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Unified Communications Magazine November 2007
Volume 1 / Number 3
Unified Communications Magazine
Jim Koniecki

60 Seconds with Jim Koniecki,

By Jim Koniecki, Integrated Collaboration Solutions Manager

 

Integrated Collaboration Solutions Manager, Dimension Data

Jim Koniecki's served as Senior IPT Design Engineer at SBC Datacom from 2003 to 2006. He came to Dimension Data North America in January 2006. His company's Integrated Collaboration solution seamlessly integrates multiple new and existing communication channels, including key technologies such as IP telephony, presence, email, audio and web conferencing, voicemail, UC and instant messaging (IM).

Richard "Zippy" Grigonis recently spoke with Koniecki about Dimension Data, seamless integration and UC's future.

RG: What trends do you see?

JK: We see the rapid adoption of UC technologies. Active trends and hot topics include: Presence Integration; Session Initiation Protocol (SIP); Transport Layer Security (TLS); Identity; Device status; Individual status; Desktop Telephony Control; Integration into Office; Outlook and browsers; Click to dial; Soft phones; Fixed-mobile Convergence; Dual mode handsets; VoWiFi; Call pivoting; Integration into Business Applications; and Tighter integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Workforce Analytics (WFA) systems.

Our Integrated Collaboration (IC) offering seamlessly integrates these so components can complement each other. IC utilizes both Cisco and Microsoft technologies - including IP telephony, enterprise-grade IM, integration with productivity applications, multi-party conferencing and integrated directory services - enabling employees to collaborate instantly and securely. Our customers want to integrate the best Cisco and Microsoft components, rather than chose one company over another. Thus, the future UC space will be defined by these big-name players' cooperation and collaboration.

Customers increasingly want to integrate their converged networks with productivity applications, and they want all of their communication channels through a single client - a client based on a PC or mobile device (Converged Client). This dictates a broader skill set requirement for system integrators.

Also, Microsoft will play a larger role in the UC space; a shift analogous to the past resourcing requirements where telephony and networking teams needed to collaborate and merge, creating Convergence teams. Future collaboration and teaming will be between Convergence teams and Microsoft teams.

It's absolutely critical to have VoIP and converged networking experience in today's UC world, plus a good foundation of Microsoft infrastructure skills, especially in Active Directory and Exchange. Customers are beginning to want their Microsoft and UC environments to be linked.

Consumers will also play an increasingly important role in the UC transformation and, as a result, drive more IT requirements. Intimately familiar with products, including IM and webcams, from their use at home, consumers demand that these familiar applications and others be implemented in the workplace to enhance productivity. As consumers drive demand for presence applications to the executive level, IT is being tasked with approving, standardizing and securing these applications.

RG: How do you see UC moving forward?

JK: Constant news and announcements, as various products continue to mature and become more user-friendly. Look for honed developments in enterprise IM. Organizations have long wanted to "block" IM clients, but IM's efficiencies are ever-more apparent. Also, look for a less clear delineation between email messages and voicemail messages and systems. Now that it's easy to get voice in your email, systems can be developed to deliver email messages to your voice mailbox as well. We can also expect further integration of calendaring and telephony. More people will dial into their voicemail, where an automated attendant can schedule activities, cancel meetings and more. And anticipate video and mobile advances. For example, as bandwidth becomes cheaper and more readily available, more private and publicly-hosted video conferences will be held. Finally, as Cisco and Microsoft continue to launch new products and portals for mobile phones, we'll see advanced software and data capabilities

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