Unified communications is a marketing Camelot


A while back I wrote my feelings about the term unified communications. My point in different words is that unification regarding enterprise communications technologies is a type of marketing Camelot. Paraphrasing The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, like the legendary city, an imaginary enterprise communications environment is said to exist with some “impressive architecture … and the chivalry and courtesy of its inhabitants.”

Back in the real-world, enterprise communications in truth are very un-unified, and that’s a good thing innovation wise. This lack of unification and the expectation gap that has resulted from decades of marketing spin is today opening new opportunities for innovators. One example is Zinc.

+ Also on Network World: Unified communications: Communications, yeah. Unified? That’s questionable +

Rather than unity, enterprise communications applications and platforms traditionally were dominated by a few companies and relative homogeneity in what is offered. The industry never really met the needs of the worker. What resulted is a mix of shadow IT; once en vogue dusty, misused, pushed-aside, idle form factors; IT dictated applications that get used mostly when the boss is looking; and feature-rich appliances, of which only a small subset of the application value ever gets applied.

The unified ideal has lately been further eroded by the advent of new communications modalities, including group messaging. Owing in part to demographics trends, as increasingly digital natives reach critical mass in organizations, things are moving with incredible speed to new models for enterprise communications. 

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