Recently in Communications Enablement Category

Kim Tae Keuk, the CIO of LG Electronics gets it.

"A lot of CEOs want their CIO to be a business partner, not just a master technician. One way to do that is to become true experts at the company's business processes and then help innovate those processes"

To me, the business value of Unified Communications comes when UC is integrated into business processes leveraging vendor-agnostic integration software such as Nortel's ACE. It's all about accelerating these business processes by reducing human latency.

Kim is right when he says that CIO can mean Chief Innovation Officer... and software-centric UC can be a key enabler.

Nortel just released Release 2 of their Agile Communication Environment, communications integration middleware that can help create communications enabled applications across multivendor communications environments. In my mind ACE represents one of the crown jewels of Nortel technology.


Multivendor Hotdesking is highlighted as a key new capability, which had been developed for HSBC as a lead user.

Of course, single vendor hot desking is a feature of most IP Telephony systems, allowing users to walk up to any IP phone.

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In these economic times, application innovation that can positively impact customer service and revenues, or increase business effectiveness or decrease costs, are as important as ever.

One of the fundamental steps in achieving application innovation is to recognize that human delays slow business processes and that this costs enterprises real money. By decreasing or eliminating these human delays, enterprises can experience a significant and positive transformation by accelerating "time to X" -- time to decision, to revenue, to service, to support, to product; and by delivering increased business agility, accuracy, service velocity and business productivity.

The industry approach to this challenge is communications-enabled applications, which generally speaking allow
1) users to invoke UC functionality directly from within business application; and
2) business processes to directly initiate context-based UC communications triggered by some 'event'.

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The industry has been talking about Software as a Service (SaaS) for almost a decade.

Now there's CaaS- Communications as a Service. CaaS is, I believe, going to be all the buzz for the next decade!

Why do I say this?

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Nortel ACE's Avaya SIP App Server

October 28, 2008 6:49 AM

Avaya made some noise at its recent analyst conference about its SIP App Server, an enterprise retrofit of its Ubiquity offer for carriers.

Should you be interested?

Not if you are interested in....
• Products today (Avaya is talking about 2009)
• Multi-vendor environments (Avaya is paying lip service to multi-vendor, but there's no reference to anything but Avaya)
• Integration with your SOA environment (nothing here for you since this was designed for carriers)
• Development toolkits ("will eventually open it up to ISVs and customers")

In contrast, the Nortel Agile Communication Environment (ACE) is ....
• A shipping product with announced customers like HSBC
• Multi-vendor out-of-the-box and interworking with Nortel Communications Servers, Microsoft OCS, IBM Sametime, Cisco CUCM and Tandberg video (interoperability with Avaya infrastructure is coming out soon)
• Integrated with Websphere Application Server and with Microsoft environments
• A foundation for pre-packaged applications (such as hot-desking), customized communications-enabled applications and a toolkit for enterprise, SIs and ISV application developers.

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HSBC is a global financial institution, with a multi-vendor voice network with well over 100,000 phones, and a large Tandberg desktop video environment.

One immediate problem they were trying to solve is how to make their management team more productive when traveling across HSBC locations. Not being able to connect in the financial industry can be traced back to loss of revenue opportunity and poor customer service. If HSBC had a single telephony vendor and was only concerned with telephony, this would be an easily addressed problem.

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Cisco Webex Disconnect

September 26, 2008 7:57 AM | 2 Comments

This just in from a friend, JohnT, who is a Technical Director at a UK SI.

"Last night I tried to attend the Cisco Collaboration Summit. Just to be clear, this was a Web conference run by one of the world's biggest conferencing vendor using their own in-house Webex conferencing service to announce enhancements to their UC and conference offerings. We had to pre-register so you would think that they could plan for it to go smoothly.

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Context ACEs Presence

August 19, 2008 12:02 PM

Last week, I met with an investment bank, who was very impressed with our UC application solutions for its Sametime environment. The focus of our discussion was around Nortel's Agile Communication Environment (ACE), our solution for both Sametime integration and communications enabled applications.

During the lively discussion with the institution's networking, desktop and application folks, it became clear that UC presence alone was of limited business value compared to context-enhanced UC.

For example, the stock price drops- knowing a financial analyst is on the phone may be of little value, but knowing that the analyst is speaking to a client who has shares in the stock has great value.

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IBM's Websphere is 10 years old.

Back in 1998, there were 25 developers. Today, there are 6000 across IBM and another 10,000 developer partners (including Nortel), serving some 100,000 WebSphere customers.

The initial focus was on rapid development of web apps supporting HTTP, Servlet and Java environments.

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Reverse E911 to the Rescue

April 21, 2008 3:01 PM

Drew Martin, Sony Electronics CIO, recently talked about his experience during the October wildfires that threatened the company’s San Diego area HQ and data center (the building only sustained minor damage). One of his takeaways from his experience was that he wished he had a reverse-911 system in place, much the way his local school district was able to communicate school closures to all parents.

I hadn’t heard the term reverse-911 before, but it’s very much of a class of applications that can be communications enabled to speed up processes.

Reaching out to all employees during a natural disaster is hopefully a once in a blue moon scenario, but what about reaching out to emergency response teams and directing those that are closest to the emergency and have the requisite skills and equipment to deal with it in the most effective fashion?

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