Unified Communications Applications, Case Studies and Justification
UC Applications can be categorized as UC-U (User Productivity) and UC-B (Business Process). Review the details in What Is UC. As introduced in that section, we observe Two Types of UC applications, UC-U and UC-B in actual customer usage, i.e. "what UC actually does."
In both categories, we can observe that the applications are appearing in five major application groups. As with any groupings, there will always be exceptions and outlying examples, but these five groups provide a guideline on where to look for the applications in your enterprise.
The five application groupings are:
- Contact Management – Facilitating access from clients, partners and associates
- Resource Identification and Problem Resolution – Finding a skilled, authorized person or team and solving a problem
- Seamless Information for Mobility – Delivering access communication and information to mobile personnel, seamlessly
- Collaboration Acceleration – Helping teams get creative and project work done most expeditiously
- Communication-enabled Job Portals – Packaging communications right into the user's workflow and application tools
Note that none of these Application Groupings are a product or technology. Rather they are solutions based on "communications integrated to optimize business processes," our basic UC definition.
The BCR article "Unified Communications Applications Are Now Visible," describes these five applications in more detail. You can also read and download more extensive Application Descriptions for eight different UC Application groups (three are UC-U; five are UC-B).
The required products and technologies are different for each of the Applications Groupings. After reviewing and selecting the applications needed for your operations, you can reference templates for the required technologies in the "What to Buy" pages and access procurement tools in the "RFP Toolkits" pages.
Evidence of these Application Groupings and of the value of these UC Applications continues to accumulate:
- Blair Pleasant and Nancy Jamison completed a Study of UC-U Results that highlights the areas in which customers are reporting value from User Productivity.
- Vendors are publishing case studies of their UC successes, as shown in the Case Study Library.
- Enterprises report on their progress in industry forums, such as in the Communications-Enabled applications panel at VoiceCon Orlando 2008 as well as the Black and Decker report in General Session at VoiceCon San Francisco 2007.
- Vendors Report on their successes such as in VoiceCon Orlando 2008 General Sessions (Avaya, IBM, Microsoft) and at VoiceCon San Francisco 2007 (IBM, Microsoft).
The justifications for these applications are referenced in the Application Descriptions and in the Case Studies. In addition, UniComm Consulting has created a UC ROI modeling tool. The following table is an example of the output of that tool and illustrates that often much higher returns are available in the UC-B category, since saving are more tangible as the result of changes in workflow, labor content, production costs, and asset utilization.
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Text (c) 2012 M. F. Parker. Content (c) as indicated.