The UCStrategies Experts share their expertise in bylined articles, opinion pieces, blogs, and podcasts, to define unified communications, educate you about unified communications technologies, and help you make informed decisions about unified communications solutions.
UCStrategies.com defines unified communications as “Communications integrated to optimize business processes.” The definition of unified communications narrows significantly when you can read and hear about real-world examples that other companies are implementing right now—and apply them to your situation.
This section offers learning tools to help you plan your unified communications implementation.
This section provides a practical, vendor-independent service to any Enterprise that is seeking the benefits of Unified Communications. How do you pull everything together to implement unified communications? Use the tools in this sequence to define unified communications for your business.
The Unified Communications industry changes daily. We keep track of it for you.
UCStrategies is an industry resource for unified communications enterprises, communications vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing unified communications arena.
A supplier of objective information on unified communications, UCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of unified communications since its inception.
At the International Avaya Users Group in Boston, Brett Shockley, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Applications & Emerging Technology, speaks with Blair Pleasant about one of the key areas that Avaya is focusing on: awareness.
Blair Pleasant: Hi. This is Blair Pleasant. I am at the Avaya Industry Analyst Conference taking place at the International Avaya Users Group in Boston and I am speaking with Brett Shockley, who is Senior Vice President and General Manager for Applications and Emerging Technology. Brett discussed a couple areas that Avaya is focusing on, including “awareness.” Brett, can you describe what you mean by awareness?
Brett Shockley: Absolutely, Blair. If you take a look at the way people communicate and collaborate every day, there are a lot of different things that become involved: the people that they are communicating with; the documents that they are using; and there are conversation threads over a period of time; there are events that show up on their calendar. All these things sort of come together and inform their communication and their collaboration. And if we think about how effectively we communicate, in a lot of cases we are wasting the first five to 10 minutes of every hour because we are gathering all these assets together every time we go to start a meeting.
So one of the things that we did is, we went and we did some research. We did focus groups with end users. We did focus groups with executive administrators, who are some of the people that make executives as efficient as they can possibly be. And we learned a lot about the way people interact and work together. And one of the things we started to realize was that if we could observe people’s communication and collaboration behavior in real time—the emails they send and receive, the phone calls they make, the documents that are associated with those things—if we started to understand how they interacted with each other.... so if you send me an email, Blair, and I respond within 30 seconds, you are a pretty relevant person. If Jim Burton sends me an email and it takes me a couple days, you are probably more relevant than Jim. And if you take a look at all those kinds of things, you can start to do a really good job of predicting what is relevant to people right now. If we do it really, really well, people will not even realize it is happening. But what happens is that the user interface, the user experiences, they just kind of automagically worked better.
Blair Pleasant: Automagically, I love it.
Brett Shockley: We have the right document on top. We have the right people on top. And let’s say I want to bring you together with someone else into a collaboration experience, I could drag you into the spotlight. When I do that, the list of people changes automatically and the people that are relevant to the intersection between the two of us are now there and I am likely to bring in other people from UCStrategies, for example. So the idea is that it makes people tremendously effective and efficient in their collaboration. And it’s something that they don’t have to think about, they don’t have to program; it just sort of works. And it makes the applications work a whole lot better.
Blair Pleasant: How real is this? Are there products – is this something that’s shipping?
Brett Shockley: Awareness is something we have been working on in the Avaya Labs for probably five years, so it’s something that we have put a lot of work into, and it’s something that we have had in trials in a number of different prototype applications for the last year or so. The first version of it that’s going to become available within actual shipping product is going to start this summer. The Avaya Flair Experience that ships on the iPad will actually have the code in it to take advantage of the Awareness application. Customers who want to run a trial of that application will need to get the Awareness server from us. And basically those features will be in trials starting this summer on the iPad, and we will be rolling it out into a number of different applications over the next 12 to 24 months. So it’s one of those things that is not sort of one and done; it is something where we are going to add more and more capability as we go along. We think we have got to be careful about how we do it because if we do it right, people will not even know it’s happening. It will just be a great experience. And so we want to do it one step at a time and make sure that that is the kind of experience that people get.
Blair Pleasant: How about for your channel partners? How are they going to be selling this? How are they going to be making money out of it?
Brett Shockley: For channel partners, this is going to end up being a great opportunity. We will be ultimately making it available through our Ace capability, and what that will allow people to do is to integrate it into other applications. Right now the first things we are going to be doing is making it available through the Flair experience. But we are also going to make it available so that people can tie it into whatever kind of end application. And it could be a presentation application, a desktop application of some kind. It could be a UC app; it could be a contact center application. In fact, the one that I demonstrated on stage today where I had the automated personal assistant speak back to the person that was on hold. Think about if you were a personal banker and you have maybe 1,000 clients and you are trying to pretend like every one of them is your own personal client and that you don’t have a thousand. Well, part of the way you do that is you see our own technology so that you are up-to-the-minute with all the information; but another way would be, boy, this is a high net worth individual and they are very important. I want to send them a personalized message and ask them to hold or tell them I will call them back in five minutes or whatever. So we see that technology coming in a lot of different forms and what I think is going to happen is that for partners, they are going to want to be able to create customized applications at the desktop. Another place where we are using it is things like applications you call into. So let’s say you dial into an application and it automatically is aware of your calendar, who you are, the background of your communications, and it can make better decisions about how to integrate you into a business process that way as well. So it could be on the desktop side or it could be calling in on the phone and having the right things happen.
Blair Pleasant: Well, it sounds like there is a lot of opportunity for your partners. Thank you very much, Brett. This sounds really exciting and we are looking forward to the summer when all of this is going to be released.
Brett Shockley: Great! Thanks, Blair.
All Content Copyright © 2013 UCStrategies.com. All rights reserved.
Communications Integrated to Optimize Business Processes.
UC integrates real-time and non-real time communications with business processes and requirements.
Uses presence capabilities for coordination, and presents a consistent unified user interface and experience across multiple devices and media types.
Learn more at What is Unified Communications all about?