Olympic gold for telecoms?

The London 2012 Olypmics have been fantastic – and I say that as a sceptical Brit who is generally as interested in most sports as you probably are about belly-button fluff.

Aside, obviously, from the fact that Team GB trounced every country which should have beaten us on the medals table (not including the US and China who absolutely had to beat us, and maybe Russia too who had an awesome medals tally), the games have been a triumph for technology. Underpinning the skills of organisers, volunteers and athletes has been some frighteningly good use of electronics.

The pixels in the stadium wowed us, but where I’m really going with this article is the stuff many people will have taken for granted. Mobile apps, full live and recorded streaming of all the events on-line, satellite and freeview multi-channel action, tie-ins with Twitter and some very slick on-line apps to pull the whole lot together.

This is really how Unified Communications should be. Not convinced that this is Unified Communications at all? Well you should be because, whilst many people like to pigeon-hole UC into a niche of business IM/email/voicemail/voice/video, UC is all about taking multiple forms of communication and integrating them to provide a service where each technology is put in front of the user in the most appropriate fashion. The BBC did a great job of wrapping these things together in their web and TV coverage.

According to the press, Cisco provided 1,800 wireless access points, 2,220 switches, 10,000 cable TV sockets, 16,500 telephones/ IP handsets, and 65,000 active network ports. The IP handsets are the big interest for me I guess, as I had a minor role to play there, and as they were all controlled from a Cisco Hosted UC solution designed by Cisco and operated by BT I would say that this proves to the doubters that hosted UC works – even when the pressure’s on.

If it was this good in 2012, think how it may be in 2016. I can’t wait – I might even have bought a tablet by then…

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About mikbarne
I'm a writer and freelance communications and collaboration consultant with nearly 20 years experience in UK telecommunications, specialising in VoIP, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and building effective communications architectures. Visit my Google+ Profile

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