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Jun 24 2014

Fujitsu UC&C Solutions: Modern Communication from the Ground Up, Pt. 1


In today's economy, the ability to connect and communicate almost 24/7 is an undisputed prerequisite for success among large enterprises and SMBs alike. Yet many companies still stick with communication strategies and technologies that date back to the 1990s – all too often because they think they must. Fujitsu's portfolio of innovative solutions for Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) not only helps them modernize their infrastructures, but will literally transform the way they do business. Part 1 of this blog outlines the differences between traditional communication models, unified communications, and UC&C.

Organizations have always sought to implement smooth communication processes that would readily connect them to customers, suppliers, and authorities as well as their own workforce. That's as true today as it was 10,000 years ago. To ensure maximum efficiency, these processes had to build on the latest accessible technology. Until the mid-1990s, that meant communication primarily consisted of (hand-)written letters and phone calls. In the two decades that followed, the Internet revolution nearly eliminated these traditional channels and methods, but at the same time produced a wealth of new technologies – such as email, chat, or videoconferencing – that more than make up for the loss by simplifying and accelerating communication. At least that's how these technologies were supposed to work; however the sad truth is that oftentimes their initial positive impact got lost in everyday operation.

Unified Communications – a Step Forward...
Instead, senders and recipients from inside and outside many companies started to complain about a lack of integrated communication, that is, the inability to "switch channels" – or carry over a conversation from one medium to another – without being first forced to drop it and reconnect. Likewise, many users soon became frustrated with increasingly complex environments and applications that failed to work as expected on numerous occasions.

Fortunately for a lot of companies, these problems became visible early on and compelled them to revise their communication infrastructures and processes. By the early 2000s, many had implemented Unified Communications (UC), a framework that integrated several technologies and services from telephony through chat and peer-to-peer file sharing to email and fax, regardless of their real-time or non-real-time origins. This proved to be a great step forward, as it allowed the firms to not only connect former "communication islands," but also to reduce the number of hardware systems, applications, and management consoles which ultimately saved them large sums of money.

...But Not Advanced Enough
By today's standards, however, UC is no longer advanced enough, especially for companies trying to leverage the power of new communication channels that popped up in recent years while further streamlining information exchange and collaboration:

  • Enterprises use social and professional networks, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, as well as blogs to introduce new products and services, run campaigns, or "hook up" with their clientele. What's more, personal connections from these networks help to form stronger bonds among employees. Given the perceived immediacy of these communication processes, it's no surprise that companies strive to seamlessly integrate them into their media strategy.
  • Portals as well as intra- and extranets have served as platforms that allowed for information sharing and detailed searches. The trouble is that quite often they offer only limited insight into a company's knowledge base and require distinct authentication and user management procedures. In a modern environment, users expect to find a centralized gateway that immediately connects them to data, IT resources and people so they can obtain information, collaborate on documents, or close deals. Plus, they require enhanced search functions that can be applied to a combined set of knowledge repositories.
  • In some environments, virtual workplaces facilitate information sharing and collaborative authoring, while a people and skills finder connects users to the appropriate experts.
  • Finally, a truly modern communication platform must enable users to find and provide information and assistance as fast as possible – at best 24-7-365.

Besides, a host of companies still maintain parallel infrastructures for services they consider essential, and so the complexity and cost burden continues to exist. The aim of UC&C is to provide a platform that combines all of these diverse functionalities under one hood. To find out how this works and which Fujitsu Client Computing Devices support the new technology, please see part 2 of this blog, which is due on Wednesday.

Bernd Germandi


About the Author:

Bernd Germandi

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fujitsu


Comments on this article

the elephant in the room
August 20, 2014, 07:14 Unknown user
This is precisely the kind of pain that SMes and mid market and those large conglomerate are still grappling with the elephant in the room is the boss who says ' em.. I think we are okay even if we know he travels from a to B every week twice at least 40 miles away and with traffic jams looming in today's super highways , their productive day on this travels is seriously reduced to half the usual time plus the road rage let alone other costs involved personally and as a business How do we convince the elephant in the room that they can begin and end their conversation in the comfort of their home or small office downtown but all this without breaking the bank for expensive gadgets and or consultancy
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