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VaaS-ing with LifeSize Cloud

Many hardware companies are shifting to software and services, so its no surprise that LifeSize has a new video conferencing service. The new LifeSize Cloud is the company's second video as a service (VaaS) offer. The first service was known as LifeSize Connections a few years back. LifeSize Cloud is an entirely new, purpose-built service that became generally available last Spring. I’ve been using it heavily for the past few weeks and I like it – a lot.

Enjoy the Status Quo While it Lasts

It is interesting to reflect on the amount of change that has occurred. But there are two very important considerations as we ponder about enterprise communications. Today’s deployments must center on mobility and cloud, and the industry is on the cusp of significant innovation. Long term strategies, beyond rapid adaptation, are pointless with the current rate of change and shear degree of new technologies emerging.

Improving Your Hand

I was recently at a conference where the speaker spoke about getting rid of “D players” within an IT group. By D Players, he was referring to the poor performers. Every team has some...

Spatial Audio: What You Don’t Hear

Dolby, and a few others, think that the next big conferencing improvement will be spatial audio. Here, each participant gets a unique “space” during the call. On most audio calls, you have to determine the speaker based on the sound of their voice - with spatial audo you get a location as well. This is made possible with a stereo headset.

Schedule this PainPoint

As we move to more and more online meetings, with better quality and fancier features - the weak link in collaboration is becoming clear: calendaring.

Omni-Channel Capabilities in the Contact Center

The topic of this week's Industry Buzz podcast is omni-channel capabilities in the contact center. The UCStrategies team welcomes guest Karina Howell, Solutions Marketing Manager for Contact Center at Interactive Intelligence. Don Van Doren is the mode...

ArrowS3 Focused on Services

Citius Altius Fortius. That was the theme at the recent ArrowS3 national sales conference. The Olympian expression translates to Faster, Higher, and Stronger. That’s a powerful and timely mantra for the UC channel.

2013 was a Reboot Year

2013 was not a great year for UC. It had its moments, but as a whole the industry didn’t make many leaps. Let me recap the year from a buzzword perspective.

A World of Technology at NEC iExpo

In North America NEC is known for its telephony, UC, and computing products, but the firm’s portfolio is much broader in other countries – especially Japan. NEC offers a diverse portfolio of networking, electronics, and computing products and services. I attended its recent annual showcase and users conference called iExpo. The event follows a trade show format except that the exhibit hall included only technologies from NEC. It was quite surprising how broad the broad the NEC portfolio is; there were about 125 exhibits.

Reclaiming the Title “Smartphone”

For several years of hard phone v softphone debates, I’ve maintained that the correct answer is a reinvented hardphone. Cisco provides the model with its DX650 video endpoint. I wrote about it when it was launched, and it’s grown on me because it represents a new expectation for desktop UC.

Sonus Evolving the SBC

Today Sonus Networks updated its SBC 5000 series to facilitate broader UC streams. SBCs have always been tightly associated with SIP, and since SIP is increasingly used for all kinds of UC traffic, this evolution makes a lot of sense. These new service...

VideoConferencing with a Director

On October 15, 1951, television broadcast history was made when the first episode of "I Love Lucy" aired on CBS. The event is noteworthy because it was the first time multiple cameras were used to film a television show before a live audience. This was a task that many believed to be impossible as different lighting requirements were needed for various types of shots. It is multiple cameras that make broadcast television more natural than video conferences. This doesn’t happen in my group video conferences. When the active speaker changes, I either move my eyes on a panned-out picture of small talking heads or I remotely control the camera to the active speaker through a clumsy process that causes seasickness. In an era of self-driving cars, drones, and self-checkout stands – why can’t we automate what DesiLu did 62 years ago?

The Federation Opportunity

NextPlane has successfully eliminated virtually all of the known external collaboration issues with its “federation as a service” offering. It offers an interesting approach that even seems to add value in like-to-like UC federations.

Blue Jeans Raises $50 Million

Blue Jeans Network announced that it secured an additional $50 million in funding. The round brings its total capital raised to nearly $100 million. Congratulations to Blue Jeans, it’s impressive what they have accomplished. What does this mean? Here’s my interpretation of the news.

Extreme Networks Amplifies Its Team

This week Siemens Enterprise Communications sold its Enterasys networking division to Extreme Networks. It is a fairly strategic deal for Extreme. The company expands its portfolio and R&D, doubles its revenue, expands its channel, and eliminates a competitor. Extreme will pick up 900 employees and some critical technologies in SDN and fabric switching.

No Such Thing as a Mobile User

I’m done with mobility. Not the concept, the term. For years now the UC promise has included the “work from anywhere” mantra. We did it. Let’s stop talking about remote user like it matters any more. To a cloud service provider, all users are remote. It doesn’t treat users differently if they are at the office or not, so why do we treat it as if it still matters?

Acano Goes GA

Acano is a new conferencing and collaboration solution built around what it calls “coSpaces.” The company came out of stealth last June at InfoComm and this week announced the general availability of the Acano Solution.

Avaya the Disruptor

It is an old yarn, when significant changes in technology threaten the current sector leaders. In enterprise voice Cisco and ShoreTel leveraged the transition to VoIP to become major players, and now Microsoft is using UC as its opportunity to play. Bu...

HP Targeting the Growing UC Opportunity

As UC continues to gain more attention from users and vendors alike, HP is doubling-down and brings to the industry a single integrator that offers a multi-vendor approach, key hardware components, professional and hosted services, and expertise – globally.

Photo Messaging: What Will They Think of Next?

Real innovation, the type that imposes disruptive change on the life of a worker or a consumer, typically results from an innovator believing that the status quo is no longer good enough. A recent announcement of a new form of messaging, photo messaging to be precise,  got me thinking about the past and the future.

Attitudes on Video Need to Change

We know video conferencing makes sense. We know it can be more efficient than travel and more robust than audio-only or text-based communications. But despite the obvious benefits, many remain resistant to it. It’s time to let go of the past and face your colleagues.

Consumerization of Business Travel

If you travel much, you know first hand that business travel is not what it used to be. But this is not all bad, once you get over it. In fact, the new realities of business travel have spawned a whole industry of new applications and services to make ...

Productive Audio Conferencing

This is one of those things that they don’t teach in schools. Conference calls are reasonably intuitive, but not particularly efficient. But conference calls don’t have to be the bane of one’s existence. There are methods, disciplines and services that can make them more productive. Here are some tips to consider.

Where Will Mobility Take Us?

Recent articles with conflicting viewpoints on the topic of the "Mobile Revolution" spawned this Industry Buzz podcast. The UCStrategies Experts discuss the future of mobility, wearable devices, and the possibility of a backlash as privacy concerns mount. The podcast is moderated by Michael Finneran, and includes Dave Michels, Roberta J. Fox, Art Rosenberg, Phil Edholm, Bill MacKay, Clark Richter, Steve Leaden, and Kevin Kieller.