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Thursday, 9 August 2007

UC still has a long way to go, methinks!

Though I have no doubt whatsoever that the unification of communications will occur, and that it is the underlying technology required for the next great revolution in human communications (the others being the invention of writing, the printing press, the electric telegraph, the telephone, television, computing, the Internet and mobile telephony - which are all brought together by UC) I still think we have a long way to go!

What has caused this 'Thomas the Disbeliever' thought to enter my head and thence to this blog? A common or garden audio conference call between 5 people in 4 locations on either side of the Atlantic. First there was the confusion about which conference bridge should be used. Then there was an issue with one of the participants using a mobile phone. I must admit I added to the problem by using Skype to save me the cost of a 45 minute international call (it only cost £1.00... 8-). Suffice to say it took 15 minutes to get all the participants on-line and the call quality wasn't great. Latency was the main issue, together with some tonal harshness. But we persevered and the job in hand got done.

I dream of a time, in the not too distant future, when setting up a conference call, be it audio or video, between disparate end-points no matter which vendor nor which carrier technology: PSTN, VoIP or cellular, is as easy as setting up a blog spot was. Of course, there was only one person, his PC, a carrier and an application service provider (a.k.a. Google) involved in that... and voice quality wasn't a factor. The UC vendors are all proclaiming their solutions will deliver what I want, but in reality that will only work when everyone has the same systems and end-points from the same vendor; which will never happen.

Oh well, I can live in hope. And in the meantime I can watch with interest and, hopefully, keep the uni-comm community informed.



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