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Continuing on with a series of blogs on UC and managed services, Elizabeth Klingseisen is back with a blog  discussing critical success factors for outsourcing.

Three factors are crucial in making outsourcing a success: smart sourcing, due diligence and strategic risk partnerships.

With pressure still on both the top and bottom line, IT professionals are finding it harder than ever to walk the tightrope of operational efficiency versus building for growth.

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Today we are fortunate to have Elizabeth Klingseisen who is contributing another blog on the topic of UC adoption through managed services.

Are you asking yourself where you should start your unified communications and collaboration (UCC) project? Should it be the voice platform, the desktop or the presence application?

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I am pleased to welcome Martin Schubert to the Open Communications Blog. Martin has graciously provided an article on 5 key steps for implementing UCC with managed services. Thanks Martin for this insightful article. 

Don’t let rapidly evolving technologies and multi-vendor IT and communications environments create havoc and confusion in your organization.

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Today I would like welcome Tricia Cooper who is contributing an article to the Open Communications blog for the first time. Tricia is the director of North American Marketing with Siemens Enterprise Communications. She can be reached at  Thanks Tricia for this well thought out article on choosing a UC managed service provider.

The path to
unified communications (UC) is a journey, not a single event. Many organizations choose managed services to help them build, deploy and manage a UC strategy

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The following article is contributed by my colleague Philipp Bohn, service market and competitive intelligence, Siemens Enterprise Communications. Thanks for this enlightening article Phillip.


"Cooperate Or Lose." That was the title of a recent issue of brand eins, a German business magazine. Expanding on that topic, one article describes how companies like the mid-sized producer of heating elements, Friedrich Freek GmbH, increasingly cooperate with competitors in select areas.

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Virtualization and unified communications have been on a collision course for the last few years. This convergence is due in large part to the fact that both of these technologies are data center oriented. Virtual appliances are increasing in popularity due to their ability to simplify the delivery of aggregated software elements. As I'll explore further, virtual appliances may be a perfect fit for unified communications in that respect.

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Real-time voice and to a greater extent unified communications have undergone a tremendous shift away from proprietary hardware and to a more open architecture leveraging a common Intel-based server platform. In addition to moving away from proprietary hardware, communications vendors are taking advantage of Linux as a replacement for proprietary operating systems. The reasons for this transition are significant. By moving to a more open software-based environment communications vendors are able to provide a more flexible and scalable architecture leveraging an open API to extend communications into the line-of-business application realm.

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In my previous posts regarding the 7 Core principles of Open Communications I focused on areas that were specific to platform architecture.
In this post, I want to talk about how you can successfully design, integrate, and maintain your platform so that you are getting the most of your solution.
Wrapping services around your UC platform choice is of great importance to ensuring your implementation is successful. From simple implementation of the core platform to integrating with other line of business applications, its important to have a methodology that is able to be repeated. A successful project starts with up front consulting and provides you, the customer, with the framework of how to proceed with your project.

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As UC enters into a more mature phase in the market, it might seem too late for a Taxonomy that describes all of the various acronyms, vendor positioning, deployment scenarios, and peripheral components that define the overall market. From the many customer meetings I have attended as well as analyst/consultant interactions, I still believe its probably useful to undertake the exercise. Part of what is holding up mass adoption of Unified Communications is that it encompasses a vast array of terminology and technologies that are daunting to many customers. Beyond defining UC, it would be incredibly helpful to give customers a navigation tool that would in effect spell it out in plain terms. Continue Reading...

Today I am happy to have Matt Hartley from our Solutions Engineering Group provide a great guest blog on the topic of UC and Social Networking. Thanks Matt for this informative post.

Social networking has become an Internet phenomenon and it continues to grow.  Web sites like Facebook alone have well over 200 million active users, and of those users, close to 100 million of them log on each day.  Those are staggering numbers and no wonder this type of online community is an advertiser's dream.  As a matter of fact, today many sales professionals use online social networking as a direct way of selling their products and services.  So, from a sales and marketing perspective the customer reach is vast on
a social networking site like Facebook. It only makes sense to jump on the band wagon.  Also, many organizations are moving to online social networking as a way to bring their colleagues together.  If you go to LinkedIn, you'll see thousands of company profiles available to be searched.  It's almost like having access to a big corporate directory in the sky, or in technical terms, the cloud. 
And to be honest, that is exactly what it is.  As more and more people get online and join social networks, organizations really have no choice but to follow them.  And in the not so distant future, more and more organizations will adopt online social networking as a way for bringing people together to communicate, to collaborate and to share ideas.  Heck, if the people are already online sharing photos, there is no reason they couldn't spend some time working on productive tasks for their company or organization, especially if they are getting paid.

So, what does this mean for Unified Communications?  Well, in order for organizations to fully adopt social networking one day as a viable
meeting place for getting work done, a couple things have to happen.  One, organizations must feel comfortable with cloud computing.  And we all
know the hesitations there: reliability, availability, and security.  Two, cloud based business services would have to be provided by the social networking site so that work can get done.

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 The other day, we had a rather severe weather event in my area that resulted in a rather lengthy outage of our cable service and in turn no connectivity to my enterprise. Luckily for me, I had a backup plan and was able to reconnect
using my cellular 3G card. It got me to thinking about all of the possible points of failure that can impact us in the enterprise. In a typical enterprise, there are many moving parts that must all work together to provide end users seamless
connectivity and high availability.

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Dont you love marketing terms!!!

Hey folks, in my on-going series of blogs covering Seven Core Principles of Open Communications, I thought it best to start with a recap of the first four principles we have covered thus far. Our first four principles have covered the following
  • Unified Communications
  • IT Based Communication
  • Fixed Mobile Convenience
  • Business Process Integration
The 5th principle is a bit of a marketing term on one hand but has some very real and lasting implications for customers on the other hand. There is no other component of a communications platform that can make or break its success like the user experience. An easy to use, intuitive interface can mean rapid end user  uptake and ensure customer loyalty for a long time. Continue Reading...

Among the many tasks I perform in the CTO office, customer interaction is by far my favorite. I supopse the main reason is that I am constantly seeking to get customer feedback and input on our strategy. The other day a customer asked me a rather complicated question around unified communications, Business Process Integration, and what the value would be to his particular company. I have to admit I was not prepared to answer his question directly since it was our first meeting.

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The Enterprise Market has been absolutely bombarded lately over the topic of Cloud Computing.  Naturally my interest in Cloud Computing extends to Unified Communications in the Enterprise. SIemens Enterprise announced a proof of concept with Amazon Web Services at VoiceCon over a month ago. The Idea behind the proof of concept was to address several key concerns that customers have articulated around UC as well as to demonstrate the adaptability of an Open Communications software platform. 

Many enterprise customers express frustration with Unified Communciations today especially in the SME segment but also within the Large Enterprise segment. Customers tell me that implementing UC is a complex task requiring capital investments both human and financial as well as time.

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I'm All a Twitter Over Twitter

May 11, 2009 3:10 PM
Greetings All

I have been expirementing lately with a variety of social media tools and looking at their usefulness for the enterprise space. WIthout a doubt Social Media is having a major impact on enterprises today and this impact will only grow going forward. One tool in particular that is very intriguing to me is Twitter. Twitter has experienced explosive growth over the last 4-6 weeks (probably because I have started to use it..just kidding).  Why is twitter so popular? Continue Reading...
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