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UC vs. Presence Awareness
Over at our sister site, Information Week/Tech Web, David Strom identifies what he considers to be the 5 major tech trends for 2008. What caught my eye was how he frames the issue of communications.
Over at our sister site, Information Week/Tech Web, David Strom identifies what he considers to be the 5 major tech trends for 2008. What caught my eye was how he frames the issue of communications.To get a sense of the context, here's David's list:
* Virtualization Now
* Apple And Cross-Platform Shops * Video Over IP Networks
* Outsourced Data Centers
* Presence-Aware SIP Applications
Note that he doesn't go for the easy, "Unified Communications" tag, which I think is significant. And yet, that last bullet point gets at the same thing we all think of as UC's main benefit:
Our final disruptive application for the coming year isn't just about instant messaging or VoIP, but the glue that holds them together in what cognoscenti call "presence awareness." There is a growing number of applications and vendors delivering products that figure out what the user is doing in any given moment and make it easier to communicate or route work flows.
He's talking about productivity, which is the great calling card for "UC," but he clearly understands that, in 2008, it's still unlikely that many enterprises will buy something called "UC." Discrete technology functions, like presence awareness, look like they'll meet business needs. And the SIP-based systems that you implement for these purposes may be the foot in the door for a range of other UC applications/capabilities. Check out this quote that David has:
"The idea is to create a combination of applications that can be used by call centers and take business processes and alleviate a lot of human latency and error," said Mark Damphousse, CTO of Trinet Systems. These applications can often bridge the transition from an older telephony PBX to a newer model that supports VoIP, too.
In this view of things, that combination of applications is the horse, and the "newer model that supports VOIP, too [emphasis mine]" is the cart.
That's the CIO-level perspective. The question is, will the applications really set the pace for the infrastructure, or will the infrastructure replacement cycle drive the pace at which the applications can be deployed--and how much will the state of the economy affect this whole situation?
When it comes to David's bullet point on video, I have to quibble with citing a TV production company as your case study for enterprise. Still, it's undeniable that there will be more video running across your network this year than last, and that you'll be challenged to protect the network from the video, probably more than protecting the video from the network.