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”→
Public cloud services break the typical 18 month product revision cycle down into smaller, more rapid releases, a practice that varies widely among vendors in terms of frequency, focus (bugs vs. new features) and flexibility.
To avoid heavy deployment, training and support issues stemming from quick revision cycles, customers must demand options typically found in on-premises software.
Last week brought an animated and often heated blow up between Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff over the best way to deliver a public cloud offering. The argument, which played out publicly across keynotes given by both men during Oracle’s OpenWorld 2011 conference in San Francisco, centered upon whether or not Salesforce.com’s cloud was indeed open and whether or not Oracle’s newly launched Public Cloud platform was in fact a public cloud. Such a public debate can only serve to ultimately make things easier for enterprise IT departments by exposing many of the often overlooked issues associated with cloud-borne software such as partial multitenancy or API-induced data siloing. But to this analyst’s mind, the debate missed what is the biggest hidden ‘gotcha’ – the breakneck speed at which cloud-centric vendors revise their software.
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?”→
Putting applications and data in the cloud and running corporate video is likely to require a switch to next-generation IP and Ethernet
Service providers have become good at monitoring and managing how applications behave in the network to offer optimized solutions
Traditional legacy data networks (e.g., Frame Relay, TDM/leased line and ATM) might not be ideal workhorses for the next-generation corporate network, where more applications and data reside in the cloud, and where video communications need new jitter and latency parameters in order to work.
VoIP and SIP trunking adoption are driving the need for SBCs in the modern contact center
Assessing the value of an SBC and selecting the appropriate SBC for your center is crucial
The transition from time division multiplexing (TDM) to end-to-end IP networks, coupled with the growing requirement for enhanced security and regulatory compliance in the customer service environment are major causes of the added intricacy involved in running a contact center today. As the use of SIP trunking becomes more common and the number of carriers offering these services grows, the session border controller (SBC), long an important element of service provider networks, brings to the enterprise the potential to address the many new and developing issues of the contact center. SBCs can simplify networks, add more intelligence to operations and introduce economic and operational balance to the new networking equation. As customer care continues to become an important competitive differentiator, enterprises must take action to ensure their contact centers are reliable and secure, that networks interoperate with wide-area IP/SIP networks and users experience efficient and economical operations.
Vendors sniping at each other is nothing new – it’s just business
Increased competitiveness cannot be a bad thing for IT buyers
Who out there really could be offended by Cisco’s recently launched attack campaign on Juniper? Well, Juniper of course—but Juniper is a massively successful multi-billion dollar company perfectly capable of handling itself in such matters. My view is that pointing out competitor deficiencies—real or imagined—is part of the process; indeed, a healthy part of the process if done above board and within legal parameters. It’s a sign of heated competition and fear, and as we all know there is fun in fear. In this case, the fun comes from suppliers slapping each other silly, decreasing development cycles while increasing pricing pressure – you know, generally making the world a better place for IT and networking buyers.
Bring your own device phenomenon challenging WLAN bandwidth
Networks architected for 802.11a/b/g may be limiting worker productivity and therefore efficiency
A satisfied, network-connected worker is a valuable resource in practically any industry. This has been the reality since wireless LAN (WLAN) technology, or indeed any network technology, was first brought to market. Over time, the network service quality improved based on technology advancements, client end-point support grew and ultimately worker productivity increased. However, this didn’t just happen overnight. The IT department worked hard to deploy 802.11a, then 11.b/g and now 802.11n networks to provide this powerful productivity tool. Those in IT also know how painful it was behind the scenes with early management tools, intermittent radio noise reducing performance, security concerns and interoperability between client radios and access point radios.
UCC deployment is complex, even when hosted or managed by a third party
Enterprises need to look beyond the marketing and tread carefully when integrating UCC solutions
Marketing around carriers’ cloud-based unified communications and collaboration (UCC) services is reaching a fever pitch. As vendors improved the quality and reliability of VoIP services, enterprises increased their deployments, and now they want to add collaboration features. IT managers and corporate executives see hosted UCC as a way to reduce communications costs and increase employee productivity in a tight economic environment; carriers can use these offers to embed their services more deeply into an enterprise’s business. Enterprise adoption of UCC in any form, whether fully hosted or premises gear managed by someone else, is still a complex proposition.
Later adopters learn from occasional disappointments of early public cloud services users
Broadening cloud classes (public, hybrid, private) complement traditional services
There’s some industry talk of a backlash against the cloud. That’s inevitable, given the hype over its promise. In general though, ‘backlash’ presents things too strongly – some individuals understandably feel angry, but market-wide momentum is still behind the uptake of cloud services.
Mobile device market fragmentation, a continuing problem for application developers.
App manufactures should adopt a combined Web/native development approach.
These are heady days for IT managers with a hankering for mobility. Over the past two years, the usual impediments to mobilizing the workforce have vanished beneath an avalanche of consumer pressure, technological innovation and corporate acceptance. This is particularly true when it comes to supporting a wide array of devices from Apple, Microsoft, Google, Nokia, RIM and others. Gazing at the myriad devices and plethora of software for those devices currently roaming about the marketplace would lead one to believe that it’s a foregone conclusion that mobility has reached a point where users can bring their device du jour to the workplace. Well, yes, this is true – but that’s really where the trouble begins.