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Spark Doesn’t Melt

Meltdown and Spectre — two massive security flaws revealed publicly this month — allow attackers to access “secure” data by...

Konftel Ego

As a communications professional, I take my conferencing gear seriously. When traveling, it boils down to three options: the handset,...

NEC Advantage 2017

NEC showed-off its latest iteration of Smart Enterprise at Advantage its annual partner event. NEC Advantage 2017 is taking place...

IoT Calling

An IoT demonstration at a Genesys conference last fall showed how sensors in a washing machine will reshape customer experience. The...

Collaboration Boardom

The electronic whiteboard has been around for a while and it’s gradually working its way from classroom to enterprise video...

Can We Solve the Tower of Babel That is Text?

In this UCStrategies Industry Buzz podcast, Michael Finneran contends that text is the single most important and widely used medium of communications to have emerged in the past 20 years, but that it is about the farthest thing from an "integrated network” that has ever existed. The conversation includes Experts Phil Edholm, Joseph Williams, Jon Arnold, Blair Pleasant, JR Simmons, Roberta Fox, and Dave Michels.

UCaaS and CPaaS Merging

Once upon a time there were two totally separate industries: unified communications as a service (UCaaS), the application; and communications platform as a service (CPaaS), the platform. But the distinction between these services is getting fuzzy.

Vidyo’s Clowd

Vidyo launched a new cloud service that adds new consumption options including hybrid models to its portfolio. It’s a unique cloud offer because it includes both video conferencing as a service as well as cPaaS as it extends Vidyo’s APIs from products to include services.

A Stand-out for GROUP Communications

Logitech introduced the GROUP ConferenceCam. It’s a revised version of the cc3000e with a slightly less dumb name. GROUP is a laptop peripheral, or more accurately a room accoutrement. It’s intended to live in a conference room to facilitate laptop-powered group conferences. By connecting it to a laptop’s USB port, the laptop transforms into a room conferencing system with a 10x optical zoom lens, wireless remote, and high-fidelity acoustics capable of supporting up to 20 participants.

Avaya Plays Sports

Most sports sponsorships are little more than advertising. There’s no doubt that some goodwill is generated from Avaya’s sponsorship of the stadium where the San Jose Earthquakes play in California. But the real game is practice development. Avaya saw a win-win opportunity: the venue operators needed new technologies – contact centers, networking, and new applications – and Avaya wanted to transition from a product orientation to a solution focus. It’s part of Avaya’s larger transition from equipment provider to solution provider.

The Big Picture on Video

Visual communications is shifting from the expensive and few to the cheap and masses. The cast of conspirators is huge and includes consumer services, freemium models, and iDevices. Here’s a quick recap of some recent events relative to enterprise communications.

NEC Announces UNIVERGE Blue

In the first keynote session at the UC Summit, Jay Krauser of NEC announced the immediate availability of UNIVERGE Blue, a new UCaaS service from NEC.

8×8 Attracting Enterprise Customers

With the switch to 8x8, Regus intends to offer its customers enhanced communication services such as mobility, multi-channel communications, and presence enabled directories. 8x8’s Virtual Office includes Switchboard Pro which enables Regus attendants to properly identify and route calls.

Time for Channel Specialization

The traditional dealer or VAR is no longer just competing with a handful of firms in the same city, but a globe of providers on the same planet. As products turn into services the margins disappear. What’s happening is the general practitioner model for business communications is getting strangled.

SIP Trunks to Reduce the Cost of Cellular

Verizon Enterprise Solutions today announced Wireless Connected VoIP. The new service eliminates per-minute usage charges on calls placed over the carrier’s US IP trunks to any of its wireless subscribers. While free cellular calls between subscribers on the same carrier are common, Wireless Connected VoIP extends the “on-net” benefit to enterprise wired connections.

Time to Drop the Anchor

There are two times when it makes more sense to go with UCaaS than a premises-based UC anchor: always and now. There was a time when premises-based solutions made the most sense - basically when there wasn’t a choice. UCaaS has been evolving now for over a decade and it now offers a robust set of benefits. There are lots of reasons why UCaaS stands out. Here’s five...

Reflecting on Inflection

UC industry pundits like myself frequently speak about disruption and inflection points. We use these terms to describe significant shifts occurring in the industry, such as digital to IP, prem to cloud, hardware to software, and hard phone to softphon...

The Smartphone Becomes a SMARTphone

What we mean by “mobility” continues to change (or move). What is most fascinating is how the smartphone is enabling totally new approaches to old problems. SMART took an entirely new approach with dry-erase whiteboards.

Oh, Say Can You Hear

Based on the number of ads I see for headphones, earbuds, and headsets it seems pretty clear that there is huge demand for them. Headsets are now part of the daily routine. It surprised me when I realized how often I wear a headset or headphones. Not only do I wear them often, but I wear many different models - daily. For softphone users, headsets are the new endpoint - and there’s a wide range in features, price, and quality.

NEC Launches Smart Enterprise, Globally

NEC’s solutions span across enterprise, public sector, energy, and carriers. Its enterprise solutions include UC, logistics, distribution, transport, production management, and plant management. The company observes that technologies are crossing between these sectors. With this multi-disciplinary perspective, NEC offers its observations and definitions for the modern “Smart Enterprise.” Specifically, NEC has identified 10 strategic drivers that are empowering Smart Enterprises.

Interesting Times

It isn’t exactly news to describe how quickly things are changing in enterprise communications. This we know, it’s exciting and frustrating at the same time. We need to remember that the goal isn’t making communications cheaper, faster or clearer, but getting things done, solving problems, and innovating.

Smiling About Video

The democratization of video is upon us – and it changes everything. It’s the result of camera ubiquity, inexpensive broadband, and smart mobile devices. Video has traded its Sunday suit for a t-shirt and is blending into our daily workflow. The technology is now intuitive, natural, and accessible. As a result there’s tremendous recent video news occurring across the industry. Here’s a smattering:

Goodbye Lync

Microsoft intends to change the name of its Lync solution for real-time communications to Skype for Business. I’ve heard some negative reactions to the change. Despite these criticisms, I believe rebranding Lync was an ingenious move. For lots of reasons, but I will highlight three.