IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-03-13
 
 
 

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - UCC Good for You, Me and IBMs Wallet

Citing IDC figures, IBM claims UCC will top $17 billion by 2011. IBM plans to capitalize on the growth potential with products such as Sametime Advanced, a product that adds social networking tools and persistent chat to IBM's Sametime Web conferencing and instant messaging software.

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - UCC Good for You, Me and IBMs Wallet

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Its Embryonic

So how big is the UCC market now? It's still very early for true UCC solutions, according to Bruce Morse, IBM's vice president of UCC. "Unification across the communications silos to the point where you're mixing together voice, video, data, etc. with context is still in very much in an embryonic stage in terms of what people are doing."

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Its Embryonic

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - The UCC Focus

IBM Senior Vice President Steve Mills says Big Blue's UCC focus is on providing "carrier-grade" solutions--ubiquitous and highly reliable, and scalable to thousands of users. Translation: This isn't going to be cheap. IBM wants you to license Sametime and get its global services team embedded like termites to support the client software.

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - The UCC Focus

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - IM Will Be the UCC Hub

IM will become the core extension point for multimodal communications, allowing workers to click to call--or even click to Web conference-co-workers from all over the world.

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - IM Will Be the UCC Hub

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Interoperability Lights The Way

Currently, businesses toil in a walled-garden business model of siloed communications applications. This will gradually change as vendors forge interoperability standards that let employees collaborate across disparate business and public domains.

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Interoperability Lights The Way

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Virtual Reality in UCC

Imagine using your Sametime application to set up a virtual meeting. Morse told eWEEK this will be possible in three to five years, as IBM is testing ways to integrate Sametime with virtual reality software, where employee avatars can assemble in virtual conference rooms. Sametime will let users invite other participants and communicate with Web conferencing.

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Virtual Reality in UCC

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Prototypes in Practice

For example, IBM and virtual reality software maker Forterra Systems are programming a Sametime-based UCC solution, code-named Babel Bridge, that could allow U.S. intelligence agencies to use a common graphical collaboration system to communicate within a virtual world.

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Prototypes in Practice

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - VBrick Lotus Sametime Video Plug-in

Another IBM partner, VBrick Systems, is introducing the VBrick Lotus Sametime Video Plug-in, which streams live broadcasts and digital video content within the Sametime environment to users for collaboration.

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - VBrick Lotus Sametime Video Plug-in

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Challengers Welcome

IBM is ramping up its growth in UCC to meet challengers such as Microsoft, which launched its Office Communications Server 2007 last year. But IBM exexcutives including Mills claim Microsoft's UCC scope is limited because it is Windows-based, whereas IBM promises to enable UCC for "all of the information within the enterprise or beyond the enterprise if the customer deems appropriate."

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Challengers Welcome

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Build vs. Buy

IBM acquired WebDialogs in August to flesh out its UCC strategy. Mills said IBM may make incremental acquisitions to improve integration with other products or platforms. However, the bulk of the portfolio is in place to lead IBM into the future of UCC.

IBMs Unified Communications and Collaboration Quest - Build vs. Buy

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