Christiaan Lam – over de dagelijkse avonturen van een mobiele manager
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UCC 0.9 (or: Use MSN Now!)

Use MSN or Live Messenger. Now.Last week I had a presentation about the upcoming UCC/Office Communicator given by a colleague of mine (and not by Microsoft, despite their threats/promises (choose one) to inform me about it afer they read this post). And I do admit, it looks really nifty, especially the integration of all forms of communications (thanks to Peter for the link). A pity that it’s just that: a promise and for now far from usable for us, lowly managers. So we’ll have to get back to using MSN.

Keeping the principle of Advancing Insight in mind, I’ve learned more about the corporate use of the noble MSN in the past weeks. Video integration is at least as good as Skype’s I think and it has all kinds of nice options (sharing applications, remote assistance, etc that you’d have to install separate Skype plugins for)… if only they would work. The problem is the internal network with all its firewalls, proxies, etcetera, that just keeps bugging! You’d need to make a good case with internal automation departments.

Yes, there are shortcomings to MSN of course: you can only have a videoconference with one person at a time, it is not secure (no salary excel sheets please!), and more. Regardless, it already delivers a lot of what I want. It has Presence (who is online, where and when), it allows simple collaboration, it allows communications… in short, it is UCC 0.9. And it even has several advantages over true UCC. Not everything is logged (which you may not like) and you can use it without having to log in to the corporate systems (handy, if you are in a consultancy situation).

Another nifty thing I noticed: User Agents. Postbank already has it with its Postbank Buddy where you can request your balance and other things, neatly integrated with their website. That is something a modern company should have for common HR questions: “how much vacation do I have left”, “what are the rules for hourcode 210 again”, “what is the phonenumber of John Jakes” and more. And for questions that are not in the Agents repertoire, a good link to the websites own searchengine should do the trick (more about Live Agents here).

So… use MSN. Now.

2 comments

1 Peter de Haas { 09.15.07 at 20:16 }

Christiaan,

A pitty that Microsoft was not involved. I hope you did not percieve my comments on your blog a “threat”.
Good to see that one of your colleagues was able to give you a demo. This is the way it should be as a fair number of Ordina people are fully up to speed on Microsoft’s UC platform.

I am truely sorry to read your conclusion : “A pity that it’s just that: a promise and for now far from usable for us, lowly managers.”
Not sure what this means, but I assume it means you do not have access to LCS 2005 / OCS 2007 currently and also not in the forseable future.

2 Christiaan Lam { 09.15.07 at 23:20 }

Hi Peter,

it means that though we (at least I) *want* what it promises, it will not be delivered/implemented with us for close to another year. The cogs turn slowly, sometimes… :)

Chris

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