? Would you buy a new PBX if you knew the technology was going to change in the next 2, 3, or 5 years? According to Allan's article, he sees "the next step: federated communications systems" era starting in 2010. I would suggest that it has already started. VoiceCon Fall in San Francisco will have an update on this topic. I am not trying to convince companies that may not need a new PBX. I am arguing that UC changes the way enterprises should look at making communications technology acquisitions. Look at the big picture, not just one of the components.