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Viewpoint: Is Ubiquitous Interoperability For UC A Reality?

(IT/AV Report Spring 2014)

Is buying everything from a single manufacturer still the only way to get full UC functionality?

At the IMCCA’s recent Collaborate New York seminar, one of the panel discussions was comprised of industry end users who were asked what their real-world problems were. Each one cited the difficulties experienced trying to make collaboration systems from different manufacturers work together. One of the audience members commented, “I can’t believe it’s more than 20 years into the conferencing industry and we’re still complaining about a lack of interoperability.”

On the one hand, it’s easy to conclude that we’ve waited long enough for “best-in-breed” architectures to work, and maybe they just never will. The only way to truly experience Unified Communication might be by buying all your systems from one manufacturer. On the other hand, the industry is seeing the emergence of third-party firms that are producing the glue needed to successfully stitch together Unified Communications products from manufacturers that have refused to solve the problem themselves.

So, the question remains, is ubiquitous Unified Communications possible when buying products from mixed vendors? We asked six industry professionals to give us their opinion on the subject. Two of them approach the issue as service providers, two represent aforementioned third-party manufacturers and our last two manufacture complete UC suites. Let’s see if they think the light at the end of the tunnel is daylight or an oncoming train.

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