OmniPresence – The Martini Principle…Again

My ideas on the next wave of UC developments…

There seem to be so many articles on which will win… but let me throw this out there – it’s not about UC vs Social Networking applications – they compliment each other perfectly.

Social networking applications provide the context for Unified Communications, and those that segregate and build a wall between private and public social applications are missing a major trick.

What if we were able to make use of hashtags and contextual information within social applications ?

After all, hashtags are widely used within communications applications  and are merely a mechanism for cataloging and enabling the ease of location of like-minded individuals, colleagues that work on the same customer account, subjects and topics and therefore subject matter experts.

The move from Presence to OmniPresence – Intelligent Unified Communications – Connected Everywhere

If we were able to harvest the presence information made within these social applications then “Unified Communications (UC)” could actually begin to mean just that !

Integrating blogs and Wikis is great too – but these information sources are contextual by their very nature.

True Unified Communications will include intelligence gleaned (and harvested from) all the new modalities – microblogging and rss news aggregation , bookmarks, friendfeeds, forums, waves, tag clouds, images and video – and will have the knowledge analytics to let you know who you should be communicating with at any given time based upon the applications view of the corporation.

Just imagine – a communications device that tells you who you need to speak to as well as the best medium and mechanism to contact them.

All interfaces will (of course) be 2.0 enabled and available on any device / anywhere.

ROI will be far easier to prove than typical IPT or UC deployments – since the above functionality will destroy the traditional barriers that slow down certain business processes today.

This is highly differentiated with other unified communications vendors whose products make the assumption that you know who you need to contact within the organisation by name or position, and can find them in the directory.

So there we go – lets see what the next 12 months brings us – it should be fun.

Submitted By Darren Gallagher

The technology leap to CBPA – the CEBP bypass

image_business_processCEBP is about the partial enabling of automation of a business process, or embedding a communications capability in to a business application.

It seems to do parts of the process in a fully automated way, but then you discover at some stage that someone gets an e-mail telling them to do something….a kind of halfway house to full automation .

In my mind, CBPA is the actual automation of the process and provides real process related tasks or work parcels to the associated  individuals or teams.

In other words, all parts of the process that can be fully automated –  really are.

Example Analogies

We could almost subtitle it as “Taking back our time spent in self-service applications” like Travel Portals, Expenses Systems, Facilities Management Portals.

You could also consider this distinction as pull (CEBP) versus push (CBPA) technologies.

Or as I prefer, the difference between a facilitator or  someone who actually delivers something, and goodness knows (in my humble opinion) – the World does not need another facilitator – human or otherwise…

Rather than receiving an e-mail or IVR call suggesting you have “something to do” –  I will try and describe what I believe to be the difference with the following example.

Example of CBPA

Imagine a product development meeting, either by video or web collaboration with voice / video.

Meeting participants agree  actions and these actions are input to the CBPA enabled business application together with owners that are taken from the corporate directory or partner company directories.

Many of those actions could be embedded and signed as hash-tags / keywords etc.
eg –
Action 1 –  David Smith to contact Phil Baker regarding the business case for security feature Stonewall of project Gotham within 5 working days.

Action 2 – Schedule a meeting with the Stonewall project team in Vienna no later than 10 days post Action 1.

Immediately action 1 is typed in to the meeting action minder, the application initiates diary matches to schedule the call with the two action owners, and adds a task to their personal organiser requesting the outcome of this future event and resolution status, and copies the Stonewall project teams organiser with the date.

Any dependencies can be added during the future call which may or may not adjust timescales, but business rules will ensure that the milestone cannot be broken or extended without higher level authority.

When the future meeting is due to take place the application will initiate the collaboration between Phil and Dave and remind them of their agenda.

Any other team participants (collaborators) and dependencies that rely upon the successful outcome of this event will be automatically notified of the results, and further meetings maybe autonomously scheduled.

For example – if the meeting on Action 2 mandated travel, best geographical location would be understood, diary entries would be made to contact the travel agent for flights and the facilities department would be communicated with for meeting room resources – conferencing requirements, such as seating arrangements, food requirements and menus.

Those not required to be there in person would automatically have resources pre-allocated on the most appropriate videoconferencing MCU and details populated in their calendar.

From the travellers perspective – details such as flight preferences , home airport, aircraft seat preferences , and dietary requirements should be harvested from the travel agent’s employee profiles.

The important thing to distinguish here is that the application does the work, the people just agree their selections as required.

A third process path may be opened to the procurement application to pre-authorise the budget for the meeting including cost centre numbers, air fare policy,hotel locations and tariffs.

Finally to ensure that the meeting owners submit their personal expenses on time, the CBPA may schedule a suitable time in the future for the process, thus ensuring that large claims are avoided and that expenses are settled in the appropriate time.

The expenses system will have had the appropriate cost centre codes automatically entered by the procurement process for the prior approved project name – Stonewall, just so long as they still have budget….

Submitted By Darren Gallagher

When Unified Communications meets Social Networking

Social meets Unified Communications
So just imagine some of the features that will be necessary that we haven’t even thought about yet.

Imagine what would happen if all of Stephen Fry’s tweeple notice that his presence has changed to available and try to dial him at once. Kaboom !
Not even sure the cloud could cope with too many flash crowds of those sizes.

Microsoft – Will they or won’t they allow integration with OCS2010 ?
What if Microsoft really go as proprietary as they are threatening to with OCS 2010 ?
Recent articles suggest they are softening from their recent  hard-line position of zero integration with other VoIP and traditional telephony provider platforms.

Why haven’t Google become the largest UC provider in the World ?
Having said that , they have just asked their provider (Level 3)to reserve 1M numbers for Google Voice, so maybe they have been working on the Grand Central acquistion in the background..

Submitted By Darren Gallagher