Unified Messaging

I recently went to an interactive presentation on Unified Messaging hosted at a nearby university and delivered by a major email appliance vendor. I was partially interested in products that would be pitched, but mostly I wanted to see how traditional Unified Messaging was going to compete against free Google. Actually I am investigating whether it is a good idea to take that next step with Google.

Well, I learned a lot. I learned that Google is in another category because they actually provide today’s Unified Messaging. It used to be Voice, Fax and Email combined in a single digital message delivery system and the challenge was with mobile devices. I realized things haven’t changed a whole lot with this vendor when I mentioned the importance of coordinating Blogs, Wiki’s, conferencing, IM, Twits, along with the older mediums and the vendor dodged the opportunity and confirmed that they were not into Cloud Computing. In fact the main value point that they tried to push was a more effective way to respond to E-Discovery requests, actually the presentation felt a lot like Washington politician’s pitching the politics of fear.

I have held off from turning over Identity information to Google with the justification that it is better that I know where our communication data resides. And I did not want to have to explain what data harvesting meant to my constituents. But my greatest need is for an Identity Management System to provide a more flexible way to allow my users to collaborate. My Active Directory groups are never going to take me there. I’m talking about ID grouping where the user is in control, like why FaceBook is so successful. And I don’t have $ and Sys Admins to throw at the problem. That is why I may finally go to the Google side.

About ghsmith76

Greg Smith is currently the Interim CIO at Western Washington University. Prior to WWU Greg was the CIO at Missouri S&T, and before that the CIO for George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Greg went to the Northwest from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis, IN. where he served as the Director of IT for 8 years. Prior to the IT career in Academia, Greg was a Systems Consultant with Hewlett-Packard primarily with the Analytical Group working out of San Francisco,Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Greg's passion as a CIO in Higher Education comes from his belief that Technology can benefit Teaching & Learning.

Posted on July 27, 2008, in email, Google and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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