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UC in Troubled Economic Times

* UC can significantly improve productivity in work groups that are mobile or need to collaborate.

* UC can provide radical improvements when communications is integrated into some business processes while providing important competitive advantages.

But if the benefits of UC are clear, there's still a lot work needed on how the industry communicates with the marketplace. All of the vendors I talk to agree that UC isn't getting the attention with "C" level or with line of business (LoB) executives. They also are concerned about whether their channel partners can make the transition from selling "boxes" to selling solutions that improve business processes.

These aren't new problems, and they're only going to intensify given the current economic climate. And that's really frustrating, because if enterprise execs knew what we know, UC would grow dramatically--in part due to the bad economy.

So, the first step is for the industry to get its act together. We need to reduce the amount of confusion about what UC is and what it isn't. There are always going to be announcements about new products or enhancements, but the vendors, analysts and consultants need to avoid falling into a familiar problem--selling boxes instead of solutions.

The UC industry not only can survive in these troubled economic times, but it can actually expand and grow. However, we need to make some changes in how we talk about UC--its benefits, the realistic payback opportunities and what it can contribute to improving the enterprise's business processes, competitive position and the overall bottom line.

But to achieve that growth, we need to work together. In addition to this newsletter, VoiceCon and have a range of information resources available on our websites: and . I urge you to take advantage of all that we have to offer.