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It’s the Little Things That Matter The Most (for UC End-Users)

June 20, 2013

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

Collaboration is critical to business. However, the term means different things to different organizations, vendors, and people, as Dave Michels recently wrote in his article, What Is Collaboration? Business problems occur when organizations assume they agree on its meaning when in fact each employee, partner and vendor have a different idea in mind. Collaboration drives many essential business functions to an even higher degree, particularly:

1)      Fostering real-time communications;

2)      Introducing faster and improved levels of team interaction;

3)      Enhancing decision making;

4)      Driving team innovation;

5)      Increasing productivity among workers.

Collaborative technologies have become a key ingredient to a well functioning company and the driving force making business more competitive. The umbrella term for collaborative services generally includes:

1)      Share presence via IM, video, voice, and mobility

2)      Document management and sharing

3)      Social networking in a business context

4)      Task management and project management tools/ functionality

In a perfect world, there should be universal interoperability among the wide range of UC and IM platforms available. Despite open standards, however, many UC platforms and services remain deliberately walled gardens.  NextPlane’s UC Exchange removes these barriers to UC federation by providing a cross platform federation service that enables connectivity among diverse UC platforms including Microsoft Lync and OCS, Cisco Jabber XCP, Unified Presence Server (CUPS), and WebEx Messenger, IBM Sametime, Google Apps, Jive OpenFire, Isode M-Link and eJabberd. In addition, NextPlane adds richness by not just supporting presence and IM federation, but has mapped out features across all possible supported UC platforms. To add simplicity between connected end-users, as if they were all using the same platform — helping to break down barriers between business silos. Real-time communications such as these are examples of the “little things” that make connections so painless.

Some examples of the “little things” that make a big impact to business communications are:

  • Using UC Exchange, UC clients such as Microsoft Lync, can display contacts as e-mail addresses or as friendly names. For example, if you choose to view contacts as friendly names, Kim Akers would appear in your contact list as “Kim Akers.” If you choose to view contacts as e-mail addresses, Kim Akers would appear as “”
  • The NextPlane UC Exchange UC-to-UC federation service supports friendly names across different UC platforms, so essential messages will not be missed because business partners cannot find each other – especially when time is of the essence.
  • UC Exchange goes beyond standard presence states of either “Available,” “Away,” “Busy” or “DND” on UC clients. It allows end-users to share custom status messages and enhanced presence states with federated colleagues. The enhanced presence capabilities enable connected colleagues to make informed choices about the best way to contact that user.
  • End-users can tag their federated colleagues, the same way they can tag their internal colleagues, so their UC client can notify them when they become available.
  • Being notified instantly when a message is on its way through allowing each communicator to see when a message is incoming.
  • UC Exchange enables end-users to see their federated colleagues’ v-card contact information (when allowed by UC Platforms and Policies), so partners can stay connected.

It is these little things that make all the difference to smooth business interactions and are really not so little after all. Driving seamless communication forward requires productive, efficient aligned teams – regardless of location.

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