Hyperconnected users, like you and me, have to deal with multiple devices, multiple numbers and names, multiple inboxes and multiple security environments. These challenges are being addressed by Unified Communications (UC). The UNIFIED in UC starts with the user, and should mean a common interface for different modes of communications. This is in essence the battleground being drawn between Microsoft/IBM on the one hand and Cisco on the other. One proof point: Cisco gives you two clients when interoperating with Microsoft. Not very unified? In my mind, this confirms Cisco’s strategy to push their own UC client and just loosely interoperate with Microsoft ‘as a last resort’. In fact, quite recently, Steve Ballmer and John Chambers publicly admitted that UC was an area in which Microsoft and Cisco would be highly competitive. So, when you think UC, start with the user experience.
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