Unified Communications is Overrated

January 12, 2016

Who needs to communicate in enterprises anyway?

Everyone.

Communication is... overrated
Communication is… overrated

But do we really need to treat it as if it is the most critical piece of the enterprise world?

I use multiple systems to make my calls these days. They are WebRTC based or proprietary apps such as Skype, WebEx or GoToMeeting. I grumble when I have to use a proprietary system and install stuff on my laptop, but that’s life.

It was like that for me even when working for enterprises in the past – big and small. Somehow, you always need to have a “phone system” and be reachable. But other than that? I’d say “omnichannel” as a buzzword has stuck to the contact center but is just as important in unified communications.

But in Unified Communications, Omnichannel means something really different – it means that you can now reach out to people on lots of different channels and mediums – picking up the ones most suitable for the task – which most often than not ends up being different than what the corporate IT has decided you should be using.

And you know what? I couldn’t be bothered with it.

The essence of Unified Communications is the here and now. Real time communications. If a minute passed, it is no longer interesting. It is lost.

Hangouts. Talky. A phone call (international or otherwise). Skype. Anything else.

Just pick one and lets meet.

Enterprise Messaging though is a different story.

It isn’t focused in the here and now, but rather in collecting data and making it accessible. It is about synchronizing teams and aligning them – asynchronously.

And “omnichannel” there? It means integrations with anything and everything that is enterprise software.

Which makes it the point of access for an employee to his daily life in the office.

It is a lot more sticky these days than unified communications.

Unified Communication is on another rebranding rampage. We used to call it “Convergence” a decade or two ago. And when that felt old, we started calling it Unified Communications. There are analysts that are now coining the term WCC – Workstream Communications and Collaboration. A mouthful that simply says Unified Communications need to look at the Enterprise Messaging space and copy it.

The end result will still be a focus on the here and now. And it will still be overrated.


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