Ok so maybe I won’t qualify for the 86th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee next year. This year’s winner Snigdha Nandipati won by correctly spelling ‘guetapens’. Seriously, guetapens? Where did they come up with that one?
Not that I’m afraid of the occasional obscure term. At my house when we play Scrabble, words like Ethernet, Centrex and Isochronous are not uncommon.
But you’re probably thinking that I don’t win too many Scrabble games by trying to spell collaboration with IP, and you’d be right (my wife is the reigning champ in our house).
But there is a moral to my spelling blunder. You see creating collaboration is the purpose of a whole series of telecommunications services designed to help us all do things better. You may have heard of these as – Unified Communications and Collaboration or UCC. UCC spans a whole breadth of communication applications, ranging from simple audio conferencing to full blown Telepresence.
But as these services continue to be deployed something interesting is happening.
As an aside perhaps you tore yourself away from the coverage of the spelling bee last week to read this article about data-only cell phone plans? The discussion is largely about how a data-only plan would allow providers to combine voice and data messaging but read a little further and you’ll find an interesting reference to VoIP calling as an alternative to traditional mobile voice services.
The thing in common between data-only plans and UCC is IP, also known as Internet Protocol. I won’t bore you with yet another blog about how great IP is. (But for my parents who are likely to be the only ones reading my blogs anyway, IP is the reason the Internet works. It‘s a universal communication language for computers.)
The important thing is that building UCC systems used to be really hard. In order to build a UCC system you had to put together all these different ways of communicating – phone, instant messaging, video conferencing, etc. And each of these applications communicated together in a different way. But once again the Internet is coming to the rescue. Well not exactly the Internet. The language of the Internet, IP is coming to the rescue.
VoIP is emerging as the foundation of UCC. Traditional voice services were built on top of TDM technology and proved to be difficult to integrate with other UCC applications like presence for example. VoIP however provides the voice services we need but works hand-in-hand with the other UCC apps because VoIP uses the exact same language that the rest of the UCC suite uses – IP. So while the rest of you may know that collaboration is spelled without IP, I’ll maintain that the proper spelling is collab’IP’oration.
Do me a favor and be sure to retweet this blog so that when I use collabIPoration in my next Scrabble match it’ll show up when my wife googles it.