For our purposes we will over simplify the definition of these two technology terms. In fact – over simplification has been my approach, as I’ve worked in the Industry for over twenty years. As a strategic, senior sales executive, I learned a long time ago to not make the technology solution or terminology more complicated than it already is … after all I can always bring in the Sales Engineers to make it complex. Since I primarily work with C-level, line of business executives and some technologist – my focus needs to be on explaining how we are solving their business problem with the technology solution – PERIOD!
My apologies to those who are well versed in this stuff – since this is my first post on the topics I am laying a foundation.
NOW for the definition of Unified Communications (we’ll add the Collaboration component separately) … we can use the Wikipedia version to keep it oversimplified … ” (UC) is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC allows an individual to send a message on one medium, and receive the same communication on another medium. For example, one can receive a voicemail message and choose to access it through e-mail or a cell phone. If the sender is online according to the presence information and currently accepts calls, the response can be sent immediately through text chat or video call.”
The collaboration piece is the part that allows the caller/user to “see” who is available before calling (presence), to send an instant message vs. a phone call; to invite others to attend and launch a video or audio conference with a click on names in a directory, then to share a common document on screen. Perhaps send an email invitation to a smartphone user who clicks on the message and is instantly joined to the multiple video or audio call. Collaboration is typically multiple parties (using these tools) working to be more productive with increased mobility. Powerful stuff with a myriad of options – yet seldom do all of the components come from one vendor.
IMHO – the best definition of the “Internet of Everything (IoE)” comes from Cisco – they refer to it as “connecting people, process, data and things”. This network effect will be global, pervasive and economic. According to Cisco the aggregate value of everything joining the network is pegged at $14.4 trillion over the next 10 years by “leveraging IoE to improve operations and customer service”.
Finally the IoE will include machine to machine (M2M) connectivity and the “Internet of Things” – the virtual connection of physical devices, sensors and monitors. Again, Cisco has quantified it as some 50 billion things connected by 2020!
Since everything will be connected – we will spend our time here in future post. We’ll explore applications, business use cases and cool things that emerge. This should be an exciting space that will most certainly affect our lives.