A Pragmatic View of Unified Communications

A Harris poll identified that 61% of workers surveyed said that email is their primary mode of communications at work while only 31% said phone. Companies like US Cellular have declared ‘email-free Fridays’ in an attempt to bring down their share of 40 billion person-person emails, sent daily on a global basis (USA Today 10/06/07). At the same time, Gartner says that 85% of business processes are slowed down by human latency.

People love to talk, just not voicemail tag (some people even send emails to say ‘read my voicemail)…….
People love email, just not spam and being copied on everything under the sun…….
People love video just not its complexity…….
People love their personal directory of friends and contacts, just not managing different contact lists (some people use their cell phones rather than their desk phones because of their cell phone directories).

As a result, people are less productive, and more importantly customer responsiveness and business effectiveness suffers.

So unified communications can be viewed as a unification of the user experience to allow optimal use of the available communications modes. One other perspective; ‘optimal use’ has to be defined by the business in terms of accelerating time to X (where X is decision, service, support, revenue or problem resolution). Simple! Add a pinch of presence and you get a very interesting value proposition.

What problem are you trying to solve with unified communications?

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