The communications architecture evolution has hit its stride, penetrating the old PBX model and exposing its weak proprietary underbelly, costly recurrent maintenance fees and ineffective integration of modern communications applications. So, out with the old and in with the new! The new digitized IT architecture for enterprise communications is both a higher-functioning and less-expensive option for your business interactions than outdated PBX systems.
For some, the concept of unified communications (UC) seems too good to be true. To have all of your communication channels seamlessly embedded and readily available feels like a near impossibility. But in an age when technology has turned the world upside down, it has also transformed business processes. Especially for those more-traditional folks—like those who agree with sentiments expressed in a recent No Jitter article “The UC Pipe Dream”— this hopeful idea of seamless communications merely represents an unlikely paradigm.
A lot of claims are made in the article by author David Michels, who has 20 years of telecom experience, from the unlikely death of email no matter the prevailing rise of social media, to the ongoing hiccups from issues of control and compliance, to his slant on the future of Google+ now being “more uncertain” than ever. Let’s take a moment to distinguish fact from fiction by looking at some recent numbers.
We are now officially a society where mobile phones outnumber people and smartphones have majority status. Mobile capabilities are ultimately the user’s third arm. No matter how much we may want to deny it, we depend on mobility for so much nowadays—including making our jobs easier and more efficient.
This increasing convergence of employees’ personal and professional lives is bringing about a new working era, which has forced IT teams to respond accordingly. As such, we’re seeing the consumerization of IT. In other words, to support this undeniable working movement, IT has been reorienting itself to cater to individual user needs.
Social media holds a top spot within most organizations’ communications toolset today. However, businesses are still a long way off from achieving social strategy nirvana, according to a 2013 Gartner report. As we continue to feel our way through, figuring out which social efforts work in your collaboration strategy and which don’t, Gartner says it will be another 18 months before the number of successful efforts crosses the tipping point. More specifically, the consulting firm expects that 80 percent of social business efforts will not achieve their intended benefits until 2015—at the earliest.
The reason for the slow adoption, according to Gartner, is because executives are placing too much focuson technology and not enough on what they are trying to achieve with that technology. In particular, Gartner states that companies should put more focus on identifying how social initiatives can improve work flows and practices.
Davide Petramala, Esna's EVP of BD & Sales, shares his thoughts on the future of collaboration and how Esna enables collaboration across a variety of cloud applications.
Do you remember the game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” It was a self-described “edutainment” computer game in the 80’s and 90’s in which criminal mastermind Carmen Sandiego traveled the world in an attempt to evade the fictional ACME detective agency. The game likely serves as a fond memory for many millenials.
But what if those agents tailing her were equipped with technology so powerful that they always knew where she was? Back in the day, such a solution hadn’t even been conceived yet. But today, geo-location sharing could have put the entire game’s plot to rest with just the click of a button.
From the very first features of unified communications to modern day instant messaging to next-generation solutions like WebRTC and CEBP—collaboration technology has come a very long way. Geo-location tech is being touted as one of a handful of next-generation collaboration technologies, as it has just begun garnering hype but has yet to reach its peak in the industry.
Yet another year has gone by at lightening-speed. Throughout we saw many notable happenings and trends in the collaboration space involving unified communications (UC) and cloud computing – many of which are slated for continued growth through 2014 and beyond.
To take a closer look, we sat down with our very own CEO and CTO Mohammad Nezarati as well as EVP Davide Petramala to pick their brains about some 2013 highlights as well as predictions for the New Year.
Esna is all about communications solutions that get work done. It’s really that simple, and that’s why we’re so interested in communication-enabled business process, or CEBP. CEBP is a concept that is revolutionizing the way teams – including our own – conduct business and, of course, communicate.
As explained in a previous post, CEBP integrates communication capabilities into software-enabled business procedures or applications. This enables communication between applications, as well as between applications and humans, to better automate business processes, reduce human latency and to foster a more native user experience.
Businesses should be able to communicate in whichever way they prefer, and CEBP supports it all. But what would CEBP look like in a real-life business scenario? Let’s take a look at some possible outcomes afforded by CEBP technology.
Communication-enabled business process (CEBP) has been praised as the Holy Grail of unified communications (UC). Why? Because despite the mountains that UC has moved in recent years, many still consider it to be at a rudimentary level. CEBP – a concept that is surfacing closer to the top of business communications – is being touted as the next best thing to completely revolutionize UC in that it takes communication and embeds it into everyday work processes. In other words, it enables seamless communication at any given time – a worker’s dream come true.
What exactly is CEBP?
The process of unifying communication related data began in the 90’s when companies like Esna worked to build unified messaging, bringing email, fax and voice messages together into one interface. This provided business professionals with a consolidated mailbox for managing all their messages. As unified messaging evolved, it expanded to include other important information types like calendar presence and integration with CRM applications, social and other business process tools. This new unified communications (UC) solution became a powerful tool to help busy professionals be more productive from anywhere.
As I look ahead to the next logical evolution for UC, I believe it will become even more integrated with business process by aggregating, correlating and sharing the valuable information that flows through a business. There are so many threads of individual activity happening each day within an enterprise. In the future, UC will provide business professionals with rich information about what is happening with their customers, peers, and partners and offer deeper context around the conversations they are having with them.
Today, lots of important information about customers, initiatives and activities is captured—but it’s in silos like CRM and ERP systems, web analytics, meeting notes, social sites, phone calls, and internal sites. And there’s also relevant, indirect information that provides additional context including geo location, presence and time of day. The real value of all this data is clear only when you can pull that information together, correlate it to specific events, activities or topics and understand the insights that are revealed. UC already touches most of these systems today—and in the future it can connect with more—becoming a logical way to integrate and extract meaning from these many sources of business intelligence and data.