In Quotes

Selected articles, news, and other items from around the web. 

Cloud UC: SMBs love it, enterprises remain leery: “Hosted services make a lot of sense for smaller companies, and increasingly for larger companies too. The hard part for users is understanding the differences between offers,” said Dave Michels, CEO at TalkingPointz Research.

Many vendors geared their early Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) strategies to the SMB market, but enterprises will need more incentive to give up UC control to the cloud.

“Large enterprises with IT [resources] have been slow to jump on the hosted UC bandwagon, but the cloud shines when it comes to enterprises with multiple locations,” Michels said, noting that UCaaS allows distributed enterprise employees who might not have local IT resources to enjoy the same UC features as those at the main office.

Unified communications vendors looking to appeal to the enterprise market should develop a cloud-oriented channel strategy — something that vendors have struggled with because cloud services often compete against the equipment-based products that their channel partners offer. “Some companies are working on this channel relationship without creating conflict in order to appeal to larger enterprises,” Michels noted.

Avaya acquires RADVISION: “This acquisition makes a lot of sense,” says UC Expert Dave Michels. “It really strengthens Avaya’s solution and rewards Radvision for some excellent engineering and perseverance. It gives Avaya what it needed to complete its video story, including gateways, systems and endpoints supporting H.323, SIP, and even Microsoft Lync.”

Mitel and VMware Provide VDI to Contact Centers: “This is a significant achievement,” said Dave Michels, of TalkingPointz Research and UCStrategies. “Mitel is the first to offer a VMware-endorsed call center solution that uses VMware’s virtual desktop solution, View. Mitel and VMware are both targeting the same size customers with this solution. Together, the two companies can offer a call center the ability to run with a single – no moving parts – thin client for both desktop and phone – a tremendous operational benefit for both centralized and distributed environments. Mitel has been very aggressive with its commitment to virtualization, and this one offers the most potential to change the game.”

Aastra Partners with VMware: “This is really an interesting approach. Instead of simply offering a call manager that works with VMware, Aastra is also offering VMware with its call manager. The A700, which is a scaled down version of the MX-ONE actually comes bundled with VMware on a hardware appliance. Virtualizing unified communications can be a bit tricky, but offers tremendous savings and operational improvements. Aastra has done the heavy lifting so its customer’s won’t have to,” said Dave Michels.

NET Announces UX1000: “It is impressive how NET packaged so much of its Microsoft Lync experience into a deceptively simple appliance. The UX1000 reduces risk, and optimizes the design, reliability, and operational capabilities of distributed Microsoft Lync deployments,” said Dave Michels

Information WeekGoogle Apps Vs Office 365? It All Depends:  “I know of a lot of organizations that are trying to eliminate the desktop altogether,” said Dave Michels

CRN: Unified Communications Picking Up Steam: Unified communications can combine a variety of features, and ultimately, its makeup is driven and defined by what the client wants and needs, according to Dave Michels, an independent industry analyst.

The StreetBeat: NEC Debuts Software-Based Unified Communications Bundle for Mid-Market: “Mid-sized IT organizations today are making more communications decisions, and they want the same scalability and full functionality out of their unified communications solutions as large enterprises. Plus, they want to deploy it in their data centers,” said Dave Michels, industry analyst, Verge1. “NEC’s software-based approach provides a fully integrated UC solution that is tailored specifically for mid-market organizations who want the freedom to choose general purpose hardware in virtualized environments, plus give users tools that will be useful for years to come.”

ITEXPO West Speaker: The Right Way to Skin a Cat: With the number of new products and services being introduced onto the market today, how do you best determine what is truly needed and what is just hype? According to Dave Michels, Principal at Verge1, the market is in the greatest need for mobility. Michels recently took part in a TMCnet interview in anticipation of the upcoming ITEXPO  West 2010 event. When asked when unified communications will go mainstream, Michels believes it has already happened, yet the solutions are lagging.

Vocalocity and Aptela Merge: “The sea of hosted providers is crowded, and being a big fish is rapidly becoming critical for survival and growth. These two providers have a lot in common and have much more potential combined. It’s exciting to see the increase in consolidation taking place.”

Cisco Jabber Improves Unified Communications and Collaboration for Mac, PC, Tablets, and Smart Phones: “What sets this UC client apart from others is its breadth of platform support,” says Dave Michels of UCStrategies. “Cisco intends to support PCs, Macs, tablets and smart phones including iPhone, iPad, Nokia, Android and RIM – and Jabber can work in both hosted and cloud deployments.”

Aastra Unveils HD Desktop Video Conferencing Solution: “I like Aastra’s approach here,” says UCStrategies UC Expert Dave Michels. “They are offering a high-end video phone to the SIP world while simultaneously giving its ViPr line a refresh and upping its own UC/collaboration story. The product fits nicely into Aastra’s UC portfolio and with the introduction of the Blustar Application server, these new desktops can upgrade non-Aastra telecom environments.”