Unified communications – this is not just another fiction of marketers, but a reflection of the realities of the modern world and the requirements of a competitive environment. From a technological point of view, the proliferation of UC is facilitated by the emergence of new telecommunications facilities and the expansion of the capabilities of each. Now almost every modern communication device has “intellect” to some extent and allows realizing a lot of useful functions that are in demand in the current conditions.
Many employees of large and dynamically developing companies cannot manage let’s say, only using a phone or a computer in everyday life. Each of them has a whole set of user devices. And this trend is only increasing. Unsurprisingly, the idea of combining heterogeneous functions on the basis of a single user interface arose. Of course, you can develop the idea of unifying hardware terminals – working to create a unified “superminicomputer” in which “everything without compromise” will be created. But this idea is different from other developers. Now we are faced with the task of creating Po, which would work on all available devices and on each of them would allow implementing the same functions, regardless of whether you are working with a computer, IP-phone, PDA or communicator.
A full-fledged unified communications system should be integrated into the customer’s software environment and business processes, including interfacing with ERP, CRM, contact center, etc., and using all available communication channels. In addition, the unified communications integration should help the client not only to save but also to earn money. We can only talk about Alcatel-Lucent’s solutions, because we have reliable information from our internal and independent experts, and we are also familiar with the results of many projects in this field. So, the means of UC allow saving money directly, in particular, due to the reduction of current expenses for all kinds of telecommunications, infrastructure management, reduction of total energy consumption, etc.
At the same time, many clients – commercial companies – declare about increasing customer loyalty, growing level of employee productivity and, most importantly, their satisfaction with their work. But there are also many projects in the educational, social and other fields, where the need to introduce unified communications is also implemented. For example, in Abilene Christian University (Texas, USA), which employs more than five thousand students, a comprehensive Unified Communications system was implemented based on Alcatel-Lucent hardware and software solutions (including the OmniPCX Enterprise platform, My Teamwork Conferencing, and Collaboration Etc.) and mobile terminals Apple iPhone.
One of the most important advantages of UC systems, which so far few people remember, is the availability of information, and it’s not just about finding it (although, according to IDC, 15 to 35% of the time is spent searching for the right data). The fact is that, according to statistics, all digital and analog media stores no more than 20% of the corporate information, the rest – in the minds of employees. In this light, the very concept of a modern enterprise takes on a completely different form. In the first place now is the opportunity to find the right person at the right time and gain access to his knowledge. Alcatel-Lucent has been developing solutions for such a structure for the last few years, this direction was named Dynamic Enterprise (“dynamic enterprise”), and unified communications are an integral part of the overall concept.