Hosted Unified Communications is a mission critical application for most businesses. Few can continue to operate effectively if all communications are down. Therefore, it is extremely important that the selected service provider follow certain best practices that ensure the availability of the service. There are many best practices that a hosted service provider should follow, but these are my Top 5:
AT&T’s response to Comcast’s proposed purchase of Time Warner was to acquire DIRECTV. With Sprint positioning itself to acquire T-Mobile, millions of Americans will see significant changes in their providers with little expectation of more competitive pricing or new features. When Divestiture occurred in 1984, the intent was to divide AT&T into different operating entities, where each would have a regional responsibility to service their customer base, while allowing AT&T to pursue the more lucrative long distance business, sales of computers and continue to own and leverage Bell Labs. The result has been that 30 years later, that version of AT&T was gobbled up by one of its spin-offs and, instead of having eight healthy, thriving companies (7 RBOCs and AT&T), we are down to three: AT&T (formerly Southwestern Bell, Ameritech, Pacific Telesis, BellSouth and AT&T), Verizon (Bell Atlantic and GTE) and Century Link (Qwest and too many others to mention). The expectation that the smaller entities would prevail over time was wrong.
When Net Neutrality first came into our lexicon, I was on the side of the open Internet where there were no rules. I continued to promote the wild, wild Internet as the only way to preserve open access and innovation. However, once I became an executive with a service provider such as ANPI, I began to recognize the financial burden/risk that could be imposed upon us if we could not recoup the cost of providing Internet service and make a profit. After all, we are in the business of making profits.
Without a doubt, wireless communications continues to grow unabated. The fact that there are more cell phone/wireless subscriptions than people in the US (326.4 million versus 318 million) proves just how pervasive mobile communications is today. And as more and more Americans dump their landline phones (39.4%), the race to expand subscriber bases is more important than ever. Therefore, it is both surprising and interesting news that in the first quarter of 2014, T-Mobile US added 1.256 million new phone subscribers, with the two largest providers trailing badly.
Without a doubt most of you have been on a flight where Wi-Fi access is available. Sometime ago I blog about the cost of using these services while flying and expressed my opinion that I thought it to be too high. I no longer hold that opinion. In fact, I dread boarding on a flight where Wi-Fi is not available.
The IP community has all agreed that managing access to the Internet needs to be regulated/managed by someone. In the US, we have a general acceptance that the role belongs to the FCC. The issue facing the FCC is determining what rules to apply to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that supports their need for controlling their networks and business goals, as well consumers’ demand for continued delivery of desired applications and services. The Application Service Providers (ASP) are somewhat caught in the middle, and it is unclear if the current suggested FCC rules will ferment continued growth of the ASPs.