The VoIP/UC Round Up # 2920

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

The VoIP/UC Round Up # 2920

MetTel's Gary Gluzman has a 2-part look at UC. He mentions Glip and Slack, which are taking off, but I think that much of the new app collective - WhatsApp, snapchat, even Slack - are just replacements for AOL chat - and honestly have not added much to the equation.

I recently explored how one client company used Slack. Everyone liked it; however, it didn't really work. It lacks real presence; notification if message seen/read; a way to escalate the message to a phone call, etc. It really was just a messenger replacement. That isn't workflow or collaboration.

I think stand alone apps like Snapchat just aren't going to do it. Office365 with Lync/Skype and Google with Hangouts have full capabilities for collab, comms and integration. With the add-ons to Gmail, that platform gets richer and more useful (if you have enough memory to run the darn thing; it is such a memory hog.)

The buzz about Office365 is growing because all the work is being down to integrate voice and Skype/Lync with the other apps (like here). That is the first step in what has to happen. And it doesn't have to be Google or MS, but who wants to build another ecosystem? Well, someone will build one because we build instead of buy in this industry.

Enterprises aren't happy with the current out-of-the-box UC&C solutions. There are pitfalls with each software deployment - UC or CRM or other - because of functionality, poor planning, lack of user training, simplistic guides, bungled execution and other pitfalls.

I think it has to be about what you are trying to do, not just what tool can I use. You have to step up to see the desired outcome, how can I get there, and is the solution complex or simple.

Best example I can give comes from CRM. The execs and techies want CRM to touch every single department. That is the wrong reason to get CRM. If the salespeople won't use it or it is too cumbersome, then why bother? It has to be user friendly first, tech friendly second.

When you look at consumerization of IT -- why is that happening? Because people have iPhones and they like the simplicity and functionality of it. They want that at work. They like how easy Mailchimp, Dropbox and Slack/WhatsApp are to use. Simple interfaces, clean UX. Do you get that from the ERP system or the in-house built software project? Unlikely. The UX and GUI took hours of specialists' time to get right. (If you haven't seen what goes into UX, you should.) They want that look and feel at the office.

Unfortunately for your office, you have millions sunk in legacy systems, proprietary systems, and cobbled together integration. Not only does that make for a mess for IT; it isn't user friendly or mobile ready or portable. What now? When workplace evolution to hot desking and remote workers is speeding up.

There are people in organizations that just want a replacement for what they have now - only cheaper. Our industry taught them that. You have to find the business leader who wants to transform the business. That person will have a discussion about business goals and expected outcomes. (Remember to talk about the internal employee resistance to change -- and mention how the training, online learning and guides should smooth some of that out.)

It is changing pretty fast. That means opportunity abounds.

Vonage says there's still 85% of the SMB market left to penetrate with cloud services.

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