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Avaya's Top Communication Trends in 2012

December 16, 2011

Recently I had a chance to have an in-depth conversation with Avaya about the trends they see for 2012 in the communications space. In particular I spoke with George Humphrey a Director and Line of Business Owner at Avaya and Diane Royer, Senior Marketing Services Manager.

The trends below are at times augmented or enhanced with my thoughts.

1) Mobility raises the expectation of availability

Plantronics Headset Line Exudes UC Dominance

November 3, 2011

Recently I received a care package from Plantronics with a number of their headsets and other products and when I opened the box it served as a not so subtle reminder of just how dominant the company is. Back in 1982 when my company TMC (I am CEO) launched the first magazine in the call center space, Plantronics was one of the few companies in the market and almost 30 years later they have evolved into an organization delivering unified communications endpoints for virtually every segment of the market.

Blackwire C435

ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

Cisco's Ian Pennell to Keynote ITEXPO in Austin

August 22, 2011

We are thrilled to announce that Cisco's Ian Pennell The Senior Vice President, Small Business Technology Group will be keynoting ITEXPO in Austin, TX, Tuesday, September 13, 2011 between 9:15 AM and 9:45 AM. One reason I am excited to announce his participation is Pennell handles much of the carrier and VAR/channel partner relationships and these are integral parts of the ITEXPO experience.

It should be a great event and Cisco's participation joins a roster of truly crucial tech companies keynoting  such as Mike McCarthy the VP of Cloud Computing Services at IBM, Mark Straton, Senior Vice President Solution Marketing Voice and Applications at Siemens, John Antanaitis, VP of Marketing at Polycom and Matt Groppe, Director of Global Business Development, DHL Same Day.

Update: Another event which takes place the same week at the same convention center as ITEXPO is StartupCamp4 Comms Edition and the keynoter for this event will be Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet, VC, professor, cofounder of 3COM and author of the world-famous Metcalfe's Law.

By the way, speaking of DHL - if you doubt a shipping company is really in the tech space - check out this editorial from Marc Andreesen in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend which explains why software is eating the world. Here is an excerpt as a subscription my be required to view.





Latest Trends in Speech Technology, CRM, IVR, Collaboration and Cloud Computing

August 14, 2011

Speech analytics in greater demand

At the recent SpeechTek 2011 conference in New York I gained some great insight into the state of speech technology. For example, Jeff Schlueter of Nexidia told me his company’s speech analytics solutions have been in greater demand in this current economy as the desire to control costs has led to increased adoption of speech analytics. In addition, the company has released version 9.0 of its Enterprise Speech Intelligence product suite which cuts the TCO in half and allowing for customers to handle even larger amounts of data.

TMC Dallas Video Interviews 2011

July 25, 2011

Recently I spent some time in Dallas doing video interviews with companies in the Dallas, Texas area and during the course of the discussions I was able to get a sense of where the markets have been and are going. The vast range of different opinions really comes together into a few themes.

They are simply that wages and turnover rates in India are skyrocketing meaning some jobs may be headed back to the US. This is offset by an interview with  King White of the Site Selection Group - an organization which helps companies decide which countries and states they should locate in. He tells us that states with higher taxes are less attractive and subsequently deter companies from opening there.

Quad: The Death of E-mail and Cisco's Social Enterprise Ambitions

June 20, 2011

Quad moves to the cloud, has native Cius tablet support and offers better interoperability

Last week I took a train into the city from TMC’s Connecticut HQ to spend time with the Cisco Quad collaboration team – using Cisco telepresence technology and it was a fascinating look into the company’s foray into a post-email, collaborative enterprise world. First things first, I wrote about Quad and spoke with Murali Sitaram VP/GM of Cisco's Enterprise Platforms unit last September and since then Quad has not been talked about much in the media and has limited buzz in the market. Moreover, Cisco is repositioning itself – lightening up on consumer products meaning much of the company’s messaging has been in other areas of the market including launching consumer telepresence product UMI – something which should never should have gotten the green light.

Microsoft Embraces HTML5 and Developers Are Scared

June 14, 2011

Recently Microsoft came out with the news that new Windows 8 immersive applications will be coded with HTML5 and JavaScript and this has sent a shock-wave through the company's developer community as the various programming languages they are used to seem to have been obsoleted overnight.

ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley said she has it on good authority that Silverlight will continue to be supported as well but the forums are awash in fear, uncertainty and doubt.

There are two ways of looking at this news - Microsoft hasn't had a chance to explain in full its future path for developers and in-time coders will learn that they aren't coding dinosaurs as some bridge technologies will ensure their skill-set is still useful.



Personally I believe that Microsoft isn't going to abandon .NET, WPF and other development platforms. But this doesn't mean this news isn't huge.

What Microsoft is telling developers is HTML5 and JavaScript are the future of web programming. This isn't exactly news to many of us but coming from Microsoft at this early a stage, the news is frankly surprising.

But then again when you realize just how much catching up the company has to do in the tablet and smartphone space, the HTML5 move is the only one which makes sense.

And herein lies the opportunity - HTML5 runs everywhere and as we saw from the recent Financial Times app, it has virtually no limitations compared to native code and as a bonus requires no app store gatekeeper to approve it.

For programmers everywhere - if you aren't learning HTML5 - you may come to work one day and realize you are a triceratops (hat tip to TMC president Dave Rodriguez whose line I just stole.)

TMC is cosponsoring an HTML5 event called DevCon5 in Manhattan, July 27-28, 2011 and the show is a must-attend for developers, designers, media companies and executives who don't want to be left in the dust.



















Mitel to Come Out Swinging, Will They Connect?

June 1, 2011

This past January I wrote a piece which compared Mitel to ShoreTel titled Is ShoreTel filling the Nortel Void and since the post Mitel has been in a state of flux with a new CEO Rich McBee recently joining. When the opportunity presented itself to come to the Mitel Business Partner Conference titled Mitel Freedom – in Florida, I jumped at it in order to get more perspective on Mitel’s strategic direction and future.

The conference officially kicks off tomorrow morning but I wanted to give my readers as much information as possible before things got going. Tonight I had a sashimi (no, the other one – without the rice) dinner with Ron Wellard, GM and EVP of Mitel Communications Solutions, Jim Davies the CTO and Jay Nichols the VP of Sterling Communications – the PR firm handling Mitel.

Facebook's Zuckerberg, Closed App Stores and HTML5

May 27, 2011

Could you imagine being so famous that your declaration of killing all the food you eat yourself becomes mainstream news? And all this at age 27? In case you missed it - I am talking about Mark Zuckerberg - a man who in a few short years has become as popular - it seems as Steve Jobs.

And when you think about Apple and Facebook and the popularity of both, you wonder what sort of competitive conflicts the two companies will have in the future. For example, Apple's Ping is supposed to be its entry into the social networking realm.

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