Major players in the emerging unified communications phenomenon came to the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston and essentially agreed that while integrating voice, fax, e-mail, pictures, and video is a white-hot subject, implementing their related applications has been elusive.
"IT executives don't care how it [unified communications] happens," said Frost & Sullivan's Melanie Turek, who moderated a UC session. "They just want all their apps to work together, whenever they need them, whatever they are."
Turek, who is principal analyst for information and communications technologies at the market research firm, came armed with a new survey of unified communications -- or UC -- and noted that the buying influence for unified communications is shifting gradually from department purchases to IT central purchasing.
With the federal government and Homeland Security promoting teleworking programs, the rapid growth of unified communications is likely to continue. Turek said the number of U.S. teleworkers increased by 150% from 1999 to 2005 and she believes that percentage continues to increase.
The participants at the "Unified Communications Comparative Analysis" session approached the subject from different perspectives, but agreed the UC phenomenon is represented by a multiplicity of IT and telephony features, products, and services that are being shoehorned and converged into a happening known as Enterprise 2.0.