HTML5 and Unified Communications

Unlike some observers who use rigorous definitions to identify unified communications, Unified Communications Edge simply says that any time different applications work together to get a user what he or she wants, it qualifies as unified communications. 

Of course, this sort of Montessori view of unified communications doesn’t preclude fancy things from being added to the mix. These could be “escalation” – the ability to fluidly add communications platforms, such as videoconferencing and whiteboards – to any existing sessions. Another is presence, which is the ability for the system to know the status of folks participating in a unified communications session.

The bare bones definition of unified communications favored here can happen more by “accident” and not flow in a purposeful way from vendors’ platforms. In other words, Cisco, Microsoft or Avaya offer unified communications suites that methodically link various communications elements together in an elegant (and likely expensive) platform.

The bare bones version interoperates, but more by using set standards and protocols. HTML5 — the next version of the protocol used to put together Web content — is the subject of this CNET interview of Rob Chandhok, the president of Internet Services at Qualcomm, and is important in the drive for this lower version of unified communications.  

A problem facing mobility today is that the process for app creation is different on each of the operating systems. Various versions of applications must be written for Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Phone and the other operating systems.

This is inefficient. HTML5 could be the answer, the story said: 

HTML5, unlike other codes used for the development of apps, is a Web-based standard, so sophisticated programs can be run using a browser, rather than as a native program on the phone. The major advantage is that, in theory, a developer can build one HTML5 app and have it run on any phone with a good browser. That also means the app isn’t stuck in just one platform such as iOS or Android.  

Chandhok comments in the piece that HTML5 is the future — and he is not alone. A recent survey conducted on behalf of appendTo by Contemporary Analysis revealed that 84 percent of developers plan to use HTML5 in projects within the next six months. Hearst Magazines certainly will be among that group.

HTML 5 is not thought of as a key element of unified communications. But, as an enabler of sophisticated applications, it won’t do anything but help – and perhaps help significantly.

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