Unified Communications: A Separate Piece - InformationWeek
Software // Social
09:15 PM
Connect Directly

Unified Communications: A Separate Piece

As other content systems blur together, UC will be a holdout.

Is talking on the phone collaboration? How about exchanging IMs, or presence information--available, on the phone, out of the office, etc.?

All of these capabilities gather under the umbrella of unified communications, a collaboration category that's the flip side of the text-oriented, document-centric kind that's the focus of the accompanying article.

While formal content management software and informal collaboration tools are headed for much closer integration, unified communications likely will remain a separate piece for some time.

Typical UC packages include voice- and videoconferencing, Web conferencing, instant messaging, e-mail, presence, and possibly calendars. UC blends telephony with messaging through features such as click-to-call. Some players in text-centric collaboration also compete in UC: Microsoft with its Office Communications Server product, IBM with Lotus Sametime, and Oracle with Beehive. Other UC leaders include Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, and Siemens.

UC and text-based features will bleed into one another. Cisco, for instance, is dipping its toes into text-centric collaboration with WebEx Connect, an online service that lets employees create team spaces to upload Office documents and PDFs that others can download, including people outside the company, such as business partners.

However, we're still in the very early stages of UC-collaboration software integration. Collaboration tools are easier to deploy to enterprise users; UC requires more work to integrate applications with the telephony system. As voice over IP penetrates the enterprise, UC often follows, but the vision of a truly unified collaboration environment that blends voice, video, and a variety of text-based interactions, all tied to back-end content repositories to retain and manage it all, is still just a dream.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll