Technical Skill Gap? NOT. Instead It’s A Vendor Train Wreck – Problem Is Not How To do But What To Do

When I read this story from Joe O’Halloran at computerworld (Unified Communications benefits threatened by skills gap), I was thinking that maybe he was still celebrating (drinking) from Celtics parade 🙂 Then I realized that he was on to something here with his post. I thought no way how can there be a skill gap. Technology skills are becoming more standard around IP, cloud computing, web services, ..etc. Plus the market on the mobile side is crazy with Nokia buying Symbian.

There’s tons of talent out there that can deploy the technology involved in UC. Then I realized that Joe was on to something. It’s not how to deploy skill set, but instead a what to deploy skill that is in need.

In talking to many resellers, consultants, and vendors the problem seems to be in the competing platforms for the vendors. Each one competing for the implementation architecture. Even worse add new types of web 2.0 functionality and you have more confusion.

Joe points to a survey by Psytechnics, a provider of voice and video performance management solutions for IP operations. Nearly three quarters believe that UC requires an IT operations workforce that is knowledgeable in both networks and voice and video applications. However, 60% of UC specialists do not believe that there are enough skilled technical staff to deal with the expected demand in UC deployments.

Just over a quarter of the survey (26%) was split as to whether technical expertise in networks or applications is more relevant.

Commenting on the results Psytechnics CEO Anthony Finbow said, “The results of our survey should act as a wake-up call for those in the industry and enterprises who are relying more and more on IP-based communications. Many have found VoIP performance management to be more difficult than expected, but voice is just the tip of the iceberg and with more applications like video conferencing coming into play towards a full UC rollout, it is vitally important that the quality of the user experience is managed. Employing the right experience management tools will help to offset staff costs and skills shortages, but it’s up to the communications industry to ensure enterprises are fully equipped to reliably operate what will be a multi vendor unified communications environment.”

Here we go again more VoIP centric thinking. VoIP is only one piece of the Unified Communications market.

I see many vendors pushing why to many silo’s solutions. Skill gap? No way. We have a train wreck on the vendor side. If a vendor has good solution then the tactical skills will acquired in a NY minute. We need a solution that motivates customers and gets people excited.

More UC blog posts at

Author: John

Entrepreneur living in Palo Alto California and the Founder of SiliconANGLE Media

4 thoughts on “Technical Skill Gap? NOT. Instead It’s A Vendor Train Wreck – Problem Is Not How To do But What To Do”

  1. It’s great to see that you are also interested in the debate around UC deployment. Psytechnics has witnessed some confusion amongst industry members when it comes to the deployment of UC and you seem to agree that there are some questions that remain to be answered.

    VoIP is of course not the only element which needs careful consideration, but from what we have seen, especially with the larger enterprise rollouts, one of the major concerns is still over managing and maintaining voice quality as a precursor to putting additional applications on top of voice. IT operations or support must be able to solve voice quality issues faster and more efficiently before there is any chance of a full UC platform working to a business’ advantage. After all, if we can’t keep VoIP right, what hope is there for a successful UC future?

  2. Joe,
    Voice needs to be there agreed but we both agree the industry is directionally correct. I’m concerned over the debate on whose platform will be defacto. Additionally I see two hot areas: presence and hosted apps.

    The Google Salesforce announcement is very interesting. A gambit for Google but the reality is that Salesforce has such a strong penetration as a utility Google could leverage that in a big way to change the game on the utility of what Unified means.

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