Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) or Unified Communications Explained
You might have heard this term FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) or Unified Communications recently but do you have any idea what it means? From the name we can begin to assume that it has something to do with the Telecoms industry or perhaps mobile devices and unification and convergence?
Here is a quick video to set the scene.
Let’s see if I can explain FMC in “Plain English”, essentially it is very similar to the concept of the “cloud” which seems to be something that most people have been able to grasp. I like to use Evernote as a simple example that helps explain the FMC concept. From the picture below you can see that Evernote positions themselves as a tool or software that lets you capture anything, have access to this information anywhere, anytime on any device and lastly you can do all of this quickly and efficiently. Those of you that use Evernote will know that you can take notes on any device (laptop, mobile, tablet) and then access again from any of these devices anytime. FMC is very similar to this in principle, it is essentially the convergence of networks, from there adding relevant applications to suite your needs and then lastly adapting business processes to align to the capabilities and services offered by FMC.
If you look at our lives in this day an age, we live an "always on" lifestyle, we are constantly connected, if we aren't constantly on our mobile phones, we are on our laptops or tablet devices or in front of our Smart TV's and in many cases we do many of these things simultaneously.
Due to the fact that we live these "always on" lives, we expect our businesses or jobs to be just as flexible and "always on", we want to be able to work from anywhere and ensure our customers can get hold of us no matter where we are or what we are doing. Just like our lives are completely integrated between our different devices so should our jobs and businesses. This is where FMC comes in, currently it is very focused in the business segments but in the very near future I can see this trend shifting into the consumer space, it makes sense for us to have unified communications in our lives.
FMC is essentially the convergence or collection of multiple communication platforms over a single network. As I mentioned earlier, it has been a focus in the business world due to the fact that FMC improves efficiencies, lowers costs, increases productivity and essentially optimises business communications. Unified Communications ensures that all communication channels are seamlessly integrated, employees have the flexibility to work from anywhere and use any device, collaboration is enhanced, business processes are optimised, costs are reduced, productivity is increased and there is an overall increase in efficiency.
The steps at a high level involved in creating a Unified Communications platform are the following. 1. Bring voice and data together into a single converged network 2. Select the relevant applications and services to meet your business requirements 3. Redefine and optimise existing business processes to align to the new services and capabilities provided by FMC 4. Train staff on how to use the different systems 5. Continually optimise processes and assess the business needs vs the applications and services chosen.
You'll find a lot of the companies out there that offer FMC and Unified Communication solutions all use the same terminology like "collaboration", "seamless connectivity", "efficiency" and "cost reduction" etc. I believe that they should just keep it simple, FMC ultimately gives you the ability to work efficiently and effectively from anywhere using any device.
This is a great video clip by http://www.coltuc.com that explains FMC or Unified Communications.
More on http://www.coltuc.com
Here are some other quick examples of how Fixed Mobile Convergence can benefit small businesses and large corporations, employees have access to everything they need to do their jobs effectively from anywhere, using any device and anytime.