SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Fred Knight
Fred Knight was part of the team that launched the VoiceCon Conference in 1990. He served as Program Chairman through...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Fred Knight | April 23, 2012 |

 
   

Who's Going to Own What and Other Musings

Who's Going to Own What and Other Musings The cloud, SIP Trunking, management and WebRTC have emerged as leading-edge topics for the rest of this year.

The cloud, SIP Trunking, management and WebRTC have emerged as leading-edge topics for the rest of this year.

In the month since Enterprise Connect 2012 ended, I've had time to sober up and to think about the issues that caught my attention. Here are just a few and if you're currently not dealing with them, my bet is that you soon will.

* Who's going to own what?
The question of ownership played out more intensely at Enterprise Connect than I thought it would. It's at the center of the discussions around Cloud--buy vs. rent systems, services and apps--and mobility--what will the company own vs. what will the employee own.

In the mobility space, this plays out as BYOD--Bring Your Own Device--which has become the poster child for "consumerization of IT." And, at least for now, the momentum is on the side of allowing more user choice. If that grieves you, perhaps you can take solace from an old adage: There's no situation that's so screwed up that somebody doesn't benefit. And so it is that the proliferation of personally-chosen wireless gadgets is creating a mini-boom in the heretofore-moribund mobile device management (MDM) market.

As for enterprises moving their communications and collaboration functions to the Cloud, the current results are mixed. Some early users of Cloud services are taking the functions back in-house, while others in vertical markets that are heavily regulated--financial services and health come to mind--can't move to the Cloud without substantially more safeguards and guarantees regarding privacy and data recoverability.

Other verticals, however, like retail, are likely to be early movers to Cloud-based services, and organizations that have a history of contracting for communications services on a seasonal or otherwise periodic basis are also likely to embrace a Cloud approach if they haven't already.

* SIP Trunking is hot.
Any new technology that might lower how much an enterprise pays to a carrier is going generate interest, which explains why everything we've done on SIP Trunking--webinars, No Jitter articles, Virtual Events and sessions at Enterprise Connect--has drawn a crowd. That pattern continued last month in Orlando, and that's why we’re conducting four 1-day workshops, a SIP Trunking Tour, beginning at Interop Las Vegas on May 9.

Companies are saving money with SIP Trunks, but it's not a slam-dunk. It's not the answer for every location or situation and, as with any carrier service, the devil is in the details.

The good news is that SIP Trunks are more widely available and, in addition to the traditional carriers, the service is being offered by providers who see SIP Trunking as their chance to crack the enterprise-level market. In short, depending on the locations to be connected, there can be meaningful competition.

The bad news is that dealing with carriers remains the same--the same games when it comes to contract negotiation, installation and cut-over, and the same dynamics between your organization and the service providers' once the service is up and operating. The newcomers argue that they're more customer-friendly than the traditional guys. Maybe they are, but even so, they won't be perfect; they'll have their own set of issues.

And more bad news is that interoperability remains a big-time problem, less because of the technical dimension than the business models and practices of the service providers.

* How are you supposed to manage all this stuff?
Enterprises have been managing complex voice, video and data networks for decades, but as we move into an era of unified communication, the media types are becoming more tightly integrated within applications. Oh, and much if not most of the traffic will either originate from or be received by a wireless device. We have yet to see a coherent and comprehensive management framework and associated tools and practices to cope with this challenge.

Last week, Zeus Kerravala put up a post on NoJitter.com about this topic, and I encourage you to check it out. He notes, "...if companies don't get a handle on it soon, they'll start to feel the pain."

Will WebRTC be a game-changer?
Over the past year, I've heard more and more about a standards effort called WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications). It's one of several initiatives that promise to deliver a jump-step in using real-time voice and video on computing devices of all types including tablets and smart phones. WebRTC puts that capability directly into browsers--IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and who knows what or who comes next.

Now I don't know whether WebRTC is going to be yet another short-term fling or if this is the start of a long relationship, but either way, at least for while, it's going to be quite a ride. Stay tuned.





COMMENTS



April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.