The Register guide to unified communications
A primer on the implications of unified communications for enterprise IT
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How often do you get frustrated when you can’t reach someone? You try their desk phone, then their mobile and perhaps their home office number, then give up and either leave them a voicemail or send them an email or text message. Then when they don’t get back to you as quickly as you would like, you get annoyed at them for not being responsive.
There are numerous variations of this game, and it often plays out into classic telephone tag, convoluted and confusing email chains as in desperation you ping the next best person to the one you really need, or simply abandonment of the communication attempt because the original reason for making contact has timed out or been overtaken by events - all of which leads to even more frustration and annoyance.
Yet not once do we direct our annoyance at the ludicrously complex and fragmented systems we are all expected to use as the foundation for our business communications. The number of fields that need to be populated in our address books over the years has proliferated horribly - internal extension number, external DDI, switchboard number, home office number, business mobile number, personal mobile number for emergencies, email address, instant messaging address, Skype ID, etc.
The good news is that our latest primer has been designed to get you going here. We wouldn’t claim that it is the definitive Unified Communications implementation handbook, but for those who want a no-nonsense grounding in the topic so you are better armed to read all of that vendor literature and perhaps start thinking about how to deal with that communications mess, it’s a pretty good read.