How do Twitter, Facebook and other Social Networks impact UC?

Unified Communications — the holy grail of both traditional networking companies (Cisco, Avaya, etc.) and some not so traditional network firms (Microsoft) has the lofty goal of bringing together your office phone, voice mail, home phone, cell phone, email and instant messaging into one point of contact.  You (as the end point) decide who can reach you at whatever access point you are at, through a central phone number or ID.  You can also identify who cannot get to you (for example that pesky sales rep goes automatically to voice mail, SPAM filter or admin).

Unified Communications puts the receiver in control of who can reach them and how they are reached.

Unified Communications, aka UC, has great possibilities to make time more productive — no more phone tag, no more voice mail hell of trying to reach someone for a deadline and failing.  It really is a time saver, can be a deal saver — and has the possibility of being an enormous money saver.  (You can have a central phone number but let many workers telecommute while still having the professional “front end” of your central business phone gateway).

UC is NOT UM (unified messaging) which centralized the voice and electronic mail together.  It is much, much more than that.  Yet not only has UM muddied for most what UC is and is not, now along comes social networking which has muddied it even more!

Twitter is a quick burst “push” technology that lets its users post what they are doing.  Others can follow these “tweets.”  Facebook and other social networks lets you keep up to date with your friends and LinkedIn lets you network with business associates you know, or whom you should know.

Let’s face it — UC and social networking are all forms of communications.

Do they dove tail somewhere in the middle?  Are they diametrically opposite?  Is one the death knell for the other?

They dovetail.

UC allows the recipient (end point) to determine who can reach him/her, how and when.

Social networks allow the sender (send point) to broadcast messages to individuals or groups.  There is no way to immediately reach the sender (even with a tweet or message on Facebook there is no way to determine when the sender will see it let alone respond to it).

So UC is the ying to social networking’s yang.  Opposite, yet complimentary.  One is casual and end points access it when they have the time and the need and the inclination.  It is a “pull” technology.

UC is more professional and allows the end point to be reached as needed (instantly) by those who should have that access as allowed by recipient.

I’m a user and huge fan of both technology camps.  UC keeps a busy person spinning many activities at once more in control — which in this world of constant demands is a refreshing technological advantage.  Unfortunately UC has been slow to catch fire — perhaps due to the economy or the inability of vendors to clear articulate its true value.  Given time UC is a natural winner.  It simply needs to be explained, cost justified and exploited.  As with everything:  what is the value to the customer?



About Sandra Eisenberg

Dynamic pragmatic marketing and sales executive whose biggest asset is converting technology to real corporate value -- for a variety of industries including health care providers (Adventist Health System Sunbelt), Teradata (Data Warehousing), RWD Technologies (quality improvement and professional services), Siemens and AT&T (telecom). Sandra brings twenty years of experience in sales, marketing and IT management. Her career spans entrepreneurial firms (E5 Marketing) and senior positions in sales, sales management (direct and indirect), marketing, channel development and product management at Bell Labs and NCR Teradata. A few career highlights: • Total product lifecycle management (PLM) using ISO 9001 and other quality methodologies. Sunset aging product lines and developed a migration path to a new, open standards platforms at Avaya, NCR and Bell Labs. • 1st woman to win the AT&T and NCR Teradata national sales awards -- top sales manager and sales rep at AT&T, NCR Teradata and Avaya • Delivered profitable marketing campaigns in the area of CRM, Business intelligence, contact centers and other high tech areas • Run call centers, sold call centers and been in product management of call centers (Avaya, AT&T and NCR) • Director of CRM Strategic Planning and Alliances at Avaya and NCR Teradata • Senior Manager of Product Management Bell Labs (business intelligence, data warehousing and CRM) Most recently Sandra managed the Central Florida territory for Siemens' telephony division. Siemens is selling this division soon and their loss can be your gain.

Posted on June 9, 2009, in internet, UC, unified communications, viral marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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