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February 2008

Bain, Huawei to Try Again on 3Com

Eric Krapf | February 29, 2008 |
3Com plans to re-submit its proposed acqusition by Bain Capital and Huawei Technologies to federal regulators. The company announced that its shareholders' meeting,scheduled for today, would be convened and then immediately adjourned, to be reconvened next Friday, March 7, to give company officials more time to work on a new arrangement.

Communications Enabled Applications: Where are the ISVs?

Zeus Kerravala | February 29, 2008 |
Over the past year or so the industry has started talking much more about the concept of "communications enabled applications". This can mean many things, but to me it's the concept of taking the communications tools we use today, things like voice, messenger services and video, and embedding them into the desktop applications that we use on an everyday basis. The benefit for the end users is that we will be able to launch any communication tool without having to leave the applications that we use, making it much easier for us to work. The benefit to business process is even greater, in that many of today's tasks are built of notification - response systems can be fully automated.

Alcatel-Lucent's Unified Communications Clients and Profiles

Blair Pleasant | February 29, 2008 |
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) had their Enterprise Forum in Paris last week, and we got to hear some interesting sessions, see some cool demos, talk to ALU executives and customers, and drink some good French wine.

Who Doesn't Need UC?

Eric Krapf | February 28, 2008 |
Tom Nolle's post below brings up a statistic that'd be helpful for us to keep in mind as we look at Unified Communications, and it was echoed by a comment by one of our presenters in yesterday's VoiceCon webinar. Knowledge workers, according to Doug Michaelides of Mitel, make up only 20% of the U.S. workforce.

Another Addition to the Family

Eric Krapf | February 28, 2008 |
I'd like to welcome Tom Nolle, CEO of CIMI Corp., as another of our regular writers here at No Jitter. Tom is one of the best-known and respected analysts in IT/communications, and he was a longtime contributor, columnist and friend of Business Communications Review magazine. Tom's first post is below.

Completing the Budget Circuit

Tom Nolle | February 28, 2008 |
When I surveyed top enterprise IT executives at the end of 2007, one of their primary complaints about the network budget process was that "my people want to buy gadgets and not support business requirements". Overall, 88% of these senior managers, usually CIOs by title, said that it was "difficult" or "impossible" for them to link network budget requests to business priorities. In contrast, only 43% felt that was the case for their computing and software budget requests.

The Big Feature List

Eric Krapf | February 27, 2008 |
Traditional PBXs famously have 450 features, or 500, or 250, depending on who's counting. The point is, there's a lot, and nobody can name them all off the top of their head. So vendors new to the PBX market tend, when their products only offer a dozen or two PBX-type features, to say you couldn't possibly need 450. Nobody uses all those features!

Al Gore Coming (Virtually) to VoiceCon

Eric Krapf | February 27, 2008 |
Hey this is pretty cool: Al Gore is joining John Chambers and Sue Bostrom in the VoiceCon Orlando keynote session Wednesday, March 18, 11 a.m. Eastern. Gore and Chambers will be speaking from remote locations while Bostrom will be on the VoiceCon stage at the Gaylord Palms hotel. Naturally, we on the VoiceCon team are pretty pumped about this. By any measure, this is a big deal for our industry as well as for the show. I get the sense that Al Gore is a pretty busy guy, so the fact that he's decided to take time to address an audience of IT professionals is significant. Clearly we've reached critical mass with the idea that communications technology has a significant role to play in improving the condition of our environment, and in bringing many other societal benefits to all parts of the world. We've had quite a bit on Green IT here at No Jitter, courtesy mostly of our resident environmentalist Matt Brunk, and we've also got a session at VoiceCon called "Saving Money with Green VOIP," which No Jitter's own Gary Audin is presenting. The Gore/Chambers/Bostrom session will take us beyond the idea of doing IT's job in a more environmentally-conscious way, into the ways that communications itself can help.

Enterprise 2.0 by Example

Sheila McGee-Smith | February 27, 2008 |
My title is taken from the name of one of the demonstrations set up at the Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) Enterprise Forum held in Paris last week. ALU used this year's forum to launch its new enterprise marketing strategy, the Dynamic Enterprise. (Those who saw my post last month on the Genesys notion of the Dynamic Contact Center may see a family resemblance here - Genesys is a subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent.)

You've Heard of Leased Lines...

Eric Krapf | February 27, 2008 |
How about leased crowds? Comcast decided to pack this week's Net Neutrality hearing in Boston with employees and, er, independent contractors. Check out the photo at the link. You know it was taken during a Comcast speaker's turn at the microphone.

Statler & Waldorf, From the Balcony

Matt Brunk | February 26, 2008 |
In case you don't remember, Statler and Waldorf are the two grumpy old men sitting in the balcony of the Muppet Theatre casting out words of wisdom. A few days ago, I was asked for my opinion about the marketing hype vs. real benefits of Unified Communications, which I do struggle with. First, there really isn't a clear definition of Unified Communications that I feel comfortable with and Eric Krapf made that pretty clear in Defining UC. So, for vendor speak or incentives to buy, I say pass until any vendor presents you with application-solution to your specific business problem that passes the finance guy's approval for a positive quantifiable return. The gene pool seems to be limited whenever it comes to accountability and that's the beef that finance has with the IT guys.

Unified Communications in a Box

Eric Krapf | February 26, 2008 |
The high end of enterprise communications may be a death struggle among heavyweight incumbents and the established software players trying to muscle in, but at the SMB end, there's all kinds of new and different companies making their pitch, from integrations with Google Apps to this new company, Unison, which pitches its solution as a complete UC solution in a single server: PBX, email, IM, calendar, contacts, directory/presence, even antivirus/antispam (for the text communications, not voice). I got more details in a conversation with Rurik Bradbury, Chief Marketing Officer at Unison.

Siemens Layoff Announcement

Eric Krapf | February 26, 2008 |
Siemens today confirmed its plans to lay off approximately 4,000 workers. Siemens described the move as "intended to accelerate the company's transformation from a hardware supplier to a software and solutions provider to fit changed market conditions," and the details of the "reorientation" plan illustrate what exactly this entails.

Job Cuts at Siemens: Portents of Consolidation?

Eric Krapf | February 25, 2008 |
The New York Times is reporting that Siemens Enterprise Communications plans to cut 4,000-7,000 jobs in Germany and Brazil, in hopes of bolstering the company's chance of being acquired. Siemens' enterprise business has been on the market for a year and a half, ever since the carrier division merged with Nokia.

Shrinking the E911 Space

Gary Audin | February 25, 2008 |
First it was the address, then within 40,000 square feet, then 25,000 square feet and now 7,000 square feet for E911 location information. Slowly, some states are filling the hole left by the FCC, but not consistently. They are passing legislation against the wishes of enterprises, hotels, health care, banking and higher education institutions, your employers, because of the costs. Imagine the lawsuit that will be issued if these organizations choose not to implement E911.

Electricity is Your Network Lifeblood

Matt Brunk | February 25, 2008 |
Today, there is a huge difference among how devices plugged into your networks consume and manage energy. IT best practices do already dictate that inventory be kept on the IT assets of the organization. What's likely missing is the power consumption and efficiency of each device. This is largely because IT administers all the wares, but the electric and cooling requirements are generally handled by Facilities. IT doesn't normally pay the electric or other utility bills. So performance metrics are the gap and according to the Department of Energy (DOE), data centers account for 1.5% of total US power consumption, which is significant and still growing.

Future-Proofing for Security

Eric Krapf | February 22, 2008 |
Here's another great post by Dustin Trammell over at VOIPSA about a practical concern in ensuring VOIP security: The need for VOIP hardware to have enough processing power so it can be upgraded as security demands require.

Telepresence: Beautiful And Expensive

John Bartlett | February 22, 2008 |
The quality is stunning, but so is the price, and the impact on your network

New Feature: Telepresence

Eric Krapf | February 22, 2008 |
Over in the right-hand Feature column, we've posted an article from BCR by John Bartlett, on Telepresence. As regular readers have come to expect, John's our go-to guy on QOS and all other WAN-performance topics, and that makes up a major part of this in-depth article. The article also has a really useful table comparing features, prices and costs of the leading Telepresence systems. Check it out.

Does QoS Really Work?

John Bartlett | February 22, 2008 |
There are a few ideas that people keep bringing back to me one way or another, saying that QoS isn't really needed, or only has a limited range of usefulness. These stem from a lack of understanding about the way QoS works. Lets take a look at these arguments and see where they fail.


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November 29, 2017

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November 1, 2017

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November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
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.