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Microsoft Leading Technology Scramble For UC Market Positioning


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August 06, 2007

Microsoft Leading Technology Scramble For UC Market Positioning

By Art Rosenberg

Microsoft (News - Alert) made a big deal of its Release to Manufacturing (RTM) for the company’s Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS) and Office Communicator 2007 client. This hype is the precursor of Microsoft’s plans to push into the unified communications market this fall.

What is most interesting about Microsoft’s marketing strategy is that the company is not pushing to replace TDM PBX (News - Alert) systems first, but instead suggests that “VoIP As You Are!” and unified messaging (UM) are a practical and less disruptive way to migrate to UC.
With the convergence of all business communications around IP, there is bound to be hot competition from the various technology provider “silos” as to who will supply what pieces of UC. However, everyone is finally acknowledging that the real business ROIs of UC will not simply come from technology cost savings, but from individual user productivity (including enterprise personnel, business partners, and especially customers) and, more importantly, business process efficiencies that are dependent upon people contact.
The real drivers of UC migration will therefore have to come from end-user demand and line of business management, not just IT implementations.
I authored a new white paper describing UC ROIs and practical approaches to enterprise migration planning that highlight Microsoft’s UC product positioning for simplifying the challenge of moving to UC. Rather than start with replacing existing wired desktop phone systems, the migration can start with adding IP softphones, mobile devices, and unified messaging.
You can download a copy of the white paper by going to the UC Strategies Web site.
An analyst for BetaNews has commented on the white paper and you can see his remarks here. I got his attention on the subject of “UC Migration: Where Do You Start?” by leading off with the statement “It all depends!”
Clearly, every business organization has to establish its implementation strategies and priorities based on the following:
  • Business process values
  • End user contact needs based upon business process priorities and personal work environments
  • Existing technologies that must interoperate with new UC elements
  • Internal IT support resources and expertise
  • Budgets
Priorities will naturally vary from organization to organization and between different vertical market segments. So, there is no “one size fits all” for UC and it will be complicated to match new technology capabilities to existing business operations. 

What Do You Think?
I will be clarifying more details from this white paper in future articles, so feel free to send me your questions and comments. You can contact me at:
[email protected] or (310) 395-2360
Art Rosenberg is a veteran of the computer and communications industry and formed The Unified-View to provide strategic consulting to technology and service providers, as well as to enterprise organizations, in migrating towards converged wired and wireless unified communications.


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