As 2009 evolves it is becoming much clearer where the world of Unified Communications is going. UC has always meant different things to different people. Yesterday I saw it move on with the Twitter coverage of SocComm.
What is now becoming obvious that we are moving to a world where everything interoperates with everything else. A bit of a generalisation and very dramatic I know but anyone expecting to be a player in communications markets in the future needs to have an open approach to doing business.
So vendors traditionally associated with fairly closed UC plays, such as Nortel, Cisco and Microsoft need to make it easy to integrate their tools with new kids on the block such as Facebook and Twitter. They are all moving towards this slowly. Timico is in the middle of a major platform upgrade with its Nortel UC capability and the new offering will optionally enable Instant Messaging with other networks such as MSN, jabber, yahoo etc.
It is only a short hop then to see Nortel soft clients embedded in Facebook (they already do this with traditional business tools such as Outlook and Lotus Notes), Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds embedded in corporate websites and vice versa and wall posts embedded wherever you care to embed them (plasma display on the fridge?!).
There was a time when I thought that the world of UC would be dominated by a few giant players. Now, we are seeing that new companies can easily develop applications that sit well with existing systems. 2009 is looking like a year of accelerated integration and I think that the phrase Unified Communications is already dead on it’s feet because I don’t think it adequately describes what is actually happening.