There is no such thing as Unified Communications or Social Media. For that matter, Web 2.0 and Phone 2.0 are also non-existent. And there’s no Presence in TelePresence either.
For the last decade, I’ve been a player in these worlds, working on either development or marketing of related building blocks for this industry. During that time, only three things have changed:
- There’s a lot more bandwidth waiting to be used
- There’s a lot more processing power
- There’s more acceptance to IP based technologies
It is the same in any computer science-related technology – always an evolution. As Oliver Widder puts it rather nicely:
Taken to the telecommunications realm, we had BBS, then Mosaic, then the World Wide Web, then Web 2.0 which is also a platform for Social Media (and User Generated Content). On the telephony side, we had PSTN phones, then ISDN, then VoIP, then Convergence and now Unified Communications.
It’s all an evolution – no revolution whatsoever. As an industry, we’re reinventing the wheel, each time optimizing it a bit and adding some more functionality to it.
The next step will probably be Unified Everything (UE) instead of Unified Communications. UC is too limited – it only deals with merging the different aspects of communication – email, IM, voice and video calling, etc. Once this happens, the next step would be to merge our communication and data with other transactions – doing mash-ups in Web 2.0 style, making UE connect to our bank accounts and glean data out of there to decide if we can order that pizza in our converged VoIP call.
Seriously, why do we as humans need to tag everything with a neat name that is incorrect and that nobody understands?
We simply have the internet as a platform and telephony/communication as an enabler of additional services.