back to article What do Scotland, Australia and Africa have in common?

Unified Communications (UC) is a pretty hot topic with analysts and vendors alike. Yet despite a push back from the market on the vagaries of the proposition and questions around ROI, vendors still haven’t nailed how they communicate with businesses. One of the key problems is that, for the most part, UC is presented as a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mis-joined thinking

    Over and over there is focus on the uses of interweb technology to help people in rural or difficult terrain... yet we keep hearing about the fact that people in remote / difficult locations cant get and dont want fast internet.


  2. Rob Telford

    What they have in common

    They've all been subjected to English imperialism?

    [/non-IT angle]


  3. Jon Collins

    Rural locations?

    Living in a rural location, I've never heard anyone say they don't want fast internet! But then perhaps teh people that don't aren't communicating all that well anyway ;-)

  4. John A Thomson

    Country bumpkins do want fast Internet

    @Jeremy 3

    I suppose you also believe we don't want electricity! Typical urban numpty perspective.

    As someone who lives and works out in the sticks, and deals with customers who use broadband on slow Internet connections, I'd say the vast majority of country bumpkins complain incessantly about their slow speeds and long for faster and faster connection speeds.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps Mr Telford

    You meant to say thet they are only civilised now because we English have made them so.

    Your welcome.

  6. EnricoSuarve

    Scotland needs UC?

    I thought they invented it, along with TVs, radio, the internet, and pyramids?

    Mines the one thats invented in Scotland, apparently

  7. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    Unified communications. Pfaw.

    Most calls for "unified communications" that I've seen are not the result of trying to be more "efficient," but rather some PHB demanding easier access to his drones. The thinking goes that if you have multiple ways of getting hold of someone, but the callER needs only execute one task to ping the callEE in multiple ways, that callee has no excuse not to answer/return the e-mail/subjugate themselves to the almighty boss.

    The reality is that no matter how many lines of communication you offer a given employee, you can't change the fundamental fact that it is their CHOICE to respond or not.

    Having the communications be "unified" or totally disjointed will not increase the likelihood that someone will respond to your ping, and this is perhaps the single most common reason that PHBs the world over feel that UC projects have failed. They went into these projects looking for a way to get "faster results," and "instant satisfaction" when trying to contact a minion. The reality is that UC really only helps eek out some marginal efficiency gains compared to traditional approaches.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @John A Thomson

    What you said; in spades.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only Africa hadn't been included...

    ...I could have worked in a snarky comment about their being countries which have produced salty, square-jawed F1 drivers who've failed to live up to early promise.

    But, alas...

  10. Ruairi

    RE: Unified communications. Pfaw

    >> The reality is that no matter how many lines of communication you offer a given employee, you can't change the fundamental fact that it is their CHOICE to respond or not.

    Agree, however you have presence awareness. At least now the boss knows the employee is unable to respond.

  11. Seventh of 7th

    @ David W

    But Africa was included, and you did work in the snarky comment regardless. May I therefore draw your attention to Jim Clark and Sir Jackie Stewart and indeed the many Scots engineers who continue to work in F1? Moreover, Mark Webber (Aus) won the GP on Sunday.

    With regard to UC: isn't it cool how the driver , the pit crew and the car can all communicate through the telemetry in real time and on TV as well?

    BTW David, I think I know what the Dubya stands for.

  12. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge


    Presence awareness isn't perfect, (at least not in any implementation I've seen so far,) and that doesn't prevent the PHBs from "leaving a message." When they do so, of course, they expect that the user deal with that issue right away, with no regard to that user's workload, other duties or responsabilities.

    The UC articles have seemd to be asking "do you use UC, if you do what parts of UC do you use, and why? What parts don't you use, and why? What is the overall impression by people at all ends of the stack about the benefits or lack thereof of UC?"


    My point here is not that UC can't be a great many environments it certainly can! (I would die without MS Communicator.) The point instead is that beyond managing technology, we have to manage EXPECTATIONS. Every time I have seen UC rolled out, or even contemplated, it is being driven by managment. The driver for them is "more instant than real time" ability to bother someone. There seems to be an honest expectation amongst those asking for UC that it will deliver an ability to have the same people do more in less time, simply because they can be pestered more often by PHBs.

    When used properly, and brought in for the right reasons, and with the right expectations, UC can be a boon. The issue is one of...hype, I guess. The perception that seems to have grown in the managerial class of our society that the ability to reach out and taser someone about something makes it occur faster. When unrealistic expectations like that exist but can’t be met, the perceived benefits of UC vanish.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Seventh of 7th

    Naturally I worked in the comment regardless; that irony was half the fun. And I did say 'snarky', not 'complete'.

    And, of course, there's always Sir Jack Brabham, on the other side of the coin (and world), who won more WDCs than Clark, if taking just a bit longer to do it...

    Plus, you have to admit that Webber's potential hasn't been realized. I had him marked as a good bet for WDC in his first couple of seasons, but that's going to be tough now - particularly as it's seems he'll be shunted off to a mid-tier team now that Red Bull are finally contenders. A shame, really - I've always liked the guy. And I always liked ol' cubehead, too, don't get me wrong. I figure him among the 'almosts who might have' - Barrichello, Alesi, Button (until recent events)...

    As far as your guessing my last name... All I can do is implore that you keep my secret safe... :]

  14. Seventh of 7th

    @ David W.

    Well, on reflection, when you put it like that. I commend your efforts to put the record straight.

    I've often felt DC was unlucky (rather than a bad driver). Being second driver and "team orders" didn't help. In one GP in particular (can't remember which) when he was in second place and catching the leader but team orders meant he let his team-mate through to win. What made it worse was that some of my countrymen (etc.) had put money down at the bookies for him to win. So, after much gnashing of teeth and some reasoned discussion later on, the considered opinion was that "team orders" were little different to "race fixing" in this instance. Just an opinion though.

    Anyway, nice clarification of your previous post and BTW I thought "Dubya" stood for "Wind-up" but, so long as you neither confirm nor deny, then your secret remains intact. Beyond reasonable doubt.

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