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Unified Comunications Server? That ship sailed -- it's time to move on.

By Andrew Pollack on 05/17/2010 at 10:31 PM EDT

While nobody was looking, "Unified Communications" has already happened -- just not the way you were told it would. UC was supposed to be about turning your PC into a telephone system. While several companies were pushing hard for this to come true -- Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Avaya, etc... other companies made it happen in reverse. RIM and APPLE have lead the way with Nokia and Google close behind. They've put your PC in your telephone.

I'd say I fall in to the category of "early adopter" on the idea of Unified Communications. I had multiple line setups with "Phone Notes" back when it only ran on OS/2. I've used Vonage and Skype, have my own Asterisk PBX (well, several actually) and have written custom software that speaks SIP, IAX2, H.323, GSM, g.729, uLaw, aLaw, and Speex. My voice mail routes to email, and so do my faxes.

All this, I think, qualifies me to say that if you're still in the business of betting on "Unified Communications" replacing the telephone with a handset connected to a PC for a large percentage of your user base you've missed the boat. Check your pocket. Your unified communications tool is probably there.


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