Bringing Social Networks, Unified Communications Together

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Unified Communications Converge with Social Networks

Results from a Yankee Group survey regarding the convergence of social media and unified communications.

It's inevitable that social networking and unified communications ultimately will converge. Unified communications rapidly is becoming the standard for internal communications.

But social networking is gaining momentum for communicating with customers. In fact, a new study from The Yankee Group that was commissioned by Siemens Enterprise Networks (SEN) finds that the number of employees using social media to communicate with customers is much higher than most senior managers might appreciate.

Chris Hummel, chief marketing officer for SEN, touts that the company is the first to provide this capability in UC software. The company has formally rolled out the latest version of its OpenScape unified communications software that includes that ability to integrate with a variety of social networks. This update was first previewed last fall.

Obviously, other UC vendors will provide similar hooks to social networks over time. But for Siemens, the ability to integrate social networks presents a compelling case regarding the openness of its UC platform, said Hummel.

Who knows how many applications and services that any unified communications platform ultimately will need to tie into? But communications by its very nature requires extensibility, so unless your UC platform is designed to be open from the start, it's only a matter of time before you experience a failure to communicate.