Just what we need — another standards effort! This one, the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF) may be a reaction to Cisco’s attempts to bring some interoperability to the space with its own Telepresence Interoperability Protocol, which one founder of UCIF (Polycom) had rejected because of concerns over the motives behind a Cisco sponsorship. Juniper, a Cisco arch-rival, is also a founding member.
There are some potential interoperability issues here to be sure (video collaboration needs compatible codecs, for example) but we’re not sure that many of those issues are not going to be resolved by independent web standards work like HTML5. Still we’ll see what this group comes up with, and whether the notion can develop any real momentum—which means it will need to contribute something meaningful.