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Unified Communications Magazine March 2008
Volume 1 / Number 5
Unified Communications Magazine
Joe Fuccillo

Executive Suite

By David King, Executive Suite

RT: How does NEC Unified Solutions define Unified Communications?

DK: NEC defines UC as the set of applications that enable the enterprise to achieve truly unified business communications across the organization. The specific applications included in this approach may vary by customer, but, in general, we view the potential set of key applications within UC to include telephony, presence, instant messaging and SMS, voicemail and unified messaging, mobility, contact center, attendant console, voice and video collaboration, and web conferencing. NEC provides some or all of these applications with every UC deployment.

RT: How important is Unified Communications as part of a business’ communications strategy?

DK: It’s very important. We agree with the notion that enterprise communications is moving toward a software-based future. Deploying UC on an IP-based infrastructure is an essential first step toward a long-term business communications strategy. What cements that strategy further is mapping out and considering organizational roles prior to the deployment process.

RT: What factors should a company consider when considering a Unified Communications purchase?

DK: The role of individuals within an organization is the primary consideration when deploying any business communications solution. This can mean a number of things. For example, within a hospital, there are multiple needs based on the role of each individual. A doctor in the operating room may need to collaborate with specialists in another hospital, while a doctor making rounds may need to access patient records. When these doctors need to access critical information, they might use different components of UC, such as video collaboration during surgery or instant messaging to the nurse’s station during rounds. Traditional office environments present their own unique complexities. Mobility is on the rise, as are newer web-based technologies. More and more, we’re seeing customers needing a combination of out-of-the-box solutions and professional services to make the most of their business communications. NEC has expertise and strength in vertical markets as well as in complex scenarios to help customers navigate these factors and decisions. Interoperability is another leading factor. Most customers require any communications solution to work with some percentage of existing deployed technology. It’s a challenge we’re very accustomed to meeting.

RT: What kinds of Unified Communications applications or capabilities make the workplace more productive for employees?

DK: Again, it comes back to the roles within the organization. In the traditional office, personal productivity applications, such as Instant Messaging, presence, and unified messaging, often sell the UC solution. In healthcare, mobility and quick access to patient record data are big drivers.

So, back in the hospital example, if you can imagine combining a mobile client on a smartphone or tablet PC with mobile access to patient records, a doctor can then collaborate via IM with another doctor to solve a problem with a sick patient right there on-the-fly. This may require some customized attention from a

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