Defining Buzzwords: An Exercise in Futility

Brian Riggs
B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • Don’t worry about how UC or collaboration is defined
  • Focus on what problems communications solutions can solve at your company

UC, collaboration, telepresence: Those are three of the big buzzwords in the markets I track as an analyst looking at business communications solutions. People – analysts in particular, but also executives and marketing managers – love to discuss endlessly exactly what they mean, precisely how they’re defined. But here is a secret: It doesn’t matter. Continue reading “Defining Buzzwords: An Exercise in Futility”

What’s Next for UC and Virtualization Software in Private Clouds

Brian Riggs
B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • How UC software deployed in private clouds will change
  • What will change: Support for multiple hypervisors, a variety of server hardware, and advanced management features

Continuing on the topic of unified communications and virtualization from my previous IT Connections blog, UC solutions’ support for server virtualization is facilitating their deployment in private cloud environments. This has taken the form of Cisco, Siemens Enterprise, Mitel, and others adding support for VMware vSphere on their various UC and contact center platforms, while Avaya supports Citrix XenServer. This luxury of vendors being able to pick and choose which server virtualization platform they support is likely to be short-lived. Their widespread support for VMware vSphere is understandable. VMware commands a large share of the market, so choosing to support VMware means that a large number of enterprises will be able to deploy UC software in data centers. However, VMware is not the only game in town and not all enterprises have standardized on it. As a result, developers of UC solutions will soon need to support other hypervisors as well. Microsoft is ahead in this particular game. When Lync was launched early this year, it included support not only for Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor, but also for VMware and Citrix hypervisors.
Continue reading “What’s Next for UC and Virtualization Software in Private Clouds”

When is a Tablet Not a Tablet?

Brian Riggs
B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • Tablet-like mobile end points from Cisco and Avaya are distinct from consumer tablets
  • Cisco Cius and Avaya ADVD are distinct from each other

Cisco Cius and Avaya Desktop Video Device (ADVD) – They look like tablets: Mobile computers built into a flat touch screen, and are larger than a smartphone, but smaller than a laptop. They act like tablets with swipe interfaces. They have access to a variety of personal and video apps, and in Cius’ case, an app store. But they’re not tablets. At least IT managers shouldn’t think of them in the same way they think of tablets.
Continue reading “When is a Tablet Not a Tablet?”

Virtualization and UC: Strange Bedfellows No More

Brian Riggs
B. Riggs
Summary Bullets:

  • Server virtualization is available here and now for a wide range of UC solutions
  • Desktop virtualization for UC client software is by and large in the works

Virtualization and real-time communications have traditionally made for strange bedfellows. Yet persistent R&D work among top UC solution and virtualization software developers led to deployment on virtualized servers in a data center as a standard option for PBX call control software. Mitel started the ball rolling, working closely with VMware to develop a version of the vSphere virtualization platform capable of supporting real-time communications software. Server virtualization is now a checklist item for both UC and contact center software, with Aastra, Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Siemens Enterprise and to a certain extent, ShoreTel, all supporting it.

Continue reading “Virtualization and UC: Strange Bedfellows No More”