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T.G.I. UC Friday

UCStrategies is a group of four analysts/consultants that we've been working with since before anyone coined the term UC. It was at VoiceCon Spring 2006 that I first met with Marty Parker to plan UC content for our upcoming Fall show; we'd run a successful conference-within-a-conference on Contact Centers at the Spring event, and we decided to do something similar on this emerging concept of combining communications applications and integrating them with desktop apps.

At that VoiceCon Spring, Microsoft had tipped its hand when Eric Swift of Microsoft snuck a last-minute slide into his presentation. That slide quoted a Gartner report entitled, "Is the PBX An Architectural Dead-End?" A few months later, Microsoft had announced OCS and the battle was on.

Marty had gotten together with three colleagues to form, and we've worked closely with these fine folks as this industry segment has evolved. So here's a quick introduction to the UCStrategies team that will be turning up here on Fridays to talk UC:

* Jim Burton--Jim is president of CT-Link consultancy and has been one of the driving forces in attempting to define and shape the UC field.

* Marty Parker--Marty is a pioneer in the messaging community and has been one of the real thought leaders in UC. He and Don Van Doren have together started UniComm Consulting.

* Blair Pleasant--Blair is the very cool president and principal analyst at CommFusion, and she's helping to gather and sift the data to help us get a handle on what the UC market looks like: Who are the vendors, who are the buyers, what are the products, and--most important--is anyone buying those products yet?

* Don Van Doren--Don is president of Vanguard Communications and the top Contact Center analyst we know. Contact centers are a huge market opportunity for UC, maybe the leading one, so Don's expertise is particularly relevant here, though that expertise extends beyond contact centers.

So that's the UCStrategies group. As I mentioned, all of our community is going to be blogging about UC, but these four analysts have agreed to use Fridays as a time and No Jitter as a place for a little deeper dive on the issue. I hope you'll keep checking it out.