Phil Edholm
Phil Edholm is the President and Founder of PKE Consulting, which consults to end users and vendors in the communications...
Read Full Bio >>

Phil Edholm | April 02, 2015 |


BCOM or Bust

BCOM or Bust UC experts speaking at Enterprise Connect 2015 agree that business communications operations management is quickly becoming a critical success factor.

UC experts speaking at Enterprise Connect 2015 agree that business communications operations management is quickly becoming a critical success factor.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, UCStrategies has identified a new UC category called business communications operations management, or BCOM for short. As expected, BCOM generated a lot of buzz at the recent Enterprise Connect 2015 conference.

For example, a BCOM-related sponsored session drew about 100 attendees. I moderated the session, leading a group of top UC experts -- No Jitter bloggers Marty Parker, Kevin Kieller, Blair Pleasant, and Zeus Kerravala -- in a lively discussion about how the new BCOM offerings can automate the operations of a modern business communications/UC system and help achieve deployment success (find the session audio and slides here).

BCOM Building Blocks
Those of you who weren't able to attend, BCOM supports the integration of a wide range of lifecycle events in order to drive configurations across enterprise communications platforms and systems. BCOM solutions are multiapplication, multidevice, multivendor, multisystem, multitenant, and multiregion. In addition, they offer comprehensive integration to business and user lifecycle change events (see schematic, below).

UCStrategies has defined business communications operations management, or BCOM, as a critical new capability.

And, as Parker noted during our session, BCOM enables the critical process of identifying use cases and delivering solutions through profiles.

"Today about 50% of the total five-year ownership cost of a communications solution is the staff time required for operations and management, a percentage that has been increasing as licensing and hardware costs decline. Reducing this operational time to free up resources for communications innovations should be a priority," said Parker, who is UCStrategies co-founder and principal of UniComm Consulting.

Improved Availability, Greater Adoption
One area of focus for BCOM is reducing the errors that have come with the explosion in lifecycle change events as well as the need to interface with multiple systems and vendors to implement a change. This exponential growth in both sophistication and complexity is driving a significant number of errors, some of which impact users. "Configuration errors during the operations process are a critical issue in UC today," said Kerravala, who is principal at ZK Research. "In fact," he added, "30% of outages are caused by configuration errors and increasing. For UC adopters, addressing this issue is very important."

Clearly, assuring accuracy and repeatability in changes and configurations is critical both to availability as well as for user acceptance.

Adoption and use of the new advanced business communications capabilities is often a challenge. If new systems are slow to be delivered or improperly configured, users will turn to external options, reducing the use and return on investment of new systems, said Pleasant, another UCStrategies co-founder and principal analyst at CommFusion. "Success in UC is often dependent on adoption of new capabilities and the impact on the business. BCOM enables staff to move beyond the challenges of operations to focus on enablement and adoption, while avoiding errors and delays that reduce both user satisfaction and adoption," she explained.

Another major topic that came up in the panel discussion was the need for multivendor support and the challenges of having employees highly trained across multiple systems. While this often is part of ongoing operations, it can become especially critical during migrations, said Kieller, who is a partner with EnableUC.

"We are seeing a large number of customers migrating to Skype for Business (Lync), but retaining their existing voice infrastructure for an extended period. The operations and configurations in these transitions is challenging, and the tools that BCOM provides are essential to a successful transition and changes," he added.

Bolstering Success
While the speakers noted the importance of additional management functions like monitoring and assurance, they strongly agreed that BCOM is a critical component in any sophisticated UC deployment today. It needs to be a consideration for anyone deploying a new business communications or UC system.

The BCOM topic also surfaced during another session, "EC Summit: Managing in a Software-Intensive World." During this session, Chris May, Voss vice president of business development and product marketing, and Phil Moen, Unimax CEO, also talked to the value of operations and configuration in the success of the business communications solutions. One of their key points was that highly trained communications engineers must look at BCOM as the toolset that lets them move from mundane process chores to focusing on the new areas of business enablement and adoption.

Overall, Enterprise Connect discussions made clear that anyone managing business communications should be considering BCOM as a success factor. If you're interested in learning more about BCOM, you can find more information in the UCStrategies article, "Introducing Business Communications Operations Management (BCOM) - A New Management and Operations Paradigm."


March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
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 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.