Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unified communications and collaboration (UCC): There's an app for that -- 3-D virtual environments

Last week I had the chance to visit with one of our clients, a global energy firm, where I met with a new group of about 15-20 people.

The firm is looking for justification for its unified communications and collaboration (UCC) strategy. In other words, why should it invest in UCC, and from whom? After three hours of material review, discussion, and Q&A, the essential feedback from the group was that they really liked ProtoSphere as a case study example to present to their line of business owners, because it illustrates a business application that would justify spending on implementation of the UCC infrastructure.

They were positively inclined about the ability for the ProtoSphere environment to combine so many UCC elements, including IM/text chat, VoIP, presence, video, SharePoint document access, e-mail/calendar integration, conferencing, and social profiles. This would give end users the flexibility to select which one(s) would get the job done the best/fastest.

They liked the concept of bringing the right people and the right real-time information feeds together, which could allow them to make optimal business decisions in the areas of manufacturing and production process management. This would add collaboration to those workflows.

I came away from the meeting thinking, UCC: There's an app for that ... and it's called 3-D virtual environments. And specifically, in this situation, ProtoSphere. But also, is this experience indicative of a larger trend? Is collaboration in 3-D the way enterprises will justify their UCC investment? What are your thoughts?

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