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.
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As a professional Blogolyst in UC, I regularly write about how modern communications infrastructure can deliver improved productivity and collaboration. Especially, via the contact center which can deliver improved customer interactions and experiences resulting with better retention. This is why I am mystified when I come across companies that have the infrastructure, yet deliver piss poor experiences. I normally pick on United. But today I have a new target: Comcast.
Today, competitively timed to coincide with the start of the sold-out Lync Conference, Cisco has released survey results that are intended to help leaders better understand what people want in collaboration tools and from the vendors that make these tools. The survey involved 3,200 IT leaders in nine countries. The survey asked broad questions related to mobility, cloud, support and quality of communications.
You believe in the power of unified communications; that’s why you’re here. To be successful, everyone else needs to believe in UC just as much. Your enthusiasm needs to go viral. Especially in larger organizations it’s not reasonable for you the UC manager/architect/SysAdmin to be the sole champion. While this is crucial, below are my other top five tips for a successful user adoption strategy.
MacRumors published an interesting interview with Tim Cook, Apple CEO. The context was Tim Cook participating in the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. The interview questions were posed by analyst Bill Shope. The entire interview is of interest, but I’ve posted and commented on two specific interactions below where Tim hits upon vertical integration and smartphone market potential.
Without resorting to the Delphi connotations here, I do want to share some back-to-the-future thinking about this major move last week. Billion dollar deals don’t happen every day in the UC space, and I think that speaks volumes about why Oracle’s move to acquire Acme Packet is important to anyone reading this post.
A 2012 BroadSoft global survey of 700 “everyday” business users, respondents indicated that their top three communications frustrations are trying to locate and connect with people quickly, waiting for information, and dealing with email overload – suggesting a growing disenchantment with the nature of today’s passive, non-real-time communications.
Video has come a long way. A perfect storm of broadband ubiquity, lower cost devices, and new expectations fueled by consumer apps. I wanted to circle back on Alcatel-Lucent’s recent OpenTouch video announcements. ALU describes the new OpenTouch as a “User Experience Transformation,” but I think it is more indicative of a UC industry transformation. The UC vendors are rethinking their approach to video as it expands out of the conference rooms and on to desktops and mobile devices.
The Wikipedia definition of social media applies primarily to any form of business interactions, rather than for personal socializing. However, as people increasingly exploit mobile smartphones and tablets for accessing the Web and for multi-modal communications flexibility, we need to expand that definition to include Communications Enabled Business Process (CEBP) applications that will initiate contacts with end users through social networks. This is something that IBM is pushing strongly as “Social Business.”
Samantha Kane, a valued member of the UCStrategies family since 2008, passed away Friday morning after a long and courageous battle with cancer. A fixture at annual UCStrategies events over the years despite her illness, she remained an enthusiastic participant, and embraced the opportunity to forge new relationships.
I believe that WebRTC is a game changer and will have the same impact on communications that the original web had on information. However, VoLTE and RCS are a couple of other new emerging technologies in the wireless/mobile space that may have great impact on the enterprise and UC integration with user devices.
I recently read the book SELLECOM 2: Selling Cloud Services by Peter Radizeski. Peter’s an active blogger, and he compiled/revised many of his posts into a book format. It’s a clever idea as there just are not that many books targeted specifically to this industry, yet everyone and their brother seems to offer SIP trunks these days.
ShoreTel was one of the few UC firms to grow market share in 2012. How they did it is no doubt a long, complex discussion. However, one of its key tools, Net Promoter Score (NPS), deserves some recognition. ShoreTel recently announced an NPS of 63, up from 50 in 2012. NPS scores above 50 are indicative of “World Class companies.”
Recently there has been an interesting discussion on LinkedIn that was spawned from the question “Legacy users and resistance to change: How do we keep them from killing the deal?” The specific question was posed in the context of Microsoft Lync, however the query and suggestions are equally important and applicable to other UC platform deployments. Below I consolidate some of the suggestions on overcoming resistance to change along with my critique of the suggestions.
Today, Oracle announced its intent to acquire Acme Packet for $1.7 billion. Acme Packet is the global provider (and innovator) of session border controllers (SBCs) for service providers and enterprises. According the statements from Oracle, the company plans to make Acme Packet a core offering in its Oracle Communications portfolio. Oracle currently sells into both enterprise and carrier markets; the two big revenue markets for SBCs. That all sounds perfectly logical, but where’s the synergy?
IBM has always been known for their strategic thinking and for employing that thinking in their business initiatives. We are watching another example of that right now, and the name of this strategic move is Social Business.
When enterprises decide to introduce new technology solutions, too often an unfortunate pattern emerges in planning and deployment that’s exactly backwards from the way things should happen. Logic (and demonstrable results) suggests starting by identifying the business requirements—issues that cry out for solutions or transformative opportunities to take business practices to a new level. Then determine what capabilities are required to address those opportunities or challenges. And finally, figure out what technology may best support the capabilities needed.
I am continuously surprised how much video has become part of my daily conversation. Suddenly my desktop has multiple cameras (webcams, room system, video phone, laptop cam, smartphone, tablet), and my day is filled with video calls. Not just with other UC experts, but with relatives and friends too. Here’s a quick review of video news this week.
This week, thousands of IT professionals from around the globe convened here in Orlando, Florida, at IBM Connect 2013 to share and learn, both from each other and from IBM. The message this year is all about Social and Analytics: Social is driving business change, and Analytics inform decisions in the Social world as well as other parts of the enterprise.
Score one for private equity. Genesys was a division of a large public company, but appears to be thriving as its own entity. Permia, a European private equity firm, acquired Genesys from Alcatel-Lucent a year ago, and it appears to have been a good move for all parties including customers and employees.
The VoIP/UC “CaaS” cloud is a HUGE disruption to the channel, an even bigger disruption than VoIP was several years ago. It can be your opportunity or your demise depending upon how you look at it and how you approach it. Longer term, this could be the single largest opportunity your organization could realize.
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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?