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Why UC Needs Improved Operations Management

UCStrategies has identified a new category in the business communications/unified communications landscape, what we're calling business communications operations management, or BCOM. As the name suggests, products within this category automate and simplify the challenge of managing today's increasingly sophisticated communications environments.

The reasons why organizations require BCOM are clear. UC solutions are getting increasingly sophisticated and advanced, wrapping in mobility, new modalities like video and instant messaging, and new capabilities like presence and applications integration. As this happens, telecom teams face the daunting challenge of keeping up with an ever-increasing velocity and sophistication of operational management.

In the new UC systems, changes happen 10 to 100 times more frequently than in legacy telephony-only systems -- often driven by a wide range of lifecycle events that mirror evolving business and user needs. On the management front, however, many organizations have not been able to keep pace with the rapidly changing UC and advanced business communications environments. Rather, they still heavily rely on manual configuration processes and simple directory integrations, creating significant issues in cost, errors, and adoption.

Multifaceted Tools
As defined by UCStrategies, BCOM supports the integration of a wide range of lifecycle events in order to drive configurations across enterprise communications platforms and systems. "Multi" is a key characteristic of BCOM solutions -- they are multiapplication, multidevice, multivendor, multisystem, multitenant, and multiregion. In addition, they offer comprehensive integration to business and user lifecycle change events.

BCOM solutions are potentially critical in organizations moving from the simplicity of traditional telephony to the sophistication of modern business communications/UC systems. They can help an organization reduce cost by effectively managing resources, dramatically reduce errors in configurations and changes, enable integrations of multiple vendors and vendor migrations, and reduce the burden of routine events on staff members so they can focus on successful implementations, improving user adoption, and new capabilities that increase business effectiveness.

A Vendor Trio
In a press release yesterday, UCStrategies identified three vendors leading the delivery of BCOM into the UC marketplace today: Kurmi Software, Unimax Systems, and Voss Solutions. Naturally, the companies are excited about UCStrategies' recognition of BCOM as a new UC category to watch. As Mike Frayne, Voss CEO, said:

"While companies like Voss, Unimax, and Kurmi have been in the market for over 10 years, the steady growth in UC adoption and smart user devices has meant that BCOM solutions have become a critical enabling technology. This recognition of the BCOM category reflects the standard technology adoption curve -- as UC evolves into the mass adoption stage, so the industry's focus moves from the application technology to operational efficiency."

Phil Moen, president and CEO of Unimax, said the company has seen "exploding" demand for BCOM solutions in line with UC adoption. "Having the business communications/UC community see BCOM as a category is important for overall UC success," he said. "We strongly believe that utilizing a BCOM solution will prove to be a critical component for most organizations when delivering an effective UC solution and managing overall communications costs."

For its part, Kurmi Software approaches BCOM with a particularly European perspective. "Our European experience with multinational customers confirms that BCOM delivers essential value for UC deployments anywhere around the globe. The added sophistication along with the range of new capabilities that UC vendors are delivering is posing an increasing challenge and BCOM solutions are designed to close the gap," Abdel Kander, Kurmi CEO, told UCStrategies.

Talking It Over
To explore the BCOM concept further, Unimax and Voss have asked me and some of my UC colleagues with operational experience to participate in a sponsored session, "Why UC Fails (And How to AVOID It)," at next week's Enterprise Connect 2015 conference in Orlando. Read UCStrategies' detailed article on BCOM, "Introducing Business Communications Operations Management (BCOM) – A New Management and Operations Paradigm," and join us for our panel discussion at Enterprise Connect on Tuesday, March 17, at 3:30.

In addition, join me on Thursday, March 19, at 9 a.m. for the EC Summit session I'm co-moderating, "Managing in a Software-Intensive World." Management and operations of advanced business communications and UC systems is on the agenda for that panel discussion, as well.