Uni­fied com­mu­ni­ca­tions

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - BENE­DICT KELLY benk@fin­week.co.za

THE IDEA THAT YOU could have ev­ery­thing in one place is a great idea. Imag­ine be­ing able to see your SMSs, emails, voice mails and in­stant mes­sages all in one place. Though for most peo­ple that’s still a pipe dream that’s what the con­cept of uni­fied com­mu­ni­ca­tions prom­ises to users.

The prob­lem fac­ing most com­pa­nies is they tend to buy tech­nol­ogy from a variety of dif­fer­ent places: the phone sys­tem from one ven­dor, email from an­other – and then users make their own de­ci­sion on what in­stant mes­sag­ing sys­tem to use, with some us­ing GTalk and oth­ers us­ing Win­dows Mes­sen­ger.

The prom­ise that uni­fied com­mu­ni­ca­tions will pro­vide is that no mat­ter whether you are out on the road, at home or in the of­fice, you’ll al­ways be reach­able. Or, more ac­cu­rately, you’ll be able to de­cide which groups of peo­ple will be al­lowed to con­tact you.

By us­ing your note­book com­puter, your PDA or your cell­phone, you’ll be able to alert peo­ple to your sta­tus and dif­fer­ent peo­ple will re­ceive dif­fer­ent mes­sages. So your friends may see you as avail­able but work con­tacts would see you as off­line. You’d also be able to see all mes­sages – such as emails or voice­mails – from a sin­gle in­box. So it’s rel­a­tively sim­ple to see who is try­ing to con­tact you.

The idea is that not only are all your com­mu­ni­ca­tions cen­tralised but you also have con­trol over who can con­tact you and when. That has to be a good thing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.