Several years ago I developed a list of the features and benefits that identified the priority SMBs and Enterprises use to assess Unified Communications (UC). For the most part, I believe that the priorities have held up well but two items have certainly been added to the priority list for SMBs. Here is the original list:
v Instant messaging
v Integrated communications for mobile employees
Most of us understand time in terms such as past, present and future. We measure time in increments, with the most common forms ranging from seconds to years. This definition of time is described using the Greek word “Cronus.” However, a lesser-known term for time is more appropriate when endorsing the drive towards developing new IP-based applications, VoIP and Hosted Unified Communications – “Kairos” time.
Kairos is the Greek word that means the right time or opportune moment.
Today, I am addressing an audience at the NTCA IP Possibilities Conference in Kansas City, and the subject is Unified Communications Federation and the business case for offering it as a service by the rural/small ILECs. I am very interested in seeing how many ILECs have an interest in the subject as many do not support large enterprises in their service areas. In this case, an enterprise is defined as having at least 1,000 employees.
UC Federation, simply defined, is communication between different organizations and UC platforms, as if they were all on the same platform.
Interestingly, just as the NTCA was holding its Legislative and Policy Conference in Washington, DC, AT&T announced that it was initiating an IP trial in Carbon Hill, Alabama. AT&T has informed the residents of the town of approximately 2,000 that they will be moved to the phone systems of the future. VoIP and wireless will be the only options for phone service. While ANPI sees no issue with AT&T’s shift towards an IP infrastructure, there are regulatory concerns that must be addressed.
Last week, I attended one of my favorite conferences – the NTCA Legislature and Policy Conference. I do not go to speak or attempt to sell ANPI products or services. I attend with the objective of learning more about the issues facing rural America that require the support of either the FCC or Congress. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet with senior members of our customer base to discuss the latest regulations, rules or laws affecting their ability to maintain their commitment to serving rural America.
Very few businesses exist without a website to support their sales and customer service activity. Additionally, most businesses now use some sort of application to send out emails to prospects, customers or partners and all conduct some form of advertising. However, few have a good understanding of how these elements, the website, email distribution and advertising, should work in concert with each other. Of those people in the US using the Internet, 85% now use search engines to find products and information.