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March 2008

VoiceCon Video: Cisco-WebEx

Eric Krapf | March 31, 2008 |
Wow, if you want to see 2 people cover a lot of territory in 6 minutes--check out this video with Fritz Nelson of TechWeb TV and Alan Cohen, VP of Mobility Solutions, Cisco. Alan definitely came prepared with plenty of provocative ideas to toss out. Some reaction in the jump:

Telepresence - Will it Meet My Expectations?

Matt Brunk | March 31, 2008 |
First quarter 2008 started off with a big bang about UC--UC this, UC that, UC everywhere except for the budget. Then, folks got a taste of two big gas guzzling heroes that tried to come across as green machines- yes, Mr. Chambers and Mr. Gore, your high-falutin' ways won't get you any green awards. Each of you do not drive hybrids as a primary vehicle, and private jets and mansions don't count for you even if you buy a couple of renewable energy certificates.

Microsoft: Clearing the Air on SIP and Interoperability

Eric Krapf | March 31, 2008 |
The VoiceCon discussion that led up to Microsoft and IBM's handshake deal, promising interoperability testing was really pretty significant even before the two vendors made their commitment. For the first time I could remember, industry leaders talked pretty openly and honestly about what was and wasn't interoperable in the SIP world, and why. The discussion echoed a conversation I'd had the previous afternoon with Jamie Stark, a technical product manager at Microsoft.

Avaya's Services Play

Eric Krapf | March 31, 2008 |
Right after Lou D'Ambrosio's Tuesday VoiceCon keynote wrapped up, I had a chance to sit down with some Avaya execs who are working on an initiative that D'Ambrosio didn't get much of a chance to touch on in his speech: The effort to expand Avaya's consulting business.

VoiceCon Video: SecureLogix

Eric Krapf | March 31, 2008 |
Fritz Nelson of TechWeb TV interviews Mark Collier, CTO of SecureLogix, about the state of VOIP Security. Mark pegs denial-of-service attacks aimed at the underlying IP infrastructure as the greatest security threat to enterprise IP telephony at this point. Let's go to the video:

Why Would You Give Up Your Structured Wiring?

Matt Brunk | March 31, 2008 |
Ever since installing our first IP-PBX in 1996, we've found more ways to install them using existing cable plants. IP-PBXs often work better by themselves on their own cabling infrastructure than those that are converged using just one cable to the desktop. I've claimed before--years before QoS, VLANs, network monitoring and assessments and other tools were typical--that by using available resources and installing the IP-PBX as a "phone system" is better for some customers.

VoiceCon Orlando Takeaways

Blair Pleasant | March 28, 2008 |
VoiceCon Orlando 2008 was held last week--and it did not disappoint. The discussions and interactions between and among speakers, exhibitors and attendees clearly showed that Unified Communications is on everyone's mind, and that the industry is moving from defining UC to evaluating and implementing UC solutions.

The Motorola Breakup is Good News for the Enterprise

Michael Finneran | March 28, 2008 |
In a move that was not entirely a surprise, Motorola announced plans to split into two separate companies, effectively spinning off their cellular handset division. Some type of realignment had been anticipated given Motorola's declining fortunes and the well-publicized displeasure of investor Carl Icahn who holds 6% of Motorola's stock. Icahn has been highly critical of thecompany's management and has been angling for representation on the board.

Telepresence/Videoconferencing: Why Should We Do This?

Eric Krapf | March 28, 2008 |
This guest post was written by Peter Brockmann, President of Brockmann & Company, a high tech marketing consulting company. The John Chambers - Al Gore demonstration of telepresence was truly exciting to the 2,500 attendees in the big auditorium at VoiceCon last week. Yet, their impassioned and indirect plea to use telepresence instead of travel will suffer from the practicalities of deploying 30 Mbps IP WAN services between meeting rooms, let alone forking out two-thirds of a million dollars for a pair of rooms. For most organizations, that's a lot of travel to avoid!

VoiceCon Interview: Bill Miller of Digium

Eric Krapf | March 28, 2008 |
Fritz Nelson of our sister site Information Week/TechWeb brought his TechWeb TV crew to Orlando. In this interview, Bill Miller of Digium talks about the role of open source in communications. If you haven't followed Digium or Asterisk or open source, it's a good introduction:

Procurement in a UC World

Eric Krapf | March 27, 2008 |
Kevin DiLallo, a partner at Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby law firm, has posted a detailed look at the pitfalls you want to avoid in procurements. I want to highlight a couple of points Kevin makes, and suggest that they're important today but may be critical in a Unified Communications future.

Maybe You Should Get Your Head in the Clouds

Matt Brunk | March 27, 2008 |
With Amazon's recent fumble with their EC2 services I think it's fair to say that "cloud" computing is still in Beta. The network service providers have pending legislation hanging over them and there are many opportunities to blend and merge service offerings together to provide a strengthened hosted platform for users seeking to adopt Unified Communications. In this next evolution of technology, hosted providers have an opportunity to do more than razzle dazzle customers with features while using fewer resources. Isn't "good management" about utilizing and maximizing your available resources?

Why is Packet Loss Such a Big Deal?

John Bartlett | March 27, 2008 |
One of the big worries with carrying voice or video on an IP network is packet loss. When packets don't make it to the destination, voice and video quality is compromised. But why is this a big deal when our networks have been running fine for years? Network teams are often surprised about how much packet loss there is in a normal data network. Lets look first at why this is a big deal for voice and video, but not a big deal for data applications.

Passive Ignorance on Power

Gary Audin | March 26, 2008 |
Who pays for IT and communications power? How much power is used? Can anyone do something about conserving IT and communications Power? I recently asked these questions of my audience at the Voicecon conference in Orlando in March 20, 2008. No one could answer the questions.

More Consolidation Scenarios

Eric Krapf | March 26, 2008 |
I've been communicating with Allan Sulkin on the ongoing topic of vendor consolidation/spinoffs (inspired by but not directly related to today's Motorola announcement). Here are his latest thoughts:

Bruce Morse on IM Interoperability

Brian Riggs | March 26, 2008 |
I read with interest about the Swift-Galvin handshake to test interoperability between Microsoft and IBM's instant messaging unified communications software at VoiceCon Fall in November. It's a topic I've droned on a bit about before and am glad to see others are taking it seriously as well. Curiously enough, just before VoiceCon, IBM's Bruce Morse touched on the topic of federation between currently non-interoperable corporate IM platforms, in a conference call to industry analysts like myself. Here's what he said:

Cisco's iPhone

Matt Brunk | March 26, 2008 |
Recently, Cisco added their new iPhone Wireless-G IP310 that hits the consumer and very small business market by extending voice mobility with an 802.11 b/g/n WiFi infrastructure.

Telepresence: Strategy or Excuse?

Tom Nolle | March 26, 2008 |
There's something for everyone to love in today's notion of videoconferencing, now renamed "telepresence". You get rid of travel, which reduces energy consumption and global warming. You cut out all that time lost by key people sitting in airports. You create instant team communications for your far-flung enterprise. If you're a vendor, you sell equipment, and if you're a service provider you generate revenue from traffic. Some of these benefits may even be true (particularly the last two). But chances are that your own enterprise telepresence plans need a clear strategy today or you'll need a good excuse tomorrow.

VoiceCon 2008 Signals UC Driving Collaboration - Within the Vendor Community

Zeus Kerravala | March 25, 2008 |
I think right now we've got two different definitions of unified communications. The vendor definition is unifying all the communications tools from one particular vendor. From the user perspective, it's very important to unify the collaboration tools across multiple vendor platforms. This year's VoiceCon in Orlando highlighted a number of vendors that are making concerted efforts to interoperate with other vendor systems, which are a good thing for everyone in the UC ecosystem. I had the pleasure of moderating a panel with Cisco, Avaya, IBM and Microsoft, and during it, Eric Rossman from Avaya said something to the effect of "When I look at my peers on this stage, I don't see competition, I see money. The more we work together, the more interoperable our systems will be and that will help adoption of all of our solutions. The opportunity here is huge and we can all benefit from it". (Paraphrased so my apologies to Eric if this isn't exactly right).

UC By and For the People

Blair Pleasant | March 25, 2008 |
Power to the people, democratization, UC for the masses - these were some of the key themes of this spring's VoiceCon Orlando keynotes. I think the phrase "UC By and For the People" sums up what we see happening in UC today.


August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

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.