UC, Unified Communications & the Brooklyn Bridge


[Photo Credit: Joel Greenberg, click photo to access his website]

What is Unified Communications ?

Ask ten friends to define Unified Comunications or look at five UC vendors’ websites and try to reconcile their depictions into one coherent definition.

Hyoun Park, Telecom and Unified Communications Research Analyst at Aberdeen Group, has a fun animation about Unified Communications.

If you don’t want to watch, I’ll give you my takeaways.

People say UC is:

  • Presence
  • Instant Messaging
  • Mobility (cellular and wifi)
  • Hoteling
  • Web Conferencing
  • Data Conferencing
  • Video Calls
  • Video Conferencing
  • UC Middleware
  • Enabled Business Processes
  • Enterprise Application Integration

But business managers, executives and users don’t care about the tools, what they want are:

  • Getting in touch with the RIGHT people faster
  • Being more productive
  • Helping customers

Aberdeen has some interesting statistics about best-in-class UC implementations, like:

  • 53% improvement in customer service metrics
  • 49% improvement in workforce productivity
  • Able to contact the RIGHT person in 10 minutes or less

Do you wish your organization could do that ? 

You can, but it requires the ability to step back from the trees of video, voice, chat, presence, email, storage, platform, mobility and see the forest: a web of communication technology that is intuitive, easy to use and works.  A lot of people say they have that “in a box” and can sell it to you today.

The key questions for your organization are:

  1. What Do You Have?
  2. What Do You Need?
  3. What Do You Want?
  4. How Do you get There From Here?

A lot of organizations find it challenging to answer #1, but to do UC well you need to be able to articulate (and agree on) answers to all four so you can tell when a vendor is offering a piece of the puzzle that will help you, or a Deed to the Brooklyn Bridge.

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