A Plug-In Makes a Big UC Difference

Charlene OHanlon
IBM and Plantronics today announced a plug-in that enables Sametime users to have call control functionality, basically freeing them from the shackles of a PC or desktop phone.

Big deal, you might say. Now users can pace in their office while on a call and not have to use their speakerphone. That is true. But the Plantronics Sametime plug-in is more than that.

IBM and Plantronics both value of the user experience when it comes to unified communications. This plug-in proves that recognition. A technology is only worthwhile if people use it, and if the experience stinks, people won't use it.

A recent survey by Plantronics notes  that companies are implementing or seriously considering implementing unified communications solutions for their employees, starting with desktop videoconferencing. The survey also noted that 61 percent of remote workers and 56 percent of contact center workers believe that quality audio is critical to a positive uniffed communications experience.

I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't doubt that somewhere along the line someone told IBM that the ideal unified communications user experience includes being able to roam around while on a call. (Although there is no evidence to back up my belief.)

Unified communications is a hot technology for a reason: it saves companies money by increasing productivity. And the number of vendors that are using open standards and collaborating on unified communications technologies will only help further its adoption at a faster rate.

IBM and Plantronics both are on the right path with their plug-in. Hopefully other UC vendors will also recognize the real key to adoption is a positive user experience.

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