CIO Priorities Dovetail UC Capabilities

35% respondents to CIO Insight survey identified improving business processes as a business priority in 2008, making this area top of mind only behind delivering better customer service. A similar number identified collaboration and workflow technologies as the #2 technology (behind BI) that will make the most significant contribution to their business strategy.

This bodes well for expanded unified communications solutions that include communications enablement of business processes to reduce the impact of human delay. I call this reduction in time to X, where X is whatever is important to your business (decision, service, problem resolution, revenue, lower costs).

Realizing these CIO priorities requires unified communications capabilities to be delivered as software services across a SOA-enabled agile communications environment. Agility can only be achieved through multi-vendor systems that cross enterprise and service provider domains, reaching your people and customers wherever they may be.

Maybe you want to listen on your next commute to an interview I did discussing the relationship between unified communications and SOA.

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I am a Nortel IT employee, and have played a leading role in the internal implementation of our UC solution. I want to add to the points you make about the business value of UC. We have found internally that part of the value proposition is hard dollars -- it reduces costs -- by consolidating systems and providing less expensive mobile solutions. As you note, it improves productivity and is a huge part of the collaboration paradigm of 2008. The other cool thing about UC is that it dovetails with social computing in the ways that companies work together to deliver products, it supports the open business models which are directly delivered by open source technologies and joint ventures. Unified communications is about mobility, openness, collaboration, and efficiency. These benefits can be hard to measure, but they are very real.

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