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For the consumer, social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ are increasingly integrating channels such as voice, mail, and video into their suite of social communications offerings.

90% of multi-national companies have a strategy in place for convergence of IT and Telecoms, do you?

The consumerisation of technology driven by broadband connectivity, the adoption of mobile devices and cloud based data services may be reducing the competitive advantage of being a mobile enterprise due to ineffective collaboration caused by a lack of compatibility between different competing platforms.

For the consumer, social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ are increasingly integrating channels such as voice, mail, and video into their suite of social communications offerings. In the enterprise there are a number of providers of enterprise social communications and collaboration platforms including software vendors like Salesforce.com, communications suppliers like Cisco, groupware vendors like IBM and social enterprise collaboration specialists like Yammer.

Pim Bilderbeek an analyst at METIS recently defined the four stages of communications and collaboration that currently co-exist across most global enterprises. METIS say the varying levels of communications deployments are causing problems for CIOs seeking to benefit from enterprise mobility:

  • Stage 1 – Separate Communications
  • Stage 2 – Mixed Communications
  • Stage 3 – Unified Communications
  • Stage 4 – Social Communications and Collaboration

METIS say that the key components of a unified communications and collaboration strategy to drive enterprise mobility are:

  • A single interface that ties together presence, alerts, and communications channels.
  • A communications channel that takes feeds from applications such as voice, video, chat, and email
  • An alerts channel that takes feeds from business applications such as CRM and ERP
  • A presence channel that takes location, availability, calendar and status feeds from people or devices
  • An IT management system where user, device, security and apps are managed
  • A wide variety of communication, collaboration, social, business or other apps that feed into channels
  • A search capability to find users and information
  • A cloud based infrastructure

Getting to stage 4 will require the different collaboration vendors making API and RSS feeds available to each other and also a standardised telecommunications platform that brings together fixed mobile convergence and device management. In addition, a single interface will need to connect to the relevant apps and have management and search capabilities available for the IT department and the user.

Currently the vendors that have the potential to develop such a single interface are Yammer, Jive, Cisco, IBM and Salesforce. Having identified the potential collaborative interface providers, what about the telecommunications platform?

Vodafone Global Enterprise is ideally positioned to provide a standardised telecommunications platform and achieves this by working with customers on the following four stages:

  • Evaluation of existing telecommunication infrastructure, suppliers and technologies identifies capabilities and gaps
  • Consolidation of suppliers and technology platforms simplifies operations and management by reducing the number of parties involved in delivering technologies and services. Immediate cost savings are achieved through management efficiency and economies of scale. Additionally, the foundation is laid for the next phase of convergence.
  • Integration of technologies with fixed line and mobile convergence laying the groundwork for unified communications throughout the enterprise.
  • Unified Communications achieved with a standardised communication platform and a single collaborative interface.

With unified communications and collaboration in place enterprise mobility will be accelerated by faster and easier deployments of devices and business apps, improved collaboration between employees and partners, enhanced customer engagement, quicker decision making and substantial productivity gains across the business.

To learn more about the steps required to successfully achieve unified communications, download our white paper.

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