UC and Web 2.0: Friends or Foes? - InformationWeek

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4/2/2009
06:42 PM
Irwin Lazar
Irwin Lazar
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UC and Web 2.0: Friends or Foes?

At this week's VoiceCon conference I had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion featuring Cisco VP & CTO of UC, Joe Burton, and IBM Lotus UC and Collaboration Services U.S. Leader Peter Fay on the role of Web 2.0 in an enterprise UC architecture.

I started off the session with a teaser, asking both panelists if tools like social networks, twitter, facebook and the like would replace the need for enterprise UC services entirely. The consensus wasn't so much that public services would replace the need for private tools, but instead how to integrate public and private Web 2.0 applications into an overall collaborations strategy. Peter of course brought up how IBM is using applications such as Lotus Connections to enable Facebook-like collaboration in an enterprise-hosted environment. Joe noted the continual blurring of lines between private and public worlds, and how increasingly he, along with many of his customers, conduct a great deal of their professional collaboration using public services such as Facebook and Twitter. We also spent a great deal of time talking about how social networking tools could provide context for UC, enabling individuals to find subject matter experts based on tags rather than just looking at roles.

In our research, over 60% of research participants are using Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs, and shared workspaces within their organizations, while 54% are using or planning to use social computing applications to improve collaboration. IT managers are still struggling to get a grip on the role of Web 2.0 applications, including how to manage their use, and how to incorporate the benefits of Web 2.0 approaches into their own UC and collaboration architectures. Our advice is that enterprise IT managers should continue to expand their awareness of web 2.0 applications and the role they can play in optimizing collaboration, but of course, don't forget to take compliance and security requirements into account.

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