Two Approaches to a Shared Communications Goal
Social networking and unified communications are close cousins. As technology evolves, they are trending ever more toward each other. It is a nice opportunity for vendors to plant a flag in an enterprise with more quickly deployed social networking tools.
Last week, InformationWeek ran a long piece describing how SAS is using Socialcast to mount internal social networking initiatives. It is a very interesting case study. This paragraph is near the beginning of the story:
"SAS had started down the path of creating social applications based on Microsoft SharePoint "when the project manager stumbled across Socialcast," Lee said. "We realized it might be a better fit for us, given the timeframe in which we wanted to deliver on our requirements. One of the things that was important to me was that employees be able to reach success with communication through the system pretty quickly. I didn't want it to be something that would take us eight months to a year to get out, and by the time you get it out, it's old."
One window shows all your applications. Companies are using unified communications (UC) platforms like Microsoft Lync and Avaya Flare as videoconferencing catchalls. These platforms consolidate all the windows workers have on their computer screens at any time, including videoconferences. They also integrate social media, so employees can video chat with anyone from their social networks. The trade-off, experts say, is that users must abandon preferred chat clients and adapt to using UC for everything.