The hottest unified communication is still slowly

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Unified communication is still slowly deployed

unified communication (UC) technology has attracted a lot of attention. This is largely due to the manufacturers' promotion of their unified communication solutions. These manufacturers publicize that their solutions can well solve the contact problems between employees and colleagues, business partners and customers in the rapidly growing field of mobile commerce

although this technology has only brought benefits to few companies deploying unified communications, experts say unified communications is still evolving, and manufacturers need to do more to integrate their many products

to be exact, unified communication depends on who defines it. In a word, it includes real-time communication functions such as (including IP), video conference, timely communication, telepresence and data sharing, as well as non real-time services such as voice mail, e-mail, unified messaging and fax

unified communication often involves multiple product components, which can jointly provide a unified user interface and experience across devices and media types. In other functions, it allows the user to connect through the same number in different devices and receive information on the media of his/her choice

the idea behind technology is to optimize communication and collaboration, make it easier for employees to keep in touch with each other, and improve work efficiency and productivity

industry observers believe that despite the promising prospects, the deployment of this technology has grown slowly

Robin gareiss, executive vice president of Nemertes research group, a research and consulting company, said, "we have not seen a significant increase in the number of companies deploying unified communications." According to the company's survey, only 4.4% of the companies have fully deployed unified communication

gareiss said that two key problems led to slow deployment. One problem is that it is difficult for the company to establish a "strong" business case for unified communications. Another problem is that it is difficult for manufacturers to integrate multiple unified communication components

since many components are involved, it is very difficult to determine the cost of unified communication. "The cost depends on how you define unified communication." Gareiss said. "What applications are included? Are they fully integrated into wired and wireless devices? The biggest unplanned expenses are integration costs, and training/marketing of users and management tools."

Don van Doren, head of unicomm consulting, said that unified communication can be deployed in an incremental manner without major changes to the infrastructure. The company can purchase unified communication capabilities and licenses as needed. "This means that the cost saved in early improvements can be used to fund subsequent application deployments," he said

although the overall market growth is slow, unified communications brings hope to many companies, gareiss said

in fact, many people believe that the rise of mobile communication will stimulate the demand for unified communication. Users need to integrate different devices. Safety measures should be taken at the pressurized end to keep different types and brands of devices connected at any time. The analysis company Info Tech Research Group regards mobility as a key factor in the recently released unified communications scorecard

success of unified communications

companies deploying unified communications are reaping results. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a global independent product safety certification company, deployed a unified communication platform two years ago according to the technical requirements of the spring, which includes components from Microsoft, HP and Avaya

Tom boxrud, the IT director of UL in charge of global operations, said that they hoped to improve the communication and collaboration capabilities of the whole company and upgrade the old communication and network infrastructure at the same time

as part of the upgrade, the company 4. Understanding and measurement standards deployed Microsoft's office communications server (OCs) 2007 R2 unified communication platform, which integrates instant messaging, video, audio, web conferencing and remote presentation into Microsoft office. The company also deployed Avaya's VoIP system and network infrastructure components such as HP switches

"our existing technology is outdated. In addition, we are in a transition period. One of our goals is to improve communication and collaboration with customers." Boxrud said

in addition, the company hopes to reduce travel costs, shorten the project cycle, and be in a more flexible position in the market. "We see unified communications as a key tool to achieve these goals." Boxrud said. At present, the company is turning to Microsoft lync, the latest unified communication solution

boxrud said that due to the use of unified communication and VoIP, UL hopes to reduce communication costs by 50%. Most of the savings came from cutting the long-distance costs of its global offices. In addition, UL also cut its operating costs by 30% and integrated nearly 40 e-mail servers around the world into a cloud based e-mail system

Boxrud said that since the deployment of unified communication, it has become easier and cheaper to collaborate between facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. "When we test the product, the people who are familiar with the test product may be in Asia, and the test staff may be in North America. Now we just need to click the button to let the staff participating in the test participate in the point-to-point display or networking meeting." He said

but deploying unified communication also faces some challenges. For example, many employees of the company need to face cultural transformation, because many employees have never used the advanced functions provided by unified communication

boxrud said, "we have many old cultural traditions. The key to the overall deployment of unified communication is to have a good internal recommendation, communication and training activities. Through our internal station and self-service tools, let employees know how to use the function of unified communication."

the company should gradually use the function of unified communication, rather than suddenly use it comprehensively, so as to minimize resistance. He said, "we have done a lot of feedback surveys on employees' feelings about these tools. Many employees have never used the video function before."

in terms of investment recovery, boxrud said that UL hopes that its unified communication technology and network upgrading can obtain a return on investment within three years. "This is almost in line with our expectations," he said

unified communication transformation

another unified communication user is the agency group headquartered in London. The group is an agent for 1500 music artists around the world. At the end of 2010, the company began to deploy Avaya IP office 7.0 of Avaya company as part of the communication transformation to improve the communication status of the company's offices around the world

Howie gold, chief information officer of agency group, said that part of the reason for choosing unified communication was that the company wanted to upgrade its communication infrastructure and transform its old Nortel system. Because the old Nortel system has no IP function and is increasingly outdated

"we need more relay functions and more integrated functions, such as video conferencing and support for iPhone and Android mobile applications." Gold。 Another important reason for deploying unified communication is to achieve the goal that the company can provide real-time services to customers anytime, anywhere

agency group also hopes to improve staff productivity, improve collaboration, save expenses and reduce business trips. Gold said that they have achieved these goals by deploying new systems. Perhaps more importantly, unified communication has brought their employees around the world together as never before

gold said, "our chairman's main focus on the IT department is to unify the company, improve our communication status, and enable employees in different offices to share information."

for users, other immediate benefits are increased convenience and increased efficiency of management communication. The system allows employees to dial only four digits to contact the company's offices around the world. Gold said that they no longer need to dial cumbersome international toll numbers

"for example, we will have many contacts between agents in Britain and Canada. Now they only need to pick up and dial four numbers to contact the office 4000 miles away without worrying about the expensive long-distance fee." Gold said. ③ Specify a structural response spectrum

gold said that even in today's era of electronic communications, agents also rely heavily on contacts. "You can do many things through email. But our business is a interpersonal business. It requires people to communicate with each other. It's best to let people feel their sense of humor and excitement."

the system has an application that allows users to send instant messages and watch the style of colleagues through a web-based portal. No matter where it is, it can allow agents on business trips to communicate face-to-face with users

unified communication also enables companies to save money by reducing long-distance fees and travel and accommodation costs, gold said. Although he did not give a clear amount of savings, gold said that executives and agents could save up to $3000 on an overseas trip

"if we consider the improvement of communication state, the saving situation will be different. It is difficult for us to comprehensively summarize the value of this technology. But it is really extraordinary."

don't worry about the cost. People will prefer to call to determine their work. Gold said, "a senior vice president told us that in the past, when he was on a business trip, he would call the office, and then ask the receiver to tell other people in the office, so that he would not call everyone in the office. Now he no longer has to tell everything in one room in order to save money. In the past, people may try to avoid playing, so this also improves the communication level."

is still evolving

some IT executives believe that unified communication technology is still in the process of development and needs to be improved

Jim Spicer, executive vice president and chief information officer of Wells Fargo technology and data, a San Francisco based financial services company, Wells Fargo & Co., said, "it is now necessary to better define communication standards and protocols between different technologies to simplify integration."

at present, he predicts that this integration improvement will only occur in a "sub field" of unified communication. Because most manufacturers regard having a patented format as a competitive advantage. "We hope that with the continuous evolution of functions, the situation will change."

in addition, Spicer hopes to see unified communication products better support the company's needs in data archiving and exploration. He believes that these demands are growing and need more personalized integration. For compliance management purposes, many companies need this archiving capability. He said: "it is very valuable to aggregate the products of manufacturers in the market to simplify the process and make the cost cheaper."

wells Fargo deployed a unified communication system to improve the productivity and collaboration of employees and meet the company's real-time communication needs. However, Spicer declined to disclose details

at present, the company has gained advantages from it, such as being able to connect teams located in different places in a real-time manner. There is still hope to reduce in the future

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