Federation as a Service
Sometimes it's the smallest problems that cause the biggest headaches.
When communicating with colleagues, tools like instant messaging, presence indicators and calendar information make collaboration a quick and seamless experience.
While enterprise-level software enables this for organizations internally, it can be a challenge to collaborate with outside organizations due to software differences - particularly when cross-functional teams can span distance, companies and IT platforms.
Scientists at AT&T Labs have created a solution that federates - or unifies - calendars, instant messaging and online presence information across software and IT systems to enable businesses to communicate and collaborate more effectively.
The idea for Federation started when scientists at AT&T Labs recognized these communication barriers while trying to connect with external collaborators. They submitted the idea to The Innovation Pipeline (TIP), AT&T's crowdsourcing engine. The idea garnered immediate support, and they set out to create a Federation solution.
Since then, we've been testing and trialing the presence and messaging functions of Federation, with nearly 10,000 users to date. We're developing more features like video and dynamic teaming, which will allow users to create flexible organizations that can easily open and close connections based on project and team needs.
Earlier this year, the proof-of-concept technology became an AT&T business solution, coined AT&T UC Federation. The service is available today to help business customers break down common barriers by allowing communication across multiple unified communications (UC) platforms. This tool makes connecting and collaborating with internal teams and outside organizations simple, seamless and secure.
Currently, behind-the-scenes work continues as AT&T Labs trials more Federation features internally. In the near future, the service will extend beyond IM and presence to include calendar integration and video and voice capabilities.