In most cases the changes are positive -- telephones are easier to use, systems are easier to manage from remote locations, and there is online help (multimedia contact center). The infrastructure aids in the process. In the case of the productivity applications, there is a learning curve like with any new application. People will have to learn to interact to manage presence, some internal processes and applications have to be modified in order to take advantage of the new capabilities and new ways of doing things, but for a progressive organization, it will be a short learning curve.
IP convergence can be an enabler for business process improvement. It is not only convergence of parallel technologies; it is the convergence of the roles of people, the convergence of communication devices, the convergence of security and IT management. IP convergence will help SMB companies to act and reach customers with the same tools that were only feasible for big corporations in the recent past.
Convergence, with the pervasive use of IM, voice-enabled Web interactions, find-me follow-me functionality, unified messaging, and cost effective audio and videoconferencing, opens the opportunity to change rigid organizational charts into flat organizational environments where leadership by example will prevail over leadership by authority. Companies will discover their own ontology empowering formal and informal conversations that will create knowledge and guarantee that the business process will be understood by everyone and will be subject of permanent improvement thanks to the open communication channels that will exist.
This was first published in January 2006