UC vs. CEBP - Which Comes First?
By Art Rosenberg
As a result of this trend of increased individual multimodal accessibility, the opportunity to exploit the flexibility of UC to automate business processes through efficient Process-to-Person notifications (rather than just Person-to-Person contacts) has also increased, thereby increasing the overall ROI of business processes. This capability has long been referred to as a Communications Enabled Business Process (CEBP), where an automated application, rather than another person, initiates the contact.
Microsoft OCS Rides Its Own Wave
By Dave Michels
Voice systems are known for their proprietary heritage. Mysterious hardware connected via dedicated cabling to proprietary endpoints. But despite this, interfaces were always well understood. For example, most traditional PBX systems will connect to any carrier and most third party systems such as voice mail or call recording systems.
Over the past decade, with game changing UC requirements and VoIP, voice solutions have been gradually opening up to a world of convergence. New emerging standards such as codecs, SIP for trunks and endpoints, POE (IEEE 802.3af), and XML. This is a journey as technologies and requirements continuously change - XMPP for IM can be added to the list, but inter-operable SIP video is still young. Most major UC players are embracing these trends, but Microsoft OCS stands-out with the most innovative approach to the old model.
UC Interoperability Now Has a Champion
By Marty Parker
UCIF Announcement Offers a Forum for Industry Cooperation
Essentially from the outset, Unified Communications has required interoperability, in many dimensions. If you follow our UCStrategies.com UC definition, "Communications integrated to optimize business processes," then you immediately see the need for interoperation between communications and business applications. Even at the basic levels of assembling a solution, UC is evolving so quickly that the innovative technology elements (presence, IM, smart phones, HD video, USB and Bluetooth devices, SIP phones or devices, and more) need to interoperate with the core communications and network infrastructure.
The hue and cry on this topic has been loud, diverse, and widespread. Panels at VoiceCon and InterOp, especially when customers are involved, almost always raise the issue of interoperation. Customer RFPs for systems and solutions have to be designed to require interoperation or to limit the solutions to a single brand. And, even the single brand is not a guarantee of seamlessness, as the many UC elements are may have come through acquisitions or have been developed on different technology platforms.
UCIF -- Important Steps Forward, But Learn From History
By Don Van Doren
The announcement of the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF) is a welcome step to help address a critical need of the emerging UC marketplace. Other articles and commentary here on the www.UCStrategies.com website will be providing more information about this important development. You can also visit www.ucif.org, the official website of this new organization.
Over the years, I have been involved in the creation, early development, or activities of several groups that have had similar charters in their respective industries - AMIS (Audio Messaging Interchange Specification) and VPIM (Voice Profile for Internet Mail) for interoperability of voicemail systems; and ECTF (Enterprise Computer Telephony Forum) for computer-telephony integration.
Some patterns of success and failure in such organizations have become apparent. Here are three of the necessary elements for success: open membership; appropriate charter; and member commitment.
Long Term Evolution: When Dinosaurs Become Extinct
By Michael Finneran
I wonder if the folks at the 3G Partnership Project (3GPP) were subliminally thinking of "dinosaurs" when they came up with the name "Long Term Evolution" or "LTE" for the next generation wireless technology. However, the analogy may be more than apt, and like many monopolies (or more correctly in the case of the mobile operators, "oligopolies") the advance of technology might render their traditional business plans unsustainable. In any case, the technical shift that will be brought about by the next major advance in wireless technology might well bring the house of cards crashing down and open the door to more functional mobile unified communications.
When you think about it, there are only three things that differentiate mobile operators today: handsets (or more correctly "mobile devices"), coverage/capacity ("capacity" particularly with regard to data services), and price. However, the handset looms high over the other two. While the mobile operators are funding the majority of the advertising, people buy these great mobile consumer appliances not "cellular service." They basically take whatever service comes with the handset they want. With BlackBerry and Android, there may be several carriers offering the same or similar devices in which case the choice may revert to price and coverage, however as AT&T proved with the iPhone coup, having the hot handset can be a major game changer.
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