NEC’s Annual Drivers Day Highlights Similarities between UC and F1

nec-sauber-drivers-day-unified-communications-f1What does Unified Communications have in common with Formula One racing?

Well a lot more than you might think. There’s nothing like the combination of speed and technology—a blend that is key to success for both technologists and Formula One (F1) teams.

Speed sells, and it sells well. Speed—or lack thereof—is the main reason that many technology innovations take off. It’s also the reason why many fail. Speed is the reason why dial-up internet was replaced by DSL, horses by automobiles, and why F1 racing continues to grow in popularity year over year.

All of that is fairly obvious.

But what isn’t always obvious—is that NEC invests in speed and innovation in areas beyond IT technology.  In fact, NEC is heavily invested in F1 racing—a sport where speed and technological innovation are necessary to succeed.

NEC is a premier partner of the  Sauber F1 Team, and yesterday we hosted our annual F1 Drivers Day event at our European headquarters. It’s a fun day for NEC and is just four days before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Drivers Day was celebrated locally for NEC business partners, employees, and any F1 fans that could make it to the event. But in a truly innovative and unique fashion, partners, employees, and fans from multiple cities across the globe were able to attend via NEC’s award-winning Unified Communications & Collaboration platform UNIVERGE 3C.

Those who attended had the opportunity to meet Sauber F1 Team driver Esteban Gutiérrez and test driver Giedo van der Garde in person. The rest of us were invited to a question and answer session through the live UNIVERGE 3C broadcast, which gave the event a truly authentic flair (we are technologists after all).

After general introductions by NEC Global Marketing Executive, Todd Landry, Sauber Motorsport AG Marketing Director, Alex Sauber, came to the stage to discuss the role that technology plays in F1 racing.

Racing technology has indeed changed a lot over time—which was evident in the pictures that Sauber brought with him of some of the original computers and equipment that has been used by the team. Sauber is one of the oldest F1 teams on the grid today—and was founded in 1970. So they’ve had a front row seat as F1 technology has grown and changed over the last 40 plus years (the picture below is an excellent example as it shows how much the steering wheel changed over the course of just one year).

With Esteban running late as a result of a British Customs snafu, Giedo took the first round of questions from the global audience. The first question was about F1 steering wheels, which to a layman looks like the lunky musclebound brother of an Xbox controller.

nec-sauber-drivers-day-unified-communications-f1-technologyThe steering wheels are incredibly complicated. The buttons and knobs do everything from controlling the radio, to managing the brake systems, shifting, clutch system, oil intake, brake fluid—and so on. The lights, and now screen, serve as warning mechanisms—letting the driver know when something has gone awry. With the car going up to 340 kilometres per hour (about 211 miles per hour) it becomes increasingly evident that making an error can be dangerous.

That’s why the drivers are given their own tech—simulators, which keeps their reflexes honed during the off season. For Giedo, the newest Sauber team driver, the simulator technology is even more important, as each car is customized to the team and the team’s drivers.

The discussion then turned to racetracks, with a viewer asking where the Silverstone track was most challenging, and which track was the most difficult overall.

Giedo memorizes each track. The real challenge, according to him, lies within the curves. Curves are the most technically difficult parts of the race for the drivers to execute. Even with the stable car, the high speed corners require serious backbone—as the changes in down force and torque make the car more difficult to handle—like an incredibly powerful dog pulling on a leash.

F1 in general requires serious backbone, which signals the part of the event where the discussion turned toward the racers themselves. It bears mentioning for those who are not fans that Formula One racing is one of the most physically demanding sports there is.

As Giedo kept talking, he named Singapore track as his toughest, both physically and mentally. “It’s basically made up of non-stop corners,” he said. Singapore is a two hour race, during which his average heart rate is 158 beats-per-minute—putting immense stress on the driver’s body. This is most evident when you compare the number to the average healthy man’s heart rate, which is typically around 60 beats-per-minute.

The physical stress of driving takes a toll on the racers, which led Giedo to discuss the difficulties of not being able to drink in the car. With so few pit stops, it can be easy to get dehydrated. Racers can lose up to 3 litres or more of fluid (about 0.8 gallons) in a two hour race—three times more than what’s required to lose concentration.  So dehydration becomes even more dangerous than usual in a sport where concentration is literally required to keep the participants alive.

The human element, as it seems, may be one of the most dangerous facets of F1 racing. In fact, the cars themselves are one of the safest, as they are engineered to be highly stable and include some of the best technology the world has to offer. But when asked by one NEC F1 fan whether or not there was a future where robots would be driving the cars, Giedo flatly said, “No,” indicating that the robots wouldn’t be able to make the quick decisions the drivers themselves have to make during every race.

As Esteban arrived and got settled, the discussion turned to fitness, as a viewer asked about exercise needed to sustain the racers’ bodies during the grueling races.

F1 racers must have immense physical resistance to heat and other stresses, as well as the ability to cope with potentially catastrophic fluid loss. In fact, experts say the loss of one per cent of body fluid is enough to cause serious lapses in concentration. And a Grand Prix driver will lose up to three and a half liters of fluid in the course of a two-hour race.

During an F1 race a driver will experience up to 5G under braking and cornering  and 3G under hard acceleration, meaning that his neck has to support up to 24 kilograms (53 pounds) during a long corner—the equivalent of having a sack of spuds slammed into the side of your head while you’re driving.

During the off season, Giedo and Esteban said they will work out about for about three hours in the morning, and two hours in the afternoon to stay in shape. During the season, the drivers have a varied schedule, so while they try to average two hours a day, it can change.

When Esteban was asked what matters most, the skills of the driver or the technology in the car, he answered very matter-of-factly, “Well the car has to be quick. But driver has to drive as quick as possible with the car that’s fast. It’s a combination.”

So there you have it. Speed and technology, paired together to make a successful F1 racer as well as the car he drives.

And as the live UNIVERGE 3C broadcast came to a close, Esteban thanked the NEC team saying that UNIVERGE 3C gave them the ability to talk to all of the NEC fans more easily. “Thanks to the technology, we don’t have to travel all over to talk to you,” he said.

Which given his issue with Customs, is probably a relief.

If You Missed the Event

Interested in learning more about Sauber? Want to see how well NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C works in a truly global application? Just love F1? Check out NEC’s F1 Drivers Day video below.

Is Your Business at Risk Running an Outdated PBX

nec-risk-of-outdated-pbx-benefits-of-ucYou know your PBX is way past its prime, and economic pressures have lead you to delay its upgrade or replacement.

But there comes a point in time when continuing to sweat your communications  assets no longer makes sense—from both a financial perspective and a business/productivity perspective. Retaining outdated equipment can essentially increase your IT costs and prevent your users from utilizing communications tools that help your business processes.

Phone systems are one of the assets that many companies sweat for too long, and, as a result, many of these organizations are sitting on archaic (or end-of-life) equipment that is no longer efficiently supporting their business while possibly putting it a risk.

Yet for some, the prevailing practice is to continue operating the existing system well past its useful life and beyond the end-of-support.

We often hear the following reasons to avoid upgrading:

  • We don’t have the budget, or there is a higher priority budgetary request.
  • The lifespan on the last PBX was too short.
  • We’re afraid that if we upgrade tomorrow, something better will come out next week (a.k.a. the cycle of obsolescence).
  • We’re unclear on our unified communications plans and how our phone system should fit in with UC.
  • Newer phone systems are becoming too complex to use.
  • The buying cycle is too long, and we will have to get too many people involved who will all have different opinions.
  • We don’t know which approach to take—i.e. premises, hybrid, or cloud-based.

There’s a chance that the phones you think are supporting your business aren’t. While the value of your older technology may not have appeared to change—for example, the phones still work, and you can still make calls—the outdated system may be hurting your business.

We know the decision to move to a new telephony system is sometimes a difficult one to make. That’s why we’ve created the following list of 3 of the benefits of a modern unified communications system over an outdated phone system.

1. System Stabilization

If you are a business owner or decision maker, you have probably thought, “We save money keeping the old system. What’s the worst that can happen?”

Every day your business uses an analog, TDM, or older VoIP phone system that has reached end-of-life, you run the risk of having your phone system fail without access to support. If that happens, revenue will likely be lost as a result. How much? Well, you could lose what equates to hours, days, or even weeks of revenue—depending on the amount of time it takes to quickly repair or worst case find and install a new system.

And hurrying to find a new system isn’t ideal. If your system fails, it could mean you are forced to make a quick replacement decision. Companies that don’t have the time or don’t take the time to research properly before purchase usually discover they’ve spent too much money or are unhappy with their purchase after it is too late to change it. Taking the time to find the right IP Telephony solution or Unified Communications solution will improve your business processes and efficiencies without over-extending your budget.

2. Improved Operational Costs

Maintaining separate systems like directories, conferencing software, voicemail, and telephony is expensive and time consuming for IT departments to sustain. In fact, it can be so time consuming that the IT department spends the majority of their day keeping these systems functional—time that can be better spent on more strategic IT projects.

The older the system, the higher the operational cost is when you don’t upgrade. Some of the costs businesses accrue using older systems include:

  • Proprietary hardware at each location (equipment, phones, PBX)
  • Installation
  • Licensing
  • Maintenance, repairs and upgrades
  • Additional services
    • Fax
    • Business SMS
    • HD video meetings
    • Audio conferencing

When you factor the lost IT time spent maintaining each separate communications system  with the opportunity cost of not having the advanced applications and features that modern unified communications provides, you end up with a total cost that is just too high for most businesses to ignore.

3. Competitive Advantage

Have you stopped to think about whether your competitors are taking advantage of modern communications software? If they are and you’re not, then chances are they are able to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently. Working smarter gives them an edge by increasing their productivity and creating a competitive advantage.

Your competitors that are working with updated communications systems, most likely have these advanced features at their disposal:

  • Audio/video/web collaboration, white boarding and document sharing
  • Support for the mobile workforce with a consistent user experience across smartphones and tablets
  • UC clients that provide status, presence, call history
  • Integrated vertical applications through standards and open services

 

While the cost of upgrading may seem high, the advanced applications and features associated with modern communications systems will help re-gain lost competitive edge and offer companies an opportunity to better serve their customers.

Unified communications can help businesses regain competitive advantage in two ways.

First, a new system can help you increase your revenue by providing your business with the communications applications needed to be more productive and efficient. You could gain better advantages and increased competitive edge by choosing a modern solution with a lower total cost of ownership and features that enable collaboration across your business, improving the speed of your communications.

Secondly, UC provides communications software that makes enterprise-level communications applications available on an ad-hoc basis. This either gives you access to applications that you might not have previously been able to budget for, or, saves your organization money as you no longer have to pay the fees required to utilize multiple services. Replacing hosted web, audio or video conferencing services is a perfect example. The accrued savings can boost the return on your unified communications investment, and expand your competitive edge through re-investment into other IT projects that help your business grow.

Increased Productivity

If you fear that your new technology will become obsolescent and use that as an excuse to avoid upgrading, you shouldn’t.  Look for vendors that offer software assurances and extended warranties for hardware that will provide your business with more security and less risk in the long run.

With a modern communications solution, you ensure that your system has the flexibility to handle rapid growth, giving you the ability to provide support to your increasingly mobile and distributed workforce. Your IT team will re-gain some of their time, allowing them to focus on other strategic IT initiatives. And, your employees will re-coup benefits that improve the speed of communication from access to applications that positively impact your daily business—whether it’s through more efficient collaboration with colleagues, or improving customer response times.

Options Available to Your Business

Ultimately there is a high cost, in terms of inefficiencies and operational cost, when you continue to operate an outdated or end-of-life phone system.

Some organizations struggle with selecting the best model (premises, hybrid, or cloud-based) to meet long-term communication needs. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the advantages of each option. Ultimately you’ll look for the platform and vendor that has the flexibility to customize the right solution to meet your specific needs.

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What to look for when creating a Unified Communications RFP

Examining the Enterprise Connect Unified Communications RFP Results

nec-enterprise-connect-uc-rfp-david-stein-tcoEach year at Enterprise Connect, a mock Request for Proposal (RFP) session is held. The mock RFP is a simulation of the requests that enterprises and government agencies put out when looking for a new unified communications solution.

The session, led by independent consultant David Stein, Principal at Stein Consulting Group, assesses telephony products developed by communications vendors.  Each of the vendors that participate are required to answer questions related to their solutions’ architecture, features, and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over a 3-5 year period.  The goal of the session is three-fold:

  • Provide enterprises with an un-biased third party opinion of UC solutions on the market
  • To thoroughly assess and discuss the features of each solution
  • To monitor and report on burgeoning UC trends

Vendor Review

The UC RFP and Review: Enterprise Communications Platform–Premise vs. Cloud-Based IP Telephony session is the latest in the evolution of the “mock” RFP at Enterprise Connect. This session is a long running tradition and the ideal way to provide potential customers an objective way to learn about the top vendors in the industry.

The RFP was handed out in advance of the conference. Each participating vendor is required to answer questions related to their solutions’ architecture, features, and, new this year, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over a 5 year period. This year, seven vendors proposed ten solutions. The proposing vendors come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from over 100 years of telephony experience to very recent entrants into the market.

The RFP specifically includes stringent requirements for high availability, core voice functionality, voicemail, unified messaging, unified communications (e.g. presence, IM, voice, Web, video conferencing), and system administration.

This year’s vendor responses were submitted to Stein, who judged them based on a weighted scale. This year’s scale—same as years past—offered 50 percent of the score to functional/technical requirements, 25 percent to architecture requirements, and the final 25 percent to pricing.

This year also marked the first year that both on-premises and cloud solutions were combined for a sufficiently comprehensive UC solutions showcase. Also, included in this year’s session was a panel discussion that covered topics such as integration issues, deployment issues, and how vendors decide which solution—cloud or premises—to propose.

Evident Trends from the Session

The RFP placed emphasis on mobility, virtualization, integration of existing product sets, and improving user interfaces. The continuing trends from last year include:

  • Focus on the development of Android and iOS platforms for mobility offerings.
  • Significant focus on user experience and development of UC functionality as related there-in.
  • Emphasis on virtualization with most components available in virtual configurations.

New or changing trends that became evident from 2013-2014 include:

  • Vendor strengths are developing with particular features; i.e. not all vendors provide every feature often desired.
  • Gap in UC capabilities amongst respondents is still significant.
  • Significant differences still exist in vendor solutions.
  • “Average prices” decreased from 2013 to 2014.
  • Cloud vs. premises functionality differences more significant than previously thought.
  • Cloud vs. premises TCO differences remain significant.

Key Trends for Modern Communications Systems

This year’s session positioned as Premises vs. Cloud was a welcome addition to the conference.  For the first time, conference attendees had access to a more complete representation of the unified communications market.

There are three trends noted in David Stein’s own observations, that communications experts agree are foundational for modern Unified Communications systems. Each system must be/include:

  • Software-based—software-based communications solutions have re-defined the way businesses communicate. The most modern, agile, scalable solutions will deliver a fully functional IP-PBX along with a complete set of voice features and UC applications that can be tailored to individual needs. Software-based systems also offer simplified licensing and management features that make it easier for businesses to manage day-to-day communications needs.
  • Virtualization—communications systems that can be deployed across distributed architectural platforms offer ultimate flexibility, and improve business continuity and cost saving. Virtualized infrastructures offer benefits such as server consolidation, increased security, operational flexibility and greater application availability during downtime.
  • Mobility— Modern communications solutions offer enhanced user-mobility solutions that enable workers to stay connected and productive from any locale. These mobility solutions typically incorporate softphones, mobile applications, call-twinning, call transfer, and fixed mobile convergence options. These tools allow businesses to shorten the time it takes to move projects forward, and ultimately improve the service provided to customers.

NEC did very well, winning the highest total score of all vendors compared in the 2,000 user UC RFP. NEC’s UNIVERGE solution won top score both because of its technological strengths, and because it provides customers with a significant economic advantage in terms of TCO.

NEC’s response to the RFP is listed as “on-premises.” However, it’s interesting to note that its software based solution resides on a virtualized server and could easily exist as part of an organization’s private cloud.  Alternatively, this configuration could be hosted off-premises in a commercial data center.

5-year Total Cost of Ownership

Frequently, after organizations have made the decision to replace their existing phone system, a lot of time, energy, and effort go into evaluating and comparing the initial acquisition and installation costs of the vendors that make their short list. This focus on initial costs sometimes means that ongoing operation and maintenance costs are overlooked.  This year Stein added an extensive evaluation to the study that helps determine the “true” cost of a Unified Communications solution.

The addition of the 5-year Total Cost of Ownership section of the RFP gives businesses the opportunity to look beyond the initial costs of implementation, to the costs of operating the solution for five years. This evaluation helps businesses plan a comprehensive budget that takes the long-term operational and maintenance costs into consideration.

Bottom Line

There are a number of factors to consider in evaluating Unified Communications RFPs.  High availability, voicemail, unified messaging, and unified communications are just some of the features of modern communications technology. If your organization is starting the process of looking for a new UC solution to replace your existing IP/PBX, then taking a look at the UC RFP results would be a great place for you to start.

For a comprehensive look at weighting, factors and TCO evaluations included in the Enterprise Connect UC RFP, download the whitepaper by David Stein.

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5 Things Millennials will Love about Unified Communications

nec-unified-communications-millennials-love-ucSupporting Millennials in the Enterprise becomes easier with Unified Communications Technology.

Everywhere you look these days there’s an article about millennials—the net generation, generation next, echo boomers. I am a millennial. So I have some insight into the millennial/tech conversation.

Yes, it is true that we are inherently good with technology.  That I won’t argue. But we are still very new to the enterprise—and simultaneously, enterprise lingo. Throw a term like “unified communications” at a millennial, and many of my peers will draw a blank.

Despite that little flaw, we are becoming an increasingly significant factor to consider when defining business IT needs. At over 79 million strong in the US, we currently outnumber the baby boomer generation by three million people.  By 2015, we will comprise over half of the labor market globally.

Unified communications offers all of the tools that millennials demand in the workplace. But like me, they may not know that. Because even though we are technologically savvy, the consumer market does not have or use a term like Unified Communications. Millennials have just not had a chance to become familiar with it.

I did a lot of reading about UC when I first heard the phrase. And I learned a lot of technically specific IT information. But I didn’t really “get” UC until I attended a training/demo. The training showed me just how quintessential UC is to my generation. It includes all the features that we like to have on hand as we work—all the tools we already use.

From my training, I’ve developed a list of the Top 5 Features Millennials will Love about UC.

Rich Presence

What it is: Rich presence allows users to locate and identify another user’s availability and contact them on their preferred device.

Why it matters: Millennials like efficiency. We’ve had Rich Presence—at least in the form of availability—as a feature of our various instant messaging systems for over a decade. To us, it’s second nature to mark ourselves as “Away” or “Out to Lunch” on an Instant Messaging platform. By that rationale, it’s also second nature for us to want to know someone else’s availability before we ever pick up the phone. It is fantastic that UC solutions offer presence features that are capable of showing when co-workers are “On the Phone,” or, “In a Meeting;” as well as if they are in the office or mobile. Rich Presence allows more efficient conversations, and enhances voice and messaging applications to better suit millennials’—and everyone else’s—mobility needs.

Instant Messaging/Chat

What it is: Instant Messaging/Chat technology provides a communications alternative to traditional telephone calls or video conferences that is less-intrusive and enables quick exchange of information.

Why it matters: Millennials are chatty. And while we’re not necessarily more communicative than our Gen X and Baby Boomer peers, the fact is that Millennials communicate differently. Making a phone call is not always our first instinct (admittedly there are those of us who find phone calls to be daunting). So, most millennials are less likely to use a traditional handset—or a phone call in general—until a deeper level of conversation is warranted. When this is the case, millennials will schedule these conversations ahead of time if it’s possible. Why? Because we’ve grown up using communications technology, and chatting digitally via IM or Text message is instinctive to us. So if we have a question or request that can be answered or discussed quickly, you can bet an instant message of some kind is going to be our preferred method.

Soft Phone

What it is: Softphone functionality allows employees to use their computers to send/receive calls, perform desktop video conferencing, and use advanced call forwarding and web-browser dialing.

Why it matters: Millennials love VoIP technology. Check any one of their phones and you’ll find at least one favorite consumer VoIP application. We use them all the time to chat and videoconference with each other. In fact, consumer softphones are so popular with millennials, that we use them personally, and, as a result, softphone applications are becoming more popular and prevalent with SMBs who are trying to attract millennial innovators—i.e. startups, small businesses, marketing and advertising verticals, etc. When you factor in the ever-growing mobility trend, you begin to understand and see that the need for these tools in the enterprise office is not specific to millennial workers alone.

Smart Directories

What it is: Online Smart Directories provide a desktop view of any person or extension in the enterprise, and that person’s availability via a simple search feature.

Why it matters: Millennials have grown up “searching at the speed of Google.” We are instinctive researchers, and our instincts tell us that somewhere online we’ll find the wisdom we seek. So it is incredibly impressive when our UC client can look up any person and any extension in the enterprise via a simple search feature. In fact, this is one of the pleasantly surprising benefits to using enterprise-level UC over a consumer-based option, and something that most millennials may not inherently expect.

Hard Phone

What it is: The device that a user holds to the ear to hear the audio sound through the receiver.

Why it matters: Contrary to popular opinion, there are millennials who are perfectly comfortable picking up the desk phone, and I believe it is inaccurate to say that there is a straight refusal on millennials’ part to use them. Hard phones are great when sitting at a desk working, so long as they are easy to use and have advanced features that allow us to tailor the phone experience to meet our individual needs. Older handset models can be difficult to learn how to use with 100 page handbooks and overtly complicated keypad functions. Unified Communications enabled phones are usually linked to a user’s PC through a UC desktop client, making it intuitively easy for millennials to set-up and access advanced calling features with a few mouse clicks. This client is usually integrated with the enterprise’s messaging and email platforms, making it identifiable to the mobile experiences we’ve come to know.

Final Thoughts

For my generation, work is something we do and not somewhere we must go. So we need tools that enable mobility. That being said, we are not opposed to traditional forms of communication. We still use email. We still make phone calls. We will continue to do so. We’re not going to stop using them just because we get a new tool that has an instant messaging feature.

Most importantly, we understand there is a need to respect others’ communications styles. So if our co-workers prefer phone calls to IMs, we can make that adjustment. In many cases, successful adoption of new communications styles requires management of generational expectations, not just software training.

So, all of this is to say that Unified Communications can unify the multi-gen workforce that most businesses have, and should more than satisfy millennials’ needs through the UC system’s features.

Are you excited to learn more about millennials and Unified Communications?  

Check out the white paper:  file-738886702

The Four Cs of Effective Collaboration

nec-unified-communications-collaboration-four-csModern organizations understand they need to react to a rapidly changing business environment quickly. The need to address customer demands, react to competitive threats, and improve profitability, is largely dependent on the way employees interact and engage, collaborate and communicate – not only with each other, but also with business partners and customers.

The need to reduce the consequences of delays and missed deadlines is also critical for a modern business. For many there are now more staff that are remote than located in a physical office, increasing the difficulty in contacting others when needed. This further adds delays to important decision making and hinders the effective communication of critical business information.

In order for companies to collaborate effectively it helps to consider these four key areas within the context of adopting enterprise social collaborative solutions.

  1. Culture – One of the biggest barriers to the successful adoption of collaborative solutions is the organizational culture of a company. Collaboration aims to flatten, blur and decentralize “command and control” management styles; organizational hierarchies cannot respond quickly to changing business demands.  Collaboration offers an environment of cross-departmental “communities” with fewer layers and more decentralized decision making. This can be intimidating to those companies (and managers) that favor a more power-based reporting structure.
  2. Coordination – The main technological driver behind the adoption of enterprise social collaboration is to remove “information silos.” The benefit of such a collaboration solution is to improve an employee’s focus on projects, customers, or communities of interest by “harmonizing” information and activities across departments. Previously such information might be locked away in personal inboxes, on individual PCs or, more alarmingly, stored in public cloud services outside the control and governance of company IT departments.
  3. Cooperation – In order to improve the adoption, and therefore return on investment of collaborative solutions, companies need to encourage and empower employees in all parts of the organization to work together. The adoption of new working practices is made visible through the very nature of collaborative tools. The success of these new services accelerated by senior managers acting as facilitators to encourage cooperation. Managers need to change themselves and encourage their teams to change with them, which requires the capacity to lead by example and let go, rather than to “command and control.”
  4. Connection – Many companies think of those employees that interact with people outside the organization as being limited to customer facing staff such as sales or customer support. Collaborative solutions provide the capability to develop relationships with external partners or customers beyond front line staff. Linking up a company’s front office with back office, and externally linking with business partners and customers, (often referred to as federation) significantly increases demand-side economies of scale. This then creates a “network effect” as the solution becomes more valuable and more people join in.

Only when these four Cs of collaboration are addressed and used in conjunction with an enterprise social collaborative solution, is a company’s ability to respond to opportunities and threats rapidly realized.

About the author: Tim Banting is a Principal Analyst with the Business Technology and Software group at Current Analysis. He tracks and assesses the rapidly evolving communications and collaboration marketplace. His areas of coverage include collaboration platforms, unified communications, video collaboration and social analytics. Tim has over 20 years’ experience in the unified communications and collaboration field having held business development, pre-sales, technical marketing and senior product management roles.

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