END USER Mike Duda Technology firm employee IMCCA board member Ideally, all enterprises would be able to call one another using videoconferencing and web conferencing the same way we do on phones, without costly interop services being in the middle. The main issue that prevents that is varying security requirements from enterprise to enterprise. As a
result, a lot of UC infrastructure—especially for enterprises, like banking, that are more conservative—still resides on-premise, with gateways or bridges to link them to the outside world. These bridges isolate the ports using the rich-media feed and make the security folks happy when an outside call has to be curated.
There would be a great deal of benefit to having a set of standards that allows all systems (regardless of which enterprise they are linked with) to communicate seamlessly via the same protocol—without the need for external bridges. That protocol would have to be subject to a thorough security assessment from every
enterprise that chooses to adopt it. I see a lot of security teams’ reviews in this concept’s future, but, if it were built and adopted, the return on investment (ROI) could be monumental. Such a model would clearly enable faster, more seamless collaboration between enterprises throughout the world.
out there will enable collaboration to become a consistent and reliable experience, and one with fewer resources required to make it work. This drives utilization and, within our company, creates happy clients. Many of our calls outside our firewall are with customers; this typically means some type of interop solution. These meetings can really embarrass an operations team…or worse. Do you really want to be held responsible because a call failed with a significant account, just
because that customer happens to use a different platform? Our operations team spends time with all new clients’ IT teams to set up test calls to ensure we can successfully connect when meetings happen. This requires resources on both sides. So, from my perspective, we should strive to remove backend complexity and the additional manpower that is required to make calls connect due to varying industry standards. And, please, let me call in using FaceTime from my Android….
END USER Mark Brown MMS IMAC & Support Senior Engineer Swiss Re www.swissre.com Standardization of hardware/providers/ platforms within an enterprise is so much more than having a simple method of connecting calls. It is critical for delivering a service to our clients. I feel strongly that, within an enterprise, hardware, firmware, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), etc., should be as consistent as possible. However, outside the (fire)walls of an enterprise, standardization is sorely missing. Industry standards are paramount, whatever the industry is. If Company X buys one type of plat-
form, it should not mean it is overly complicated to conduct business with Company Y just because it has a different platform. Or maybe Company Y has a mixed environment. So, how do we connect with a client of this type, which is in a different room with a different system? This “Viewpoint” asks if service providers or platforms should promote a common language for connectivity. The answer is yes— please standardize! Allow me to state what I feel is obvious: Having fewer protocols
What the future holds for unified communications and collaboration is featured in our fall edition of IT/AV Report.