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Transparency

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Well-designed technology should disappear. The key to transparent technology is no extra steps, no waiting, no distractions, no training – an enjoyable experience for all parties. You don’t want your users (or customers) thinking about the tool or the technology. Rather they should be thinking about the business at hand.

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Multi-Organizational UC

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As a rule, UC systems are best shared with others. Typically, UC systems support multiple users within a single organization. UC solutions may provide a personal experience, but are inherently shared infrastructure. Taking it to the next level is shari...

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A Distributor’s Disruptive Journey

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For half a century, a good distributor was about effective and efficient picking, packing, and shipping. Telecom distribution wasn’t particularly unique. The inventory largely consisted of specialized hardware including phones provided to authorized dealers. Distributors provided direct access to inventory, financing, and sometimes training. Over the past decade the industry experienced significant change. Iwatsu Voice Networks found its development capability increasing in value, while its line of traditional PBX equipment decreasing. To complement its portfolio, the distributor forged a relationship with Alcatel-Lucent in 2010 largely focused on its OXE telephony solution.

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Agentless Contact Center Solutions

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What comes to mind with the term “customer self-service?” If you are currently thinking about “press 1 for this” or “press 2 for that,” it is time to rethink self-service. The modern IVR, like all aspects of UC, is multi-modal.

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Giants Competing

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For the past several months, the UC conversation shifted toward a Microsoft v. Cisco debate. Cisco enjoys a market share lead over Microsoft in UC, but Lync is experiencing rapid growth. Microsoft has its sights on dethroning Cisco. Personally, I...

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Do MCUs Make Sense?

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The MCU, or multi-point control unit, has been the heart of modern videoconferencing. The MCU decodes the video streams and then encodes an appropriate mix of video streams for each participant into a single stream. But there are several factors that threaten the future of MCU hardware. It’s becoming questionable if they still make sense.

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Mean People Rule

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Somehow, I got a virus – a fake JAVA upgrade got past my rigorous security processes. I share this tale because security and encryption must be among the most boring of UC topics, yet something that must be prioritized and understood. VoIP attacks are common – do you have an SBC? Security needs to be top of mind, and it isn’t something that can be delegated to an Anti-Virus program.

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Restarting the Conversation

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Everything is changing and everyone is confused (though not everyone will admit it). In the days of yore, telecom was pretty stable. It is far more than just the technology that is shifting. The rules, roles, attitudes, business models, expectations, a...

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Google Voice: Asleep at the Switch

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I was an early champion of Google Voice. I felt the concept really had legs. Over the past few years, I’ve changed my tune. I came to realize that Google didn’t have interest in Google Voice and the service languishes within the Googleplex. UC vendors don’t need to fear Google, but rather figure out how to leverage it.

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Software: The Softer Side of Sears

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Sears plans to convert some shuttered or underperforming stores into data centers. The retail giant formed a new subsidiary last March called Ubiquity Critical Environments LLC, which is chartered to convert selected Sears and Kmart properties into data centers – complete with servers, coolers, and back-up generators. Ubiquity also intends to rent rooftops to telecommunication companies.

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Context Reversing Televolution

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It is amazing how much our attitudes toward context have changed. The question is, will we ever have enough contextual information to be truly aware of a given situation or are we better going without contextual hints? In other words, is all this conte...

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TPN Expands to Europe

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The vast majority of UCaaS offerings are restricted to a single country. Thinking Phone Networks (TPN) has been building traction with some international accounts, and today formally launched its expansion into Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

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Westcon Wholesales BYOD Security

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Today, Westcon unveiled a new solution named BYODShield – a wholesale MDM offering. Westcon’s service is powered primarily by two vendors that Westcon integrated into a single service: BlueCat Networks and Fiberlink. BYODShield is a subscription-based package designed for the channel.

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Looking at Video

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At the recent UC Summit, I presented some of my thoughts on channel opportunities around video communications. I didn’t get into specific vendors in the presentation, but was approached frequently for suggestions. There’s a lot of activity, lots of great solutions and ever decreasing prices from both the major vendors and some new kids. Here are three vendors, in three different spaces, for channel partners to consider.

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ShoreTel First to Dock

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I guessed (at Enterprise Connect 2012) that every major UC vendor would have an iPad dock by the end of the year. I was wrong. It took until today – and the first to deliver is ShoreTel with its new ShoreTel Dock.

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The Googrilla Grows

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I recently published the Googrilla in the Midst which posits that the influence and impact of Google Apps is largely underappreciated and untapped by the UC community. We are reasonably confident that the cloud in general, and Google Apps specifically,...

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UC Summit 2013 Day Three

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The best metaphor for the UC Summit is to describe the event like a Smörgåsbord. It’s just a veritable buffet of information, analysis, relationships, and of course food and drink. When the conferenced ended on Wednesday, everyone left full.

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