UCStrategies Spotlight – July 19, 2010

Updated: July 20, 2010

Use Cases Provide Foundation for UC Investments

By Marty Parker

There are more and more choices in Unified Communications these days, from an expanding list of suppliers. This is great, but it can make the Unified Communications decisions tougher, rather than simpler. At UniComm Consulting, we have successfully and repeatedly shown that the identification of the core Use Cases for communications in the enterprise and the business processes will highlight the optimal set and sequence of solutions and investments. Let's look at these points.

Either way, the advice is to analyze the communications activities within the major roles and processes to define the current Use Cases. Then examine these Use Cases to find the problem areas, which we call ‘hot spots'. These are the places where communications-related activities are queued up, mis-directed, delayed, or needlessly labor intensive and are causing errors, rework or delays in the business processes. This is exactly parallel to the Lean Six Sigma method already in use to improve business workflow; now we can apply that to communications elements, as well...

Cisco Cius Revisited - Good News or Bad News for UC?

By Jon Arnold

Aside from the farce of the LeBron James "Decision," the biggest news item on my radar so far this summer has been Cisco's Cius announcement. While not earth-shattering, the launch was part of the keynotes during their C-Scape conference, and with only 100 analysts being invited to attend, I was part of a pretty small group to see it for the first time. A few other UCStrategies contributors were there too, and from what I can tell, Cius was news to everybody. It sure looks like Cisco is learning to steal a few pages from Apple's playbook when it comes to product launches.

Cius is not news at this point, but from what I've seen written so far, I think I can add a few things to the conversation. I'm not going to re-hash the basics here, and will first point you to fellow UCS contributor, Marty Parker, who has written a series of pieces on UCStrategies.com about Cius, UC and video - all of which are worth reading.

I agree with Marty in that there are a number of challenges making Cius additive for a UC solution. No doubt, it's a powerful, sexy endpoint that will make UC more interesting for end users, but for large enterprise deployments, it's not clear how well - if at all - Cius will integrate with other vendors. There's also the element of confusion that will inevitably arise in terms of how much this will compete with that Cisco IP phone on your desk - or any other IP phone for that matter. The last thing most of us want is yet another device to manage, especially one that is so video-centric. I've long contended that video is a generational thing, and not everyone is keen to jump on that next concall using Cius...

The UC Mobile Device Gap

By Andy Zmolek

As the enterprise becomes aware of the potential value of Unified Communications and mobile applications to business workflow, the evolving role of the mobile device will challenge carriers, device manufacturers, and enterprise IT to expose new points of UC integration, new service offerings, and ultimately will fundamentally reshape how enterprise-oriented mobile phones are designed and sold going forward. What started with the integration of enterprise email into the mobile device and its service provider will ultimately need to end up with full enterprise UC integration including presence and geolocation feeds, instant messaging, video, voice, web conferencing, and include on-campus service mobility support for Wi-Fi-based enterprise services...

Social Media in the Business World - Ignore at Your Own Peril

By Pam Avila

OK - I have to admit it….. I have a love/hate relationship with social media. While I find it useful as a networking tool, I go crazy when I have to read about what someone is fixing for dinner tonight! For business - yes! For personal - not my thing (yet)! But I just finished reading an interesting article about social media in the context of business and realized that the UC reseller channel (solutions integrators) would be remiss in not acquainting themselves with the tools that young people entering the workforce take for granted, not to mention other older-but-still-savvy workers.

If Unified Communications Could be Fun - Cius Demo at Ciscolive

By Nancy Jamison

Last week in Las Vegas I got to follow up on Cisco's contact center analyst day by attending Ciscolive, which is Cisco's big customer event, co-located with C-Scape, Cisco's main analyst event. Ciscolive was huge! In the main keynote there were 12,500 customers, a lot of analysts, and 23K total attendees if you include those participating virtually. As usual, John Chambers was completely engaging speaking on the vision that Cisco has with snippets such as, "Economies of the future won't be information economies, but network economies", and "Every mistake I've made as a leader is in being too slow or in having speed without process and being replicable."

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