What is Mobile UC?

Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.

Many companies I speak to consider the mobile phone just another access device.  The mobile device, unlike the PC, is a device that seamlessly blends voice and data.  Nobody wanted Unified Communications (UC) when it meant you could talk into your PC, but now that we have smartphones and tablets, UC is more interesting.

But it’s even easier to fail at voice services now than it has been in the past because voice service must deliver the mobile experience, not the IP PBX experience of old.

What do I mean by the mobile experience? What features are relevant as we move to mobile and cloud services? Yes, we have over 5,000 features in a traditional PBX and only a fraction of those migrated to the IP PBX market. Will we see the same in the move to mobile?

Some things are a requirement. For example, it must seamlessly switch between WIFI or cellular without the call dropping. It must enable a way to bypass the user entering a 9 digital access code to enter a teleconference. It must offer voice activation of services. It must be location-aware but also aware of the cost of communications.  Perhaps I shouldn’t attend that 1 hour long conference call while roaming in Europe.

Mobile is about understanding context such as:  Where is the user? What networks are available and what will provide the lowest cost communication?  Mobile context understands the users conditions and adapts to the conditions.  Is the user moving? If so, the system should allow voice commands.

If there is excessive noise, the system should auto mute or filter noise.  If the user has a range of devices, it should be easy to port your service across multiple devices.  Services are no longer locked to a specific device.  Services follow the user across devices and across locations.  Products that pick up on the nuance of mobility will be successful.

I believe that products that understand nuances of mobility and improve the mobile experience will be successful in the long run.  The challenge for companies in the voice space is to redesign the voice experience with a mobile first attitude.  What is voice, now that we have multiple devices?  How do voice services translate across location boundaries such as home, work, a hotel etc.? I don’t believe the mobile experience is the same as the desk experience.  I believe vendors have to fundamentally rethink what their experience should be just to survive in the new world.

Maribel Lopez CEO Lopez Research About Maribel