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Dave Stein
Mr. Stein, a principal with Stein Consulting Group, has more than 30 years of consulting, information systems and telecommunications experience,...
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Dave Stein | February 17, 2016 |

 
   

Consuming UC

Consuming UC Enterprise Connect sessions on UCaaS/hybrid solutions and team collaboration apps highlight different approaches to UC consumption.

Enterprise Connect sessions on UCaaS/hybrid solutions and team collaboration apps highlight different approaches to UC consumption.

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Enterprise Connect is right around the corner, and I've been busy preparing for the two sessions I'll be leading. I'll be doing a new version of the annual RFP session, this year on UCaaS and hybrid solutions, which will be held on Monday, March 7 from 2 to 5 p.m. EST, as well as an entirely new session focused on team collaboration apps, which will be held on Tuesday, March 8 at 8 a.m. EST.

In a way, these sessions showcase different approaches to how organizations consume unified communications today. If you are looking for a cloud or hybrid solution that is centered on voice and UC, the UCaaS/hybrid RFP session will be sure to have valuable information for you. On the other hand, if you are gravitating to messaging-based communications, the team collaboration session is a great fit. If you are undecided, come to both!

Exploring UCaaS, Hybrid Solutions

The process for a selecting new enterprise communications systems continues to evolve in 2016. The growth of cloud-based solutions, the importance of channel partners, industry consolidation/convergence, social media use, and even vendor pricing models have changed the way we think about the solutions available in the marketplace. I am a strong believer that a well-written RFP remains the most effective way for enterprises to evaluate appropriate solutions against their stated requirements. The RFP used for this session is similar to what I use for actual enterprise clients in my consulting practice. This RFP seeks a solution for a mythical enterprise described by the diagram below:

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A key component of the session is my evaluation of each proposed solution across a broad range of criteria including architecture, functional and technical requirements, and five-year TCO.

This is the sixth year that I'll be moderating the RFP session, and I'm excited about the participants and the proposed solutions. What's new this year? The cloud has won the day, and we will be looking at both pure cloud and hybrid solutions proposed by Sprint, NEC, Masergy, Vonage and 8x8, as well as product solutions from Cisco, Microsoft, BroadSoft, and Switch Communications.

Diving into Team Collaboration

As messaging-based applications have arrived on the scene, the market now has an alternative to the traditional voice-centric offerings for enterprise communications. The new team collaboration session focuses on illustrating how each of these applications compare to one another and what they offer the enterprise. We will discuss which features and functions are most common, and what key ingredients might be missing from some or all of the contenders, focusing on a set of specifications for a 50-user team collaboration software suite -- from pricing model to conferencing support, file sharing and task management.

We'll go as far as to look at these apps' ability to integrate with other platforms, like Box for storage or Zendesk for customer service, for example. Further, we'll examine the technology powering these applications in the cloud and outline how much you should know about this aspect of the products when making a decision.

As always, I'm looking forward to seeing you all in Orlando. If you can't make it, look for my post-event results summary in future articles. Safe Travels!

If you haven't yet registered for Enterprise Connect Orlando, coming March 7 to 10 at the Gaylord Palms, we have a deal for you! Register here by Friday, Feb. 19, using the code NJPOST and save an additional $200 off the early bird rate. This discount code, which is valid for Entire Event and Tue-Thu Conference passes, represents a total savings of $700 off the on-site price. As an added bonus, you can get even bigger savings when you register three or more attendees from your company.

"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communications technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.





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