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August 13, 2009

Social Networking in the Enterprise

I talked to Dan Miller from Opus Research this week, and when he blogged about our conversation I realized that *I* had not yet blogged about this. 

Dan and I talked about how Microsoft's Office Communications Server can be extended and even embedded into other applications.  At the Worldwide Partner Conference this year in New Orleans I was doing a demo of how we had created "Twitter for the Enterprise" using OCS, and on the last day of the conference I recorded this live demo.  I was sitting in the U.S. Partner area, which of course included a Starbucks.  If you listen carefully you might hear the barista in the background.

Today Unified Communications and Office Communications Server in particular are getting attention because enterprises see the technology as cheaper than buying and maintaining legacy phone systems.

If they get some productivity improvements, which can be tough to quantify, then that's just a bonus.  But to me that's like replacing typewriters with PCs in the old days.   The future potential of the PC was far more valuable than the incremental costs savings that were gained by improving word processing.  The same thing will happen here.  Applications of great value will be created that simply aren't possible with today's communications infrastructure that is based on hardware more than software.

Enterprises will not buy phone systems in the future, any more than they buy word processing systems today.  Communications of all types, not just voice, will be a part of all of our applications and it will be because today we are rebuilding the infrastructure using software, not silicon and copper wire running to each and every place where we need to communicate.

August 13, 2009 in Unified Communications, Web/Tech | Permalink


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