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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Mobile office

Regardless of whether they are at home or at a
branch location, employees have access to all
telecommunications functions using any terminal
device in their mobile office. Contact
remains possible via a single telephone number.
This not only increases employee flexibility,
but it reduces telecommunications costs
by optimizing communication paths. These
functionalities are available as components
and as integrated systems.


When you can be reached
any time, anywhere, by any
means, will you be more
productive?


“Unified” Presence/Availability/Modality
Management
The public Internet enabled the idea of “always
on” access to information and messaging contacts.
Rather than sending asynchronous email, being
aware of a recipient’s existing (Internet) connection
enabled a user to start a “chat” or immediate
text message exchange.
This capability is expanding to real-time voice
message exchanges (e.g., wireless push-to-talk)
and, with IP Telephony, will change the way we
use telephones to both initiate and receive real time
communication.
Today’s “buddy list” concept of instant messaging
is a way for users to selectively control
immediate access to themselves by specified people
or vice versa—or, in the future, even by specified
application processes. It works hand-in-hand
with “presence” awareness (network connectedness)
to let the initiator know whether to start an
instant message exchange, or simply leave a message.
The buddy list is an extension of the directory
function, which can provide personalization
information for automatically managing all personal
communication.
From a contact initiator’s perspective, the
availability and status information can become the
logical first step in selecting the most practical
mode of location-independent communication at
the moment, rather than guessing and wasting
time with different contact attempts.

“Buddy lists”
will work
hand-in-hand
with presence
capabilities


How will we deal
with the
explosion of
features?


The vision of “unified messaging” and “unified
communications” has had to wait for the practicalities
of a converged voice/data network infrastructure
to make implementation possible. The
market movement towards IP telephony and
instant messaging is now helping make this vision
a reality. In the meantime, wireless handheld
mobility has also become a “must-have” capability
for more and more enterprise end users, and
this, too, has reinforced the need for converged
communications.
Mobile users will need the ease and flexibility
of changing modalities to match their situation
and those they are communicating with. The necessary
intelligence to minimize the confusion in
making contact with others will be found in a
cross-network, multimodal capability that dynamically
coordinates the needs and priorities of both
parties.
What end users really want from converged
communications will be flexible, easy-to-use,
mobile and remote communication services that
will save them time and effort in communicating
with others, and, sometimes more importantly,
will save others’ time in contacting them. Of
course, the technology should be relatively costefficient,
but, unless it does what they really need,
end users won’t bother with it even if it is free!

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