The End User Perspective of Multi-Modal Unified Communications

Updated: September 08, 2010

My experienced colleagues at UC Strategies.com, are discussing the various practical perspectives of UC that have to be addressed in planning and managing UC technology implementation from an organizational perspective, highlighting what is changing in terms of selecting, integrating, and managing new UC technologies. While those concerns are important to the organization, we have to include those end users who will be most affected by the endpoint devices they use and the application interfaces they can exploit in terms of cost efficient, ease of use communications,"anywhere, anytime, anyhow!"

End users, who are part of a business process that will be supported by UC, will include customers and business partners. With the rapid adoption of mobile "smart-phones" for both personal and business use, UC has to support personalized device independence rather than just location based desktops, in order to maxmize both business process performance and personal job productivity.

Accessibility vs. Availability of People

Timely communications of any kind are dependent on both individual end user "accessibility" and "availability."Accessibility" needs a variety of communication technologies to allow any kind of connection (real-time or asynchronous, voice, data, etc) to be established between people. On the other hand, even with all the connectivity in the world, end user "availability," which includes not only time priorities, but also circumstantial issues (e.g., ability to talk, listen, read, type), cannot guarantee recipient "availability" for a timely response of any kind. However, the multi-modal nature of UC, coupled with wireless mobility, will enable end users to maximize their choice of contact access to increase personal "accessibility" and thus "availability" as well. (They can communicate from anywhere, anytime, without waiting to be in a particular location.)

UC is not only about "person-to-person" communications, but also about "process-to-person" contacts, where automated business applications proactively initiate contacts with people to notify them in a timely manner about time-sensitive situations. Clearly, such applications will communicate primarily with data (text messages, self-service applications) not voice conversations, so multi-modal "smart-phones' will be key to such forms of business process performance efficiencies as well.

Featured Research
  • 8 Ways to Get More From Your VoIP System

    Many businesses adopt VoIP to take advantage of the cost savings without spending enough time reviewing the features and benefits made available by different solutions. If this is true for your business, there’s a good chance you could be getting more from your VoIP system in the form of even lower costs or improved employee productivity. You may even find that your current software offers features that you aren’t taking advantage of! more

  • 7 Ways the Wrong Phone System Can Haunt Your Business

    The wrong phone system could be haunting your business - and we’re talking about problems more serious than ghosts and ghouls. From increased costs to issues with scaling, we’ve identified seven important ways that a less than ideal phone system could be holding you back. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this can make to your bottom line too. more

  • Ditch Your Fax Servers

    An in-house fax server gives an IT department centralized management and monitoring over the entire enterprise's faxing. This can help your company track usage and better maintain records for auditing and record keeping. However, there are serious drawbacks that come with utilizing an in-house fax server solution and these range from security to cost-prohibitive pricing. more

  • The IT Manager's Survival Guide

    As an IT manager, maintaining physical fax servers and infrastructure is not a high priority. However, fax capability remains a business need simply because chances are your industry is dependent on its security. What if there was a way to reduce the amount of time spent handling fax complaints and maintaining physical servers? And this way took into account security, cost savings, and freed up your IT resources. Would you be interested? more

  • VoIP: Your New Secret Weapon for a Strong Year End

    As the end of 2017 nears, you may be feeling pressure to make sure you close the year out strong.If you’ve been sitting on the fence regarding VoIP, this may be the perfect time to switch. VoIP options had never been better or more full-featured than they are now, and it may be just the thing your business needs to see a productivity and profitability boost. more