Harness the Power of Collaboration

Date:   Sunday , August 01, 2010

As organizations begin to explore the possibilities of federation to realize the full potential of Unified Communications (UC), one will see more convergence with public collaboration tools, social media, and other Web 2.0 applications. In practice, it is rare that only one UC suite is used exclusively, even after an organization has standardized on a single platform such as Microsoft OCS or IBM Lotus at the same time. The enterprise architecture will more likely include a combination of authorized applications such as a specific public IM and Skype, which will remain in use, no matter what UC platform is deployed.

Users are already driving the change, whether the business likes it or not. Use of collaboration tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn, alongside enterprise UC platforms within the workplace now account for a significant portion of new business opportunities for many organizations. As take up increases this trend is expected to expand significantly and the line between UC and Web 2.0 blur, it is up to the organization to make sure that it is managed in a secure and controlled way.

Harnessing the power of collaboration without compromising on an enterprise’s integrity is the key to a successful UC implementation. Most companies have more to fear from accidental data leakage due to uncontrolled access to collaboration tools than malicious theft. Managing the identities of users, as they traverse multiple collaboration platforms, is also a key. Organizations need to take a holistic approach in securing all Internet based communications, regardless of whether they choose to enable or block their use. Whilst most UC platforms provide some native security and compliance functionality, it is not always enough to support industry regulations and does not prevent users from communicating using other Internet based collaboration tools.

Kailash Ambwani is the CEO of
FaceTime Communications. The company
enables the safe and productive use of Unified
Communications and Web 2.0.