It is more than four years for me to use IBM Sametime client for real time chat and communications with the users. I will genuinely say initial 1-2 years , I was not aware about all Samtime capabilities and purpose in real business.As a business analyst (No, I am not) if somebody could ask me to explain the purpose and benefits of Sametime in real world scenario , I could just show my blur face.Today I was just discussing about OCS(Microsoft Office Communication Server) with my technical architect , Just thought to see more about that on net.I got nice real world example to use OCS in your business,I must say it is Microsoft strategies to boost OCS against IBM Sametime.But,It is worth to read for those who really wish to know what is real time collaboration.Here is the contents -

What I’m about to discuss isn’t a new concept. The fact is we all perform real time collaboration on a daily basis in our interactions with other people. First, what do I mean by Real-Time Collaboration (RTC)? or Real-Time Communication as some like to call it? Well I personally consider RTC any interaction with another human being to share and discuss ideas in well… real time. For instance if you call Suzy and discuss today’s meeting agenda, the conversation takes place in real-time. However if you swap 4 emails with Suzy to discuss the same agenda it’s not what I would call Real-Time Collaboration. This is due to fact that you’re sending messages back and forth but never carrying on a true conversation. Am I clear as mud yet? So lets say you swap an average of 4 emails with 3 other people the same day to discuss the same agenda. That means it would take you sending 16 email messages to set the meeting agenda. Now do you understand why your inbox is so cluttered with meaningless messages? If you’re like me you just can’t seem to keep the stupid thing clean (Though I work with someone who never has more than 10 items in his inbox). Now lets talk about time for a minute. How much time did you spend sending those 16 email messages and reading the responses you received? Lets say it took you an average of 2 minutes to send each email message and 2 minutes on average to read each message. So you have spent 32 minutes sending email and 32 minutes reading responses. That’s over an hour spent just discussing the agenda for this stupid meeting. Ok so let’s say you’re the type that you just get frustrated with all the email so you decide to call each of the 4 other people. Oh wait, you mean you have to lookup their extensions? Fine, let’s say it takes you an average of 2 minutes per person to find his or her phone number and dial it. So far you’ve only wasted 8 minutes digging through your drawer for the phone directory. First on the list is Suzy. You pick up the phone and dial her number. Suzy answers and you spend 5 minutes asking her how the weekend went. You quickly discuss your ideas for the meeting agenda and wrap up the call in about 10 minutes. Now you give Frank a call…Ugh…Voicemail. You leave Frank a message. No big deal we only wasted another 3 minutes there. As you get up to grab some coffee Frank calls back and has to leave you a Voicemail "Phone tag, you’re it!!!" It takes another 5 minutes for you to call Frank back. He’s at his desk now and you discuss the agenda with him for about 10 minutes. You just spent more than 30 minutes trying to discuss this stupid agenda and you still have two other people to call. Seeing a pattern here? In the corporate world we waste hours upon hours of valuable time swapping email and voicemail messages just to perform simple tasks. So what’s the solution? Well this is where I tell you how cool Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) is.

I think the best way to introduce RTC is by our above example. Pretend for a moment that you have a RTC system in place (Such as Office Communications Server 2007). You know you have to get this stupid meeting agenda finalized today. You sit down at your desk first thing in the morning and logon to your computer. You instantly check the presence or status of Suzy, Frank, and the other 2 people you need to discuss this agenda with. You notice that Suzy hasn’t signed on so she must not be in the office yet. You notice Frank’s status is "On The Phone". The other two people have a status of available. Well 2 out of 4 ain’t bad. You decide to take a trip to get some coffee. While in the break room you run into Bob and discuss last night’s game for about 5 minutes before you head back to your desk. You sit down and notice Suzy is now in the office and Frank is off the phone. With just a few clicks of the mouse you instantly create an Instant Message session with Suzy, Frank, and the other two folks who are providing input. You send your proposed agenda to everyone in the session via file transfer in your Office Communicator Client. After a quick review Suzy wants to make 1 change. Everyone else thinks the agenda looks great. As Frank and the other folks drop out of the IM session, you decide you need to talk to Suzy on the phone. You want to discuss this change a little more in-depth. You click on Suzy’s name and click the call button. Suzy instantly answers and you finish up the conversation in about 5 minutes. Just as you close the call window, you check your watch and notice it only took a total of 25 minutes to finalize the meeting agenda. You now head back over to the break room to finish your highly important conversation with Bob about last night’s big game.

So if you find yourself with a cluttered inbox and wasting countless hours on the phone, I recommend checking out Microsoft’s RTC solution - Office Communications Server 2007.

By Dustin Hannifin

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