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The Next Step in Convergence

Posted by The UC Buyer

Dec 2, 2019

Phil Edholm of PKE Consulting sat down with Mike Cromwell and Dave Gilbert, and the talk quickly went toward the topic of convergence in the communication arena.


As Phil says, “When I talk ‘telephony’, I fundamentally am talking about an audio-based system that has access to the full number dialing plan of the PSTN.” He continues, “‘UC’ is the set of collaboration and communication functionality that is above telephony, and is used today in communication by individuals. And then the last thing is application communication, or ‘CPaaS’, which is really adding communication and statiation driven by an application representing a business process.”

When we look at the process of convergence from the early 1990s on, we see the industry move from discrete systems to those that work together, then to standardized application units that can be used across multiple platforms for various tasks with the use of an IP infrastructure once the Internet became mainstream and Y2K paranoia subsided. In the twenty teens, we see a convergence of personal productivity software, so that the usefulness of the individual humans is not restricted by the communication software connecting them. Things like Outlook begin to see integration with communications.

So what is next? Phil explains, “what we are seeing now is … we are bringing communications right into the structure of applications.”

So, we had a system where communications was simple, segregated, and required its own hardware and specializations to deploy, maintain, and even use. The next step was to integrate it so it was easier to deploy, and following that it became easier to use.

The future of convergences is to have the communications portion become a part of the applications themselves, much like you have seen with printer drivers in nearly every software application imaginable. So that sharing ideas, asking for advice, and collaboration becomes as integrated as changing a font or adding an image to a document.

Topics: Technology, UC Industry, Digital Transformation, Customer Journey, CPaaS

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