Art Rosenberg's "Unified-View" newsletter does a fantastic job this morning of covering the developments around presence-enabled unified communications (or transmodal communications as Art defines it).
He especially notes how both Cisco and Microsoft presented a similar view of IP communications both converging (i.e. various forms of communication becoming unified), but also the growing trend toward viewing IP communications as an application that can be extended across business processes and systems.
In the fall of 2004 I wrote a report for Burton Group entitled "Communications Convergence: The Power of Presence" which concluded:
Disjointed forms of personal communications will rapidly converge into a unified application that combines voice, instant messaging (IM), video, collaboration, and presence. The result will improve organizational efficiency, allowing individuals or groups to communicate directly with each other through a common system, regardless of device or application.
It's taken a bit longer than I expected, but I think we're finally getting there. As Art noted:
This is what those of us writing about and following UC have been saying for years, and it's so refreshing to hear the likes of Cisco and others validating the need for and the value of UC.