IT Infrastructure Convergence
IP telephony has directory, authentication, privacy, location and presence features that require establishment of new services or policies.
Ideally, the enterprise implementing IP telephony services within the enterprise would need to establish or already have defined directory services. Each user needs a telephone number, or IP address or user id or both. This directory would have to be a global enterprise database because it would allow users a process whereby they could discover the network address of any employee. Similarly, when an employee is terminated, their entry in the directory must be removed.
The global directory would be used in the authentication server too. Here, the fundamental issue is make a link between the services assigned to a particular user (and their user id) and a specific physical device such as a IP phone or soft phone. In that different services are offered to different users and require personal configuration – password, service on or off, button layouts, personal directories and service workflow – it will be important to have users authenticate themselves to their network service platform not unlike the way users authenticate themselves to their email accounts.
In an enterprise setting, because of the level of convergence, it will be practical to also show your telephone status (on-hook or off-hook), keyboard status (typing or not) and even to whom you are speaking with on the phone. As creepy as this might sound for general business use, these presence options are possible and even practical in some settings.In a call center setting – it is useful for supervisors to know who is talking with who and when they are done. In a stock broker – stock broker assistant relationship, the stock broker needs to know who the assistant is talking to, so she could make herself instantly available (by cutting short the call they are on). The secretary to the CEO needs to know to whom she is speaking so that she can appropriately determine whether to interrupt to send in the call from the Chairman or not.
These presence services should be introduced with some sensitivity and employees should be made fully aware of the potential, so that they may adjust their behaviors accordingly. No doubt, there are no personal calls made from offices in financial services companies where every call is recorded (for quality assurance). No doubt, careful and professional employees separate their work lives from their personal lives and minimize the consumption of corporate resources with their personal lives. And administrative support persons will get an even deeper insight into the goings on of the executive suite; requiring a greater premium for discretion.
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