I often cringe at cocktail parties when I’m asked what I do for a living. Not that my profession is all that sordid. It’s just, well, difficult to explain.
“I work in the rapidly growing field of Unified Communications, I say.”
There you have it. Eight wretched syllables that pretty much connote nothing. They pretend to be interested and continue to engage me.
“Oh, so you’re in PR then. Or some sort of religious affiliation …”
“No,” I say. It’s a technology field.” Here’s where I see eyes starting to glaze over. The dutiful spouse is already scouting the room, desperate to find someone more interesting … maybe the tax attorney or the funeral director.
“So what could this ‘unified communications’ thing do for me?,” he asked.
“You own a small business, right? You have an iPhone or an Android smartphone. You also have an office phone system, probably lots of extensions. Your staff gets its email through Outlook. Some of your staffers, usually the young ones, have iPads or other tablets, and they prefer to converse via text and instant messages. You’ve been thinking of using video conferencing to improve sales and staff productivity, but you’re just not sure how to integrate it with your office system and other devices…
“UC lets you do all that stuff seamlessly. One phone number, multiple devices. Voice, text, email, video … all seamless, available at your fingertips.
“OK, I think I get it,” they’ll say, as they amble away. Sometimes they ask for my card, in which case I’m pretty sure they do.
Next couple asks, “What do you do?”
“I’m a tax attorney,” I say…