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June 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 6
Thinking IT Through

Interoperability Revisited

In a recent article I suggested that “interoperability of the existing standalone applications needs to become a requirement that Enterprise IT organizations should be driving their existing vendors and Systems Integrators to elevate to a priority. Without such interoperability, building a roadmap of either a ‘Best of Breed’ or a ‘Best of Suite’ will be very difficult, if not impossible. And deploying against the roadmap is likely at least an order of magnitude even more difficult.” I’m not the only one suggesting that application interoperability is going to be critical to the successful implementation of all of IT’s future plans. We’re seeing this over-arching need for interoperability coming from many directions:

  • My colleagues have defined UC as “Communications integrated to optimize Business Processes,” claiming UC’s biggest benefits come from UC-B — communications directly integrated into business processes, or what many have termed Communications-Enabled Business Processes (or CEBP) — clearly an interoperability requirement between communications and business processes.
  • The mash-up culture giving rise to manifold applications created by putting one or two separate applications/capabilities together to provide some value/utility — an example was the many applications designed to find the lowest price for gasoline in your vicinity, based upon GPS positioning and web-updated prices by consumers, during the recent price run-up — once again, clearly interoperability being used to create value.
  • IBM (News - Alert)’s recently launched Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT) and its interoperability with and call routing to many different PBXes and endpoints, as demoed at the recent VoiceCon — again clearly interoperability required.
  • And several vendors are developing new platforms/capabilities/tool-kits to facilitate interoperability — Avaya’s Aura — Cisco’s connectivity to Microsoft’s OCS (CUCIMOC) — both demoed at VoiceCon.
  • Apple (News - Alert)’s recent demos of possible interoperability between the iPhone and various medical devices at its recent intro of iPhone 3.0 software.

So, interoperability is becoming built in to solutions/capabilities across the landscape and all will make it easier for IT to meet its charges to improve how businesses operate and, ultimately generate profits for the future. Stay tuned as this theme will continue in future articles as additional interoperability provides more opportunities to extend existing investments and create new benefits. IT

David Yedwab is a Founding Partner in Market Strategy and Analytics Partners (News - Alert) LLC. Contact him at 908-879-2835 or

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