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UC Obstacles: It's Not the Technology...or Is It?
First the disclaimers: this isn't a bash or pointing fingers at the users, or "it's always the users," and it's not a slam on the technology. I don't like buggy software, but some IT guru said before, "deal with it!"
We need to take a giant step back and look into the circle of human behavior. Without sounding like an old fashioned manager of sorts, a little empathy does go a long way. Our culture is one designed around the automobile. Our country is mobile unlike many others and when we do want something, someone or to go somewhere - well, we just do it. So for the engineers, designers and all you UC gurus -please realize that our culture is designed around the car. Henry Ford would love hearing this.
Secondly, we've been deluged with bozos using their wireless intercom/paging feature publicly talking about a jobsite, a customer and even loved (or not so loved) ones with gory details that we'd rather not hear at all. Then, we've witnessed in some states the banning of cell phones while driving and my guess is that text messaging will be on the list next. Point in brief is that whatever you folks are developing, consider safety and well-being of not just the users but those that are surrounded by fools that think they have the skills of an airline pilot while operating their motor vehicle and all their tech gear simultaneously.
Next, I want to point to research that identifies the mounting costs of repairing our nation's infrastructure. These costs include our highway system. Our state and federal governments are tinkering with new ideas to raise money to pay for these improvements and at the top of the list is charging for use of roadways -pay as you go tolls, which is nothing new. I favor the idea of not paying elected officials a salary at all until we see positive results and proof of them, then, they would get paid a modest salary of a public servant and receive a signed certificate of achievement to hang on their wall. Of course this has nothing to do with the former.
How much an impact does UC have on defraying these costs, along with costs to the workers that commute daily to and from their places of employ? I can find clever gadgets and gizmos to reduce energy or even make my own energy, but the bigger savings are yet to be realized by technology that, really, everyone is still only tinkering with. Until we see mass deployments, and barriers to entry removed, UC remains at the top of hopefuls that can, I think, make a significant difference in greening people in how they work and live in ways that won't set them back or force them to give up something sacred or give into something that seems untraditional.
If UC proves successful, then maybe there will be some leftover dollars to fix the cellular service in this country. No more "can you hear me now?" It's still a question and the reality is our cell service - well, excuse the language - sucks. Again, pointing back to infrastructure-- and cellular service is a part of our national infrastructure - getting it right and keeping it right will have a positive impact in the greening of our nation. Our best interests lie in telecommunications and until we have a resilient infrastructure, we will spin our wheels, burn fuel and resources and come out behind the rest of the world.
I don't think the solution is to build more roads and generate new ways of taxing or charging folks in an attempt to alter their ways of doing things. Instead, wouldn't it be cool to see UC applied outside of work and incorporated into our lives in meaningful ways? Don't get me wrong -I like my bubble and space just as much as the next guy. Isn't there a greater value in providing humans, that are in fact mobile -with better tools to do things related to work and pleasure all the time, anytime and at any place? UC could be very green, it should be - when? Maybe sticking Microsoft inside of Ford vehicles isn't such a bad idea after all.