Thanks mainly to the rise of cloud computing, interest in unified communications services has never been higher. For the better part of a decade, many IT organizations have deployed some subset of unified communications technologies on premise and success has been spotty at best. As those organizations gear up to embrace cloud services from Microsoft and Cisco, many of them need more insight into how those technologies are actually being used inside their organizations.
To address that issue, Dell Software today released an update to its Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS), an analytics application that now supports Microsoft Office 365 for Exchange Online and Cisco Unified Communications Manager services.
Curtis Johnstone, senior UC product architect and Microsoft Skype for Business MVP at Dell Software, says that most IT organizations have pockets of existing unified communications deployments. As they move to embrace cloud services, they need insights into not only how those new services are being used, but also how anybody using existing UC services running on premise might be impacted by any potential shift to a new service.
Dell UCCS already supports Microsoft Lync/Skype, now known as Skype for Business 2015. As IT organizations gear up to make the shift to Microsoft Exchange 2016 in the coming year, Johnstone says more of them will embrace unified communications features that are embedded in the platform.
In the case of Microsoft, Dell is making use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to pull relevant data into an open source Cassandra database on top of which Dell UCCS runs. In the case of Cisco, other providers of unified communications technologies running on platforms like Avaya, which runs on premise, allows Dell to pull that data directly into the Cassandra database.
There’s no doubt that there will be some resistance to various new UC services that have the potential to usurp a variety of existing UC products and services. But many end users are already using external services that the internal IT organization currently has no visibility into or control over. So it would be best to make a case for using one service or another based on facts concerning how much any one of the unified communication technologies is actually being used inside the enterprise.