Linking In with Social Media

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

The dream of unified communications has been pushed by technology vendors for decades -- a single interface for all your communications needs including instant messages, email, phone, video conferencing. Here's a look at whether we've finally arrived and the new innovations that are on the way for this Holy Grail of collaboration.

A social media boost

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and other social media and social networking sites have been one of the hot consumer topics over the last couple of years, and businesses have both actively engaged the networks and taken heavy-handed approaches to keep employees from accessing them. In the business world, there is a new trend towards integrating unified communications with social networking tools.

"For 2011 -- and it’s starting now, but we’re definitely going to see more in 2011 -- is the integration of social media in the enterprise," Pleasant said. "Not just public things like Twitter or Facebook and public IM, but more enterprise tools."

IBM, Cisco Systems and other vendors are tying social media and networking capabilities together in solutions made specifically for the enterprise, she noted. Several niche players are also expanding into the enterprise with UC-based integration tools. These tools offer integration between social media and unified communications, taking the integration beyond wikis and text to voice and telephony.

Pleasant said she expects to see new social media platforms in the enterprise that integrate with public social media and unified communications. These platforms are already emerging with the likes of Cisco Quad and IBM Lotus Connections.