Is Unified Communications the magic that will bridge the communication gap between the 2 main generations in a business environment?
For those who are not very familiar with Unified Communication, at the bottom there is a video of a short Microsoft Demo, not to endorse the Microsoft Solution, but to show capabilities.
I noticed Irwin Lazar and Steve Wylie talking about Unified Communications improving efficiency by reduction of human latency. Well to me this is a typical IT argument, make up a reason to create a business case. I do believe that Unified Communication will increase efficiency, but the reason needs to be found in social aspects of a business
Today's businesses are primarily run by late baby boomers like myself. My generation loves email, still thinks it's magic and can't imagine a world without. Microsoft recognizes this and overloads Outlook with more and more functionality, including CRM, because the target group sees it as the desktop replacement. This is also the group of people makes the decisions and invents arguments on human latency.
Young ambitious people, generation Y, the digital natives, entering the workforce have a different view on communication. They communicate with text messages, IM, video chat, their social networks and consider email for 'old' people. If they email, it's probably to their mom, dad or grand parents.
Microsoft explains Unified communications based on the communication divide between telephony and the computer, well that is almost the same as the above generation difference, the phone/email versus Text messages, IM, Video chat and Twitter . The unification of the different communication methods will create a platform where both generation can stay in their communication comfort zones.
Generation Y is the future of our businesses, we want them to join, to be happy and productive. Embrace and accept their communication preferences. Give them IM, with heaps of emoticons , Video Chat , their Micro blogging, etc.. And don't forget, a communication zone does not stop at the companies firewall.... and I'm more than aware that this is the generation challenge for our IT managers.