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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
8/14/2014
12:04 PM
Marty Parker
Marty Parker
Commentary

Enterprise Communications: Next Big Thing Is Embedded

Enterprise communications will be delivered as capabilities of application software, not by separate generic communication systems. Are you preparing?

(Source: Joan M. Mas on Flickr.)
(Source: Joan M. Mas on Flickr.)

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ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 8:32:11 AM
Re: The 24/7 business
Great point Broadway -- these systems can turn email into a LESS effective tool, if they cram that channel full of alerts. (That said, my InformationWeek account is set up to get email notifications when someone replies to a comment, so it worked to know that you'd shared a fresh viewpoint. It worked here!) 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 7:22:24 AM
Re: The 24/7 business
@Curt Franklin, The biggest challenge I see is the mental shift of "business hours".  Currently I work an odd set of hours in the office and I know that others also keep hours that aren't 8am to 5pm but I am reminded time to time that my schedule isn't "normal".   Like most salaried positions I don't have to track my hours but I can say with certainty that there hasn't been a week in 8 years that I've worked fewer than 50 hours (vacation aside).  I would love to shorten my office hours and do more from home but I don't feel that kind of flexibility exists yet. 
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 2:54:05 PM
Re: The 24/7 business
Chris, you are so right. To boot, a lot of these software systems also will alert you on in-software communications via email. So when it comes down to it, you always end up mostly communication through email ---- or at least I do.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
8/15/2014 | 4:53:22 PM
Re: The 24/7 business
But no channels go away. We have all these other channels, but you still have to monitor email like a hawk, b/c people expect fast answers. This just speaks to the need for technology to help us manage these interuptions, lest we work so hard collaborating we never get anything done.
aditshar1
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aditshar1,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/15/2014 | 2:55:40 PM
Re: The 24/7 business
I guess enterprise communication came more into existence and closer to user with web browsers that had real-time communications capabilities built-in.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2014 | 12:10:09 PM
Re: The 24/7 business
@SaneIT, we're absolutely moving the direction of always-available interactions with companies. The question is whether this is a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing. As a long-time "night owl" I tend to go with "good thing" but I understand the arguments that say we should have more time in which we don't expect to transact business rather than less time away from our electronic tools.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2014 | 12:08:14 PM
Re: The 24/7 business
@Stratustician, I think you're right: The technology will inevitably change the way that we expect to interact with the company. The spread of the technology will bring up another set of issues, as well: We saw at the recent Black Hat that many of the embedded systems were far more trusting than is optimal. In several cases, researchers showed that it's almost trivial to defeat the minimal security that exists. Customers are going to want to see assurances that their account and other private information is secure before they're willing to interact with these systems in any significant way.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2014 | 12:04:30 PM
Re: Kindle help
@soozyg, that's a great question. We've seen, in the case of "healthy food", that what customers say they want and what they're willing to buy (or in this case, use) can be two very different things. It's nice that Amazon has included the one-button help feature, but it would be interesting to see how many of their customers know that it's there and take advantage of it.

For what it's worth, I've found Amazon's "regular" support to be quite good. A couple of years ago I had a problem with the music downloader and ended up in a couple of extended de-bugging sessions with Amazon software development. I was stunned at the level of access and the lengths to which they were willing to go to solve my problem.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/15/2014 | 7:29:17 AM
Re: The 24/7 business
I would argue that we are already at that point or very near it.  Calling a company and getting a "please call back during normal business hours" message feels very antiquated.  Even the companies who have such a message also tend have the option to reach someone in the event of an emergency.  This means it is just a small step to routing every call 24/7 and stop having "business hours".  I know many of us in the IT field have never really had the luxury of saying "it's after 5PM, I'm off the clock" so we are used to the 24/7 model, maybe when everyone else goes to it we'll get to flex our schedules a little more because people will understand how we work.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
8/14/2014 | 6:48:17 PM
The 24/7 business
As these technologies advance, it's inevitable that it will change the way customers expect to interact with businesses. This means customers will be less tolerant with companies who bounce them between different departments as they expect that these integrated systems will not just reduce the painful reiteration of customer information, but actually provide better overall service because their service/contact history will be available.  

Additionally, it will most likely drive a culture where customers will want to be able to do business on their schedules, even after business hours to compensate for multiple time zones.
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