Bell System Breakup

Back in the 1970s I worked for the Bell System. That was a turbulent time in the company’s history because it was the introduction of competition. Here’s the real story you never heard – in two parts. The Bell System…

The Future of IT

This week’s UCStrategies Industry Buzz podcast is a reaction to a recent article proclaiming “IT is Dead.” Here to discuss the future of IT departments are moderator Dave Michels, and Jon Arnold, Kevin Kieller, Marty Parker, Michael Finneran, and Steve…

Multi-Organizational UC

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…


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.

A Distributor’s Disruptive Journey

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.

Agentless Contact Center Solutions

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.

Giants Competing

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…

Do MCUs Make Sense?

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.

Mean People Rule

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.

Google IO Silent Messages

Google shows at IO that they’re not serious about the enterprise

Restarting the Conversation

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…

UCStrategies on Wireless Devices

This week the UCStrategies Experts discuss wireless devices. The conversation is moderated by UCStrategies’ mobility expert Michael Finneran, and includes Marty Parker, Dave Michels, and Kevin Kieller.

Google Voice: Asleep at the Switch

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.

Software: The Softer Side of Sears

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.

Context Reversing Televolution

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…

Connecting With the Plantronics MDA200

Guest Post: by Larry Riba Plantronics MDA200 Lets Enterprises Reduce Headset Costs And Increase User Convenience By Sharing A Single USB Headset Between PCs and Legacy Phones Headsets are a critical part of successful UC deployments, but since not all…

Aastra Finds Third Path to Public Cloud

Aastra uses a different model to provide cloud services

TPN Expands to Europe

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).

ShoreTel CEO to Retire

That was fast. ShoreTel today announced that its new CEO, Peter Blackmore, intends to retire, but will remain on board until a replacement is found.  “It has been a privilege to work with the ShoreTel team,” said Mr. Blackmore. “I…

Blackmore to Retire from ShoreTel

ShoreTel announced that its CEO, Peter Blackmore, intends to retire. Blackmore was hired as the CEO in December of 2010. He will remain on as CEO while the firm conducts the search for his replacement.