Instant Messaging Finally Making Its
way Into Unified Communications
Back | (Part 2)
IM As Part of UM for the Residence Market
The Comcast Cable announcement reflects yet another
perspective of communications convergence, this time from the residence
market, where cable is starting to make inroads on the telco turf. The
residence market is not just about consumers, but is increasingly including
both the SOHO and teleworker users that are business communications
oriented. Comcast is looking at unified communications, including IM, to
provide the same enhanced telecommunications functionality needed by
enterprise users, rather than just the lower pricing that
alert) will enable all service providers to offer.
As reported in the press, “Comcast subscribers can
look forward to video chat, unified messaging (getting all e-mail,
instant messages and voice messages in one place, whether on
alert) or on digital cable, including caller ID on the TV and a call log
that lists each message by time and type), videoconferencing and
videophones.” Integrating IM with other forms of asynchronous messaging
under the umbrella of unified messaging is certainly valid, but it’s
real-time role for text chat and dependency on presence management should
tie it closer to call management options.
We also expect to see convergence between the
residence market services and wireless handsets, since the same personalized
user needs for contact mobility will apply to residence users, consumers or
business, as it does for the enterprise environment. Whether it will be
alert) in the home, or wireless carrier services, in our book, the
wireless mobility shoe has to drop along with any form of wired network
And What Do Enterprise Telecom Managers Think
We always look at both sides of the coin to evaluate
the progress of technology migration, i.e., what the industry is offering
vs. what the markets are ready to use. In this case, we look at our most
recent survey of enterprise telecommunications management, to rate their
perspective of the importance of IM and presence.
Although “communications convergence” would suggest
significant interest in IM as a complementary mode of real-time contact that
should interwork with traditional telephone calling, the survey results show
that IM is not of great interest (yet) to the voice telecommunications folks
in the enterprise.
This may be a result of the lack of industry-wide
standards and the aforementioned inability for the technology providers to
support interoperability. It also may reflect the lack of convergence
between voice communications and text messaging within most enterprise
today. With the rise of VoIP and IP Telephony, we are finally starting to
see more offerings of unified messaging and “one-number” contact services.
So, although IM is being heavily used on the services
side, it is only now going to become a practical responsibility for
enterprise communications management. Stay tuned!
What Do You Think?
How much responsibility should the enterprise take
for IM service? Should it be a combination of public services and in-house
servers? Who in the IT department should be managing IM usage? How should IM
interwork with both email and phone calls? What role should presence play in
routing a contact initiator towards IM, email, or a phone connection? How
will enterprise IM text messaging interwork with Push-to-Talk voice services
for both mobile and desktop users? How will security be unified and enforced
across all inter-enterprise communications activities?
Let us know your opinions by sending them to
Art Rosenberg is a veteran of the
computer and communications industry and formed The Unified-View to
provide strategic consulting to technology and service providers, as well
as to enterprise organizations, in migrating towards converged wired and
wireless unified communications. He focuses on practical user
requirements, implementation issues, and new benefits of multi-modal
communication technologies for individual end users, both as consumers and
as members of enterprise working groups. The latter includes identifying
new responsibilities for enterprise communications management to support
changing operational usage needs most cost-effectively.
to be an objective industry thought leader, Art Rosenberg has been publishing their highly-acclaimed syndicated column on unified
messaging and unified communications for over four years to a worldwide
audience of consultancies, technology providers, service providers, and
enterprise technology managers. He is a popular speaker at
leading technology conferences and organized the first programs in the
industry focused on the subject of unified messaging/communications. The
Unified-View's website (www.unified-view.com)
is also considered to be a leading source for information on the evolution
of unified communications.
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Unified-View, All Rights Reserved Worldwide