Unified Communications isn’t that unified is it?
I know I have a propensity to grumble but this one has been on my list for a while and I feel it is properly justified. Something about Unified Communications has bugged me for quite some time… It is that UC not really that ‘unified’.
It doesn’t seem to matter who the vendor is or what products are used in the UC solutions, the problem is the same. The real unified experience should be at client-side regardless of what we do at the back end. As I sit here tapping away, I have Outlook open alongside my Lync client, both of which I think are brilliant, but the fact that I have two clients open shows that to me as an end user things are not unified. Let’s not even bring Yammer in to the conversation.
I still firmly believe that my post from April 2013 ( https://petevasey.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/will-email-be-the-next-fax/ ) that Email is to die a slow and painful death in the same way fax did, (is?) but until that happens, we need to unify the client experience properly. What do I do in my email client? Well, from an email perspective I read emails, reply to one or all, forward, file, delete and save attachments. For calendaring, I use it to create appointments and meetings. Not much really.
Nothing on that list of tasks is rocket science, so as a user why do I still need two clients? Well, personally I don’t think I do need two clients, I just have no choice. I can already access my Exchange voicemails through Lync. I just need the Lync/ Skype for Business client to cover those tasks and have a functional meetings tab and a slimmed down email tab, do that and I’ll be happy! Keep Outlook for those who use it to a greater depth, but give me the option of a fully unified client.
I do think though that from all vendors this is a pretty big oversight. Currently the move to ‘Universal Communications’ as an alternative name to ‘Unified Communications’ in my mind fits much better. We need to unify the communications, not just provide access to them all. I am sure it will get there but a greater focus needs to be placed on bringing it all together in one place.