Looks like there are a lot of unified collaboration (UC) suites popping up, described in 2007 by Robin Bloor as an integrated suite of “voice communications, with definite traces of VoIP, conferencing, single contact number, voice mail, mobile telephony … suggests email, chat and collaboration.” Robin points out that if you ask what UC is to Avaya, Siemens, and Nortel , they focus on the voice aspect while if you ask Microsoft and IBM, you get more of a software oriented answer of course.
The newer generation of companies and their products for UC seem to all have their particular focus too, leaning all the more on the software side:
- Project oriented
- Web meeting oriented
- Enterprise wiki oriented
- Instant message and/or VoIP oriented
I would not and had not originally described zAgile as UC, but from the descriptions of UC I am seeing, apart from any emphasis on voice specifically, looks like zAgile fits well into that space too. Otherwise, we typically identify zAgile as ALM 2.0 (Application Life Cycle Management) or a new category called SIM (Software Information Management).
zAgile pioneers UC specifically for software engineering segment and is doing so thanks to collaboration (wiki, forums), communication (instant messaging) and social networking tools as well as an underlying rich network of software engineering ontologies that enable deep, contextual integration of teams, tools, processes, and knowledge across the engineering environment. In this way, teams can collaborate more effectively with respect to their specific engineering tasks at hand. You can also think of zAgile as a sophisticated mash-up platform for software engineering information. (But the term “mash-up” seems to me to hint at a hacked point-to-point ad hoc solution rather than a thoughtful platform and architecture. )
I am not aware of any particular companies focusing on a specific business segment for UC. I would be pleased to learn of other specialized UC environments. Any takers?