The other big question is what’s with Skype? The next chapter in Skype is going to be very interesting – and if you aren’t using Skype now – that just might be changing soon. It is ridiculous how enterprise IM systems continue with their island approach to IM. Over and over the vendors tell us how IM will transform our lives and enable new kinds of productivity, but few extend beyond the firewall. If only productivity was strictly an internal matter it would simplify so many things.
If you plan to be in Interop, drop by the following sessions. If you don’t plan to be at Interop, revise your plans like I did.
Google has always been cloud-based, but Microsoft is also promoting cloud-based versions of its office-productivity software, via the Office 365 cloud-based service. This market development has resulted in Google winning some enterprise accounts for its Gmail service, but is Gmail ready for prime time? And the larger question is: Now that Google and Microsoft have added communications “hooks” into their office suites, are we on the verge of another round of convergence? Will enterprises move toward (or away from) Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, etc., based on the effectiveness of these systems’ integrated communications functionality? In this session, industry experts will help you understand how cloud-based office applications use communications integration to enable and promote collaboration.
Your enterprise probably has users, customers and partners on Skype, and many may use GoogleVoice as well. If your enterprise IP communications platform could talk to these public services, you could greatly expand your reach, using voice, video or other collaboration modes, without ever touching the legacy PSTN. Skype and Google both have the global scale and branding to position themselves at the center of a new public network—but the matter is complicated by Skype’s acquisition by Microsoft, and Google’s potential to compete with the vendors in this space. This session will help you understand the mechanisms available today to use cloud-based providers like Skype and Google to reach your stakeholders with all-IP communications; it will also show you the obstacles to this goal. You’ll come away with a grasp of the state of the art today, and what you can expect tomorrow.