Human delays are slowing down your business processes and this is costing you real money. Communications enabled applications are highly transformational for enterprises by accelerating 'time to X'- time to decision, to revenue, to service, to support, to product; and enabling increased business agility, accuracy, service velocity and business productivity. Users should be able initiate Unified Communications sessions directly from the business applications they use; and business processes should be able to be accelerated by directly initiating Unified Communication sessions (e.g. IM notifications) without human intervention (e.g. triggered by some event).
So how do you generally go about do this, once you have identified a business process that you want to accelerate through communications enablement?
1) Open Ecosystems: Communications enabled applications can only become mainstream if they can leverage a large ecosystem of software developers and use well-established software development tools and frameworks. The answer therefore lies in making communications services available to business applications through Web Services and SOA.
2) Orchestration for real-time services: SOA is an architectural style originally designed to add flexibility to application development. With communications-enablement of application, orchestration of real-time services becomes tablestakes.
3) Network/vendor-agnostic: The capabilities made available to applications (e.g. check presence, notify, locate, call, bandwidth request) must be independent of the underlying communications technologies and the vendors involved. Vertically integrated network-centric approaches just don’t wash.
4) Cross-domain: In many cases, the value to the business will be greatest if communications enablement can cross domains defined traditionally as carrier-enterprise, wired-wireless, public-private, enterprise-partner.
The corollary of the above is don’t go with vendors, who position communications enabled applications built on network centric architectures, allow communications enablement only for their products and only in enterprise domains.
If you buy into this, you may be interested in our recent industry-forming announcement.
So, what are some of your business processes that could be accelerated through communications enablement?