After years of development and hype, the promise of unified communications remains partially fulfilled. Yes, there are some nice UC implementations today…if you buy more vendor software and maybe even hardware. Yes, UC works great…if you only use the company issued devices.
I was betting on Google to be the company that comes up with better UC products and experiences. After all, it offers Google Voice and Google Hangouts, and seamless integration to Gmail and various other online apps. It also has a mobile platform, Android. However, it seems that the Big G has been chasing bigger dreams recently. Google Glass, self-driving automobiles, Google Fiber, and even satellites to provide Internet access in remote corners of the globe.
On Monday during Apple’s annual developer conference, CEO Tim Cook clearly enjoyed making a few jabs at Google and Android. Honestly, Apple didn’t announce anything near as cool as Google Glass or autonomous cars. Yet with some of the new features baked into the next Mac OS X and iOS, it’s clear Apple created these improvements with the user in mind.
Features like making/receiving iPhone calls from the Mac, unified messaging (SMS/iMessage), Instant Hotspot, Handoff – seamless user experience across the Mac and iOS device. You know all those companies giving its employees iPhones, iPads, and Macs? Well, wait till the fall to upgrade to Yosemite and iOS 8 (both free), and suddenly your workforce has been UC-enabled. With near zero learning curve.
Whether Apple realizes it or not, it has stepped into the UC market.