While meeting with the folks at Jive (very interesting company, more on that later) they pointed me to IBM’s Future trends that will drive unified communications (http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/0377261.htm).

The IBM article was mostly about recent technology trends.  Take a look … However, I think the trend that forces unified communications has little to do with technology itself, but is related to the comfort level people have developed sharing presence and awareness info and in making the social part of their lives public. Ten years ago at IBM we proposed sharing search paths and histories to help others find similar info and all we heard were privacy concerns. Today, most of us are all too willing to share presence and awareness info and to post incomplete thoughts in the form of blogs and in forums. This intersection of social and task focus will eventually drive unification and interoperability between presence and awareness, blogging/wikis and tight collaboration on work product, that later being the most difficult problem. With regard to IBM, the interesting ones are 3 and 4. The integration of business processes (collaborative or otherwise) with line-of-business applications are key.  I’d add knowledge to the mix.

Knowledge enabled business processes, with collaborative and social opportunities empowering the completion work product are the goal. Interoperability and open standards are simply a necessary step for all this to happen. It’s in line with Kana’s mission in our upcoming product line and what is exciting about our partnership with Jive. Kana integrates knowledge into customer experiences and business processes and Jive enables the collaboration to empower the teams.

Thoughts, comments?

Andrew Cohen