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June 2008

Cool App: The Service Guy

Eric Krapf | July 01, 2008 |
Via Abner Germanow of IDC, here's a cool application that shows something of the potential of Asterisk, Unified Communications and social computing. The application is called The Service Guy, and it lets people call a single referral number and get connected to services they need right away.

SMBs Take IP Telephony Spotlight from Large Enterprises

Alan Weckel | July 01, 2008 |
Small-medium business VOIP adoption lags the large enterprise, so SMB is a target-rich environment for vendors.

A Report of UC Beef from a UC SI

Marty Parker | July 01, 2008 |
Yesterday, Tim Bakke, Microsoft UC Practice Manager at Avtex, sent some interesting comments on the continuing dialogue over the adoption of UC, beginning with Fred Knight's "Where's the Beef" and continuing to yesterday's "The UC Debate: Forrester Weighs In." Tim had some great observations:

Quality of Service (QoS) Design for Telepresence

John Bartlett | July 01, 2008 |
Telepresence is an interactive real-time application, which means it is delay sensitive, loss sensitive and jitter sensitive. This sounds familiar: it is just like VoIP, with the one difference being that it has huge bandwidth requirements. VoIP is treated as the highest priority application in the QoS hierarchy, but it uses relatively small amounts of bandwidth. How do we deal with an application that requires very high priority and might be consuming half or more of the bandwidth on a link?

The UC Debate: Forrester Weighs In

Eric Krapf | June 30, 2008 |
There's been quite a bit of back-and-forth here (and here and here and here) about customer attitudes regarding Unified Communications. The root for all of this discussion was a Forrester Research study. Henry Dewing, Principal Analyst at Forrester, wanted to weigh in on the way our bloggers have looked at his company's study, and to offer his perspective. Here's what he had to say:

VoIP: VPLS vs. MPLS

Gary Audin | June 30, 2008 |
I always wanted to create a headline without words. This is my chance. You have heard of Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), but Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) may be new to you. MPLS has been available for a few years. VPLS was announced by Verizon in March 2007. AT&T and Qwest are also beginning to offer VPLS, which is a new service for both the service provider and enterprise, so the experience level is low. It is now possible to consider either or both of these services for VoIP calls among sites.

When Will the Cellular Carriers Support Open Mobile Devices?

Michael Finneran | June 30, 2008 |
There has been a lot of talk of late regarding developments in mobile operating systems. The most recent event was Nokia's announcement that they will acquire the remaining stake in the Symbian mobile operating system and create the open source Symbian Foundation. That will put Symbian, the most widely deployed mobile O/S, in the open camp along with Google's developing Android and Linux Mobile (LiMo). The former is supported by the Open Handset Alliance and the latter by the LiMo Foundation.

Some Light on the UC Confusion Debate

Marty Parker | June 27, 2008 |
So, as Eric Krapf noted yesterday with, "What's Really Hot in UC", we have a debate going on whether customers are confused or not about Unified Communications.

The UC Land Grab is About to Begin

Jim Burton | June 27, 2008 |
The evolving Unified Communications industry is reshaping the communications marketplace. The changes create challenges for some vendors and opportunities for others. The legacy vendors are scrambling to revise their business models, and all of the major vendors, both legacy and emerging, are looking at how to flesh out their UC product portfolios.

More Cisco, Avaya, Nortel Vulnerabilities Named

Eric Krapf | June 26, 2008 |
VOIPShield has released a new raft of vulnerabilities that it found in IP telephony systems from Cisco, Avaya and Nortel (announcement here; vulnerability details here). Unlike its previous such announcement, VOIPShield has this time coordinated the release with the affected vendors, avoiding the criticism it faced the last time, when VOIPShield went public with the vulnerabilities before the affected vendors could address all of them.

New Feature: Mobile Unified Communications

Eric Krapf | June 26, 2008 |
We've got a new feature in the right-hand column by Bob Emmerson, our Europe-based correspondent, on Mobile UC. Bob's Euro-centric perspective is useful when it comes to this issue, because, as he notes, European 3G celllular networks are more broadly deployed than their U.S. counterparts, and so we therefore have a little better idea of how they can support Unified Communications.

Hospitality Via Wired Phones

Matt Brunk | June 26, 2008 |
One area where IP telephony has the potential to make a clear impact is in the hospitality industry; most vendors have a solution or set of solutions for this market. One example is Avaya's new SIP iPhones from Teledex, which let hotel guests experience visuals, which hoteliers should appreciate. Adding the visual to the phone isn't just cool, but it provides interlinks to the hotel's services, moving hotels beyond selling rooms at rack rates, beyond just staying competitive, and to potentially greater profitability by adding all the trimmings offered by the hotel and surrounding area of interest to their guests.

Mobile UC is So European

Bob Emmerson | June 25, 2008 |
Mobile UC isn't just a subset of Unified Communications. And although it's emerging quicker in Europe, it will soon affect enterprises everywhere.

What's Really Hot in UC

Eric Krapf | June 25, 2008 |
Marty Parker and Fred Knight have had an interesting back-and-forth on the issue of whether users are confused about the value of Unified Communications, whether they're deploying UC, and generally how big a deal UC is *today*. Marty is bullish; Fred more skeptical.

UI Prototyping in the Contact Center

Eric Krapf | June 25, 2008 |
This post was written by Jason Alley, lead consultant at Vanguard Communications. UI prototyping is critical for contact centers implementing new agent desktop technology. This posting will review why prototyping is important, why it is often overlooked in the contact center, and what steps can be taken to facilitate effective prototyping.

How Will Carrier VoIP Trends Impact Enterprise VoIP and UC?

Tom Nolle | June 24, 2008 |
Enterprise voice and unified communications planning has to consider an important reality: there are a lot more people outside the enterprise than inside, and those people include important customers and suppliers. Reaching those users demands reliance on public communications facilities, and that means that trends in carrier voice and other collaborative services will impact enterprise VoIP and UC planning.

Siemens Enterprise Communications - Still Moving Forward

Blair Pleasant | June 23, 2008 |
While thousands of people were in Vienna last week for the Euro 2008 games (soccer, football, whatever you call it), some of us were there for Siemens Enterprise Communications' Global Analyst Conference. The location was amazing, the pastries to die for, and I now have a new appreciation of Austrian wine. But the focus of the trip was to hear Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEN) discuss its progress to date, how it's moving forward, and how it will succeed. And despite the many (too many) questions about the company's future vis a vis a merger and/or acquisition plans, there is no new news to report - as Brian Riggs reported, all SEN would say is that they are "In advanced stages of talks with potential partners" (emphasizing the plural "partners").

Bandwidth Design for Telepresence

John Bartlett | June 23, 2008 |
My last blog discussed using an overlay versus using a converged network for telepresence. For either approach, the next step is to analyze the bandwidth demand of the telepresence and determine which links of the network are required to support that demand. Telepresence is a bandwidth-hungry application, so getting this right is critical to supporting high-quality video interactions.

Could They Be Looking for UC in All the Wrong Places?

Marty Parker | June 23, 2008 |
This past Thursday, June 19, Fred Knight asked the question, "Where's the Beef?" in response to an article in Network World reporting on uncertainty about Unified Communications (UC) in "a recent survey of 2008 networking plans from Forrester Research." Forrester represented that there is "confusion about the value" of UC, even as they report that 27% of the firms have or are deploying it and another 57% are piloting or evaluating it. Pretty unusual to have 84% of the respondents involved with UC if there is such "confusion about the value."

Can iPhone 3G Play in the Enterprise?

Michael Finneran | June 22, 2008 |
Now that Apple has introduced a more functional and enterprise-friendly iPhone 3G, we now face the question of whether this is the mobile device that finally gets Apple into the enterprise market. The new iPhone does address some of the shortcomings of the original, but is this a true enterprise device or a consumer gadget with some enterprise trappings? Having looked over the specs, I go with the latter assessment: it's a consumer Web surfing gadget.


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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.