It's not news to say we are bombarded by communications: from our mobile phone, landline phone, emails, instant messaging, social networks, etc. And don't get me started on our personal devices and networks... Luckily, unified communications is here to fix this and allow us to manage all these communications easily.
Right, that's it for theory. Let's dive into the real world!
general public drives adoption
I have personally noticed that big changes only happen when adopted by the mass public. And at the moment, unified comms is a very nice concept but it seems to lack an obvious example: when I explain it to people outside of the telecoms industry, they stare at me like "what?!" So... is there a way for unified comms to really work on a day-to-day basis, seamlessly?
For example, everybody uses an email client (to quote the most popular one today: Gmail) which is a cloud-based product... but do people know what cloud-based services are? Not necessarily, but they still use them on a regular basis.
Facebook phone enters the stage!
So I was thinking... what might drive unified comms to the general public? And I think I found it! :-)
You may have heard, Facebook has kind of launched a "Facebook phone"; it isn't exactly a brand new phone with a brand new OS (yet?) but it is still revolutionary:
The Facebook Messenger app can make voice calls to other Facebook users that have the messenger app. The calls work over your wireless network and Wi-Fi.
What does that mean? Beforehand, you would use the Facebook Messenger app to text people, thus deleting in a way the text service included in mobiles. Now, it's going for calls too: people will turn down their usual contact lists for their Facebook friends list entirely pretty soon I guess.
In other words, the phone number is dead.
unifying our identities would be key
So what's the link with unified comms you might ask? Well, it is supposed to consolidate all our channels of communications into one. At the moment, we have a lot of channels included in one tool: all our apps within our smartphone like Gmail, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, etc. So, what if all these ways of communications shrink to just one? Wouldn't it unify our communications?
At the moment, we're only talking about a "Facebook Phone" that integrates into smartphones (and their special stuff "Facebook Home" only available on Android!) so it's no huge revolution for unified comms... yet? Indeed, what if, say in ten years, people are more at ease with managing their online privacy (to avoid this, for example), they will be willing to use their most prolific and efficient online identity tool to centralize comms... and what better than their Facebook account so far? Or maybe their LinkedIn account? Who knows?
I don't know but I'm still excited about it: at the moment we "only" have initiatives like OpenID (which are great but not enough). I wouldn't be surprised if social networks would be the answer... ready for the future unified comms? ;-)
crédit photo : © Sylvain Bilodeau - Fotolia.com