Unified Communications Featured Article

Six UC Buying Influence Communities Complicate Decisions

May 02, 2011

Art Schoeller, Forrester Research analyst, has an interesting perspective on why it sometimes is difficult to get widespread enterprise agreement on the attributes any ideal unified communications solution provides. Put simply, users and stakeholders affected by any UC solution approach the subject from different and conflicting perspectives. 

Among the major stakeholders are telecommunication, data networking, facilities managers, collaboration specialists, application developers and end users. 

Telecommunications departments favor IP telephony features. Traditional private branch exchange features, call center, voicemail, and the choices for physical phones are critical for this group of stakeholders. At the same time, there can be a conflict between “return on investment” considerations that reduce enterprise communications costs, and feature richness.

Data networking teams emphasize management of real-time media streams, which tends to lead them to focus on how to maintain quality of service across the entire network, once real-time communications are carried on the enterprise data network. 

Facilities managers are concerned with conference room design and operation, and so will be most interested in room-based telepresence decisions. 

Collaboration professionals look at integration of UC with collaboration, so the issues include document sharing and editing, instant messaging and integration of voice with the other collaboration tools. 

Application developers are concerned with integrating UC into enterprise business processes, and so are more likely to place top priority on the application programming interfaces, software development kits and whether the vendor aligns with their enterprise applications platform strategy like Java or .NET. 

End users just care about what works for them, and may prefer consumer tools.  Users who travel extensively may use Skype to make free calls and avoid international roaming charges. Groups that want easy webconferencing to collaborate with external partners use GoToMeeting. This community will be strongly biased toward free, easy-to-deploy, and well known services and products.

All of that can make for a contentious or at least complicated environment for full-blown UC solutions providers. 

Gary Kim is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Request a Quote
Become a Partner

Featured Blog

Millennials and Technology – "I want it now"

The millennial generation, also known as individuals born between the years of 1980 and 2000, are a group of highly collaborative adults estimated to account for roughly 75% of the global workforce by the year 2025...

4 Steps to safely enter 2016 with Fusion and leave your old provider behind

Enough is enough! You can't tolerate the dropped calls, the complaints from upper management, and the slow response time from customer service. You saw the signs of the breakup all along, and now it's time to move onto something new...

Practical Benefits of a Unified Communications System

The business world of is rapidly changing thanks to the technological advancements of recent years...