What It Means To Be Open

Welcome one and all to the newest TMCnet blog on Open Communications. As the title suggests, we will be discussing Open Communications and how it relates to the Enterprise Communications market today and into the future.
I want to take a moment to introduce myself as this is my first posting. I have been in the communications sector for well over 20 years working in the Military, Federal, and Commercial spaces.
 In my current role, I am working in the office of the CTO looking after our technical vision and strategy as it relates to our UC portfolio. Its been an interesting 20 years in the communications industry
When I started out over 20 years ago in the military, we used proprietary technology almost exclusively. Everything down to the multiplexing/de-multiplexing of voice channels had a proprietary component.
The software was often custom coded and had millions of lines of code.The costs associated with this approach were enormous but more importantly, the technology was usually antiquated by the time it reached full deployment.
Soon after the first Gulf war ended, there was a major shift in the approach of acquiring and developing new communications systems in the military.The most obvious change was the move towards acquiring and integrating
off the shelf hardware and software as part of the development cycle. The reasons for this were mainly expediency (what we would call time to market in the commercial sector).
A normal acquisition cycle could take as long as 8 years to go from concept to deployment. With the move towards 'Off the shelf hardware' called COTS, the acquisition cycle could be dramatically reduced and the costs associated
with the development cycle were reduced as well. 

 Fast forward to the year 2008, we are in the midst of a massive transformation towards a more open software based Communications environment. The Unified Communications Market is undergoing significant change and the field is more crowded than ever with claims of  "Open Interfaces" or Standards Based" getting tossed out there with reckless abandon. Seems like the Market could use some definition around what it really means to be open. Perhaps it's better to view this as a set of principles that Enterprises can follow to determine if the solution they are looking to implement is really "Open". We at Siemens Enterprise Communications have identified Seven Key Principles in an attempt to define and embody Open Communications.
 In the coming weeks I will touch on each of these 7 Principles in more detail, but for now I will provide basic definitions as a starting point.

Unified Communications: Open Communications unifies business communication and collaboration into a single, simple concept.
IT Based Communications: Open Communications embraces open standards and an open IT-oriented software approach to communications.
Fixed Mobile Convenience:  Open Communications uses the most cost effective network without losing the convenience of mobile devices.
Business Process Integration: Open Communications increases productivity by deeply integrating unified communication into workflows.
Rich User Experience: Open Communications solutions are human-centric, focusing strongly on the ease of use and joy of use.
Business Continuity and Integrity: Open Communications ensures business continuity with carrier-class (scale, security and resiliency) architectures.
Open Service Delivery: Open Communications solutions can be deployed in many ways including multi-vendor, managed or hosted options. 

In addition to discussing the topic of Open Communications in this blog, I will also be delving into other areas of interest and will try to provide a glimpse into what lies ahead in our industry. I invite you to submit comments, suggestions, and observations on these topics. If you have a topic that you wish to discuss drop me an email.

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