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Who Needs Federation?

May 12, 2009

Forward-looking organizations are deploying Unified Communications (UC) solutions such as Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) and IBM Lotus Sametime to improve communications, increase collaboration, and improve worker productivity. Unfortunately, many businesses are not able to fully realize these benefits by enabling employees to collaborate seamlessly with their colleagues internally or across corporate boundaries.

Some organizations have implemented multiple UC platforms. According to a recent survey close to 42% of organizations with 10,000 or more employees have at least two UC platforms. Others want to accelerate business agility by enabling their employees engage in secure real-time collaboration with multiple external partners regardless of their underlying UC platforms.

These organizations are facing the same challenge: workers served by dissimilar UC platforms cannot use their native client to IM, accurately exchange presence, or engage in multi-user chat. It is no secret that, despite press releases and joint communiqués going back to 2005, Microsoft OCS, IBM Lotus Sametime, Cisco Jabber, Google Apps and others are a) not inherently interoperable, and b) won’t be any time soon.

But even if they close the interoperability gap they still have to fully address a host of complex security, management, and control requirements.

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