Upcoming Conference: NEC’s Consultant Symposium

by Dave Michels

NEC is holding their Consultant Symposium in Florida this May and intends to cover these topics:

  • The New UC&C; Architecture
  • NEC’s Vision and Strategy for 2011
  • Business and Technology Trends
  • Competitive Landscape and NEC’s Positioning
  • UC&C; and NEC’s Partner Technologies in Action in the Exhibit Area

I think NEC is a very intriguing company. They were a bit slow to transition from TDM to VoIP, but has been gradually upping its game and getting ready for a full on attack with a reasonably broad and comprehensive portfolio.

I recently had a chat with David Jantz of NEC about their UC & C architecture. You can hear/view it here.

The key to NEC’s strategy has been its super secret Sperhicall acquisition of 2007. Of course, it isn’t a secret, but no one at NEC ever talked about it. Until recently. Like most of the PBX makers, NEC has a long history with hardware – but Sphericall is a pure software play. It has some pretty impressive capabilities, is fully buzzword compliant, and in a big way represents both NEC’s future as a telecom/UC vendor and its immediate UC & C product line.

Sphericall was poised nicely with IBM’s Foundations server. The product ran in a virtual container on the Foundations appliance and didn’t require any special hardware as the ShoreTel implementation did. But IBM killed Foundations just prior to the launch of the NEC branded solution.

NEC has a huge base and a reasonable channel – though its channel is very segregated among not only its telephony solutions, but its entire portfolio. If that’s not confusing enough, chew on this: the company is also a major reseller of Cisco’s voice solutions.

The company has been popping up lately with more and more innovative solutions. At Enterprise Connect the NEC reps were sporting tiny wearable phones and were showing off a new web client.
NEC-DectThe tiny phones can be watch or pendant style and can receive text messages. Ideal for say healthcare or security where you can send updates/instructions to staff without requiring them to talk or even touch (watch style) the device. These little devices use DECT wireless technology which means low power consumption, crystal clear comms, and great range.

NEC’s new UC&C; RIA client framework fits into existing secure web architectures, and can be deployed across multiple device types (including desktop, smartphone, or a tablet). It utilizes a Java application framework and the latest Flash-based technology. This approach does not require a fat UC client application.

NEC’s new software architecture is part of NEC’s UNIVERGE family of products. It is a distributed IT services platform that operates on general-purpose infrastructure, provides open standards, and aligns with existing IT virtualization, cloud computing, security methods, directory structures, and application delivery models with easy operation and management.
Looking forward to the event.