Unified Communications is dead; it’s now Social Communications. Unified Communication solved a very complex problem, how to bring all your communication channels into to one easy to service. There are 2 BIG things Unified Communications is missing, social and context.
Issue #1: Social
It has been said “Facebook put people on the web”. Before Facebook people surfed the web, but now people have their profiles, pictures and interests on the web to interact with their friends. The social enterprise has done the same for corporations. Salesforce.com Chatter helps employees collaborate. If a company is not using Chatter today they are allowing their employees’ knowledge and talents to be under-utilized.
The social enterprise provides a platform that opens a world of possibilities. In the past, most employees would never interact with C-level executives or people outside of their region, now people can not only communicate with them, but they can help them. Social communication removes silos within a company, UC does not. A company not adopting social is like not digging for gold under their own house.
Issue #2: Communication in context of work
Today UC users can escalate an email to an IM, chat, or voice conversation from an email, which does provides some context, however I wonder if the communication should even be an email.
For example, an email about a sales presentation for an upcoming meeting for a large opportunity would only provide the information in the email, to a select group of people.
If the conversation were a chatter post on an opportunity record the employees following the record will be able to view the uploaded presentation, provide comments and also view it in context of the opportunity itself (Chatter for Sales, PDF). This now allows sales team to view the record and adjust the presentation based on the record information.
Here are additional use cases for social communications:
Social communications features include:
- Social intelligence
- File sharing
- Employee profiles
- Workflow approvals
- Chatter Messenger (IM and Screen Sharing)
- Extension with integration with products, software (i.e. SharePoint)
So, are you going to pick up the shovel and start digging for that GOLD?