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Will unified communications be able to integrate with IM applications?

Unified Communications solutions are intended to incorporate all manners of conveying information and will almost certainly include some form of instant messaging capability.

Will unified communications be able to integrate with instant messaging applications? If so, how?
Unified communications solutions are intended to incorporate all manners of conveying information and will almost certainly include some form of instant messaging capability. It can be envisioned that the transmission of data that does not require an instant response such as notifications, presence information, other status messages and perhaps even file transfers could utilize a secure form of IM. Making this capability available from the same desktop or mobile device would enhance user experience and add to the economic benefit of a UC strategy. Some of these elements are available in various forms today but have yet to be made available in one place or on one device.

Telephone signaling systems have long known the likelihood that a person is either on their phone or not before the call is even placed. Extending that capability to the end user and providing the called party with a way of expressing their availability to receive a call is not beyond current technology. The benefits of saving time knowing whether a voice mail, email, or IM would be the best method to convey your message prior to "picking up the phone" would yield a significant cost savings over a modest amount of time. Softphones have the basic communications and integration capability currently. Certainly new mobile device operating systems could have this capability in short order as well.

This was last published in February 2008

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