In these economic times, application innovation that can positively impact customer service and revenues, or increase business effectiveness or decrease costs, are as important as ever.
One of the fundamental steps in achieving application innovation is to recognize that human delays slow business processes and that this costs enterprises real money. By decreasing or eliminating these human delays, enterprises can experience a significant and positive transformation by accelerating "time to X" -- time to decision, to revenue, to service, to support, to product; and by delivering increased business agility, accuracy, service velocity and business productivity.
The industry approach to this challenge is communications-enabled applications, which generally speaking allow
1) users to invoke UC functionality directly from within business application; and
2) business processes to directly initiate context-based UC communications triggered by some 'event'.
So customers often ask me "what are the sweet spots for communications-enabled applications in my enterprise?"
I would offer that the top characteristics of processes that can benefit most from UC enablement are as follows:
1) Processes that need the help of a subject matter expert
2) Processes with enough transactional volume and of long enough duration to be significant
3) Processes where there is a large elapsed idle delay due to lack of communication
4) Processes that have a direct touch with customers and partners
5) Areas with a lot of failed transactions
Once you have identified a business process that could be accelerated through communications enablement, only consider truly open software-centric solutions, such as the Nortel Agile Communication Environment (ACE). ACE has been designed from the start as vendor-agnostic communications integration software, that is a foundation for pre-packaged applications (such as hot-desking deployed by HSBC), and for customized communications-enabled applications, and as a toolkit for enterprise, SIs and ISV application developers.
How sweet it is!