Archive for August, 2008
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FaceTime, we’re immersed in unified communications every day. We talk to our
customers about what they hope to get out of UC, what modalities (messaging,
VoIP, Web Conferencing, etc.) they are deploying first, and how they are
struggling with internal issues regarding architectural considerations,
alignment with business processes, IT ownership and more. Sometimes I get too
close to these issues, so it’s nice to step back and think about how to answer
questions like the ones Michael presented in a way that provides a broader
I hope I
did that in this podcast and I hope you have time to listen to it. For those of
you with time constraints, here are some of the points we talked about:
- UC is entering the workplace in
much the same way as the original PCs, or more recently, wireless access
points. Users are downloading consumer-oriented UC-like applications like
Skype, and reaping collaboration benefits.
- Most organizations aren’t
deploying UC with multiple modalities all at once. They are starting with
presence and IM and extending to Web Conferencing and VoIP – putting
policies in place that can be extending across future modalities once they
- Productivity through
collaboration is typically the #1 driver for deploying UC, but cost
savings and employee attraction and retention are close seconds.
- More avenues are available to
bring information into the organization and more options for employees to
communicate outside the company. This means that security and compliance
are top concerns when deploying UC.
- IT wants effective management
and control of all these communications options, but the bottom line is
that forward thinking IT professionals want to add value – they are
motivated by enabling employees to be productive and contribute to the
success of the company.
- When an organization rolls out
UC they often find it exists in a heterogeneous environment that includes
“rogue” consumer applications that do not go away. It’s not
uncommon to have 8-15 rogue applications (IM clients, file sharing tools,
social networks etc.) running on the enterprise network. They may not all
be bad, but they’re not visible and not sanctioned.
line, management is looking for two things: strong ROI from its UC platform and
a way to control the universe of consumer-oriented applications that employees
bring onto the network. We see a range of company policies – lots of companies
are experimenting and don’t want to shut things down if it can provide a
competitive advantage through better employee collaboration. Others are in an
industry with stricter requirements and need to block or closely manage certain
I’d love to
hear how your company is dealing with unified communications, both the consumer
and enterprise versions. Does the above ring true for you?