UC Feels Better

By Irwin Lazar
On Oct 15, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Unified Communications market has taken a bit of a hit as of late; trade press reporting lackluster sales, executive turnover, and continued struggles around interoperability have put a bit of a damper on enterprise UC excitement. Today’s announcements by Avaya and Unify (Formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications) reflect a new dynamic in UC, the transition from a market focused around IP telephony to one focused on software.

Unify, with its Project Ansible aims to deliver a software application that unifies (or is it “harmonizes”) all the various channels that people use to collaborate into a common UI. This approach puts voice, video, document sharing, email, text, and messaging at a user’s fingertips, tied together around the identity of those collaborating to enable easy access to any and all collaboration channels.

Avaya’s Collaboration Environment furthers the software-centric approach by delivering a development platform that enables enterprises and independent software vendors an easier means of developing applications that can leverage unified communications applications. While we’ve had the premise of “communications enabled business processes” for the last ten years or so, real-world implementations have been hampered by the complexity of development, a challenge Avaya hopes to solve.

Taken together these announcements highlight the transformation of UC away from its voice-centric past to one where a variety of collaboration channels are brought together, integrated with business process applications, to enable collaboration in context, improving the value of UC, and the productivity of those who use it.