Hotel of the Future- Your Way

October 30, 2008 8:51 AM

What struck me most about the series of announcements (spanning Vancouver and Vegas to Dubai) on recent Nortel wins in the hospitality industry is how hotels are aligning their technology investments with their visions for enhanced guest experience.

For example, the Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver wants to provide easy access to personalized services - from messaging and mobility to room service and reservations - without allowing technology to intrude. For example, hotel management explicitly did not want to use color touch-screen phones, as these are viewed to impose on the peaceful, laid-back, 'no-tech' atmosphere of guest rooms.

The Palazzo Las Vegas recognizes that going green is as much about cost and technology as it is about meeting social expectations of their guests.

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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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Shell: Cash on the OCS Telephony Barrel

October 24, 2008 7:48 AM

At his VoiceCon keynote in Amsterdam earlier in the month (Amsterdam), Royal Dutch Shell's Group IT Architect Johan Krebbers positioned UC (built on OCS) as a key element of Shell's global collaboration strategy (80% of teams in Shell are global!), tightly linked with their information sharing strategy and built around a single user experience.

He also stated that OCS was Shell's voice platform of the future, stressing that even today, the OCS feature set is adequate for many employees, many of whom are mobile and comfortable with soft phones.

Traditional PBX vendors should be worried by Microsoft's entry in the PBX market.

But Nortel is not among these.

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Hyperconnectivity A Sport?

October 22, 2008 4:02 PM

The first "speedcabling" competition took place earlier this year in Los Angeles. This new geek game is based on unravelling the rat's nest of wires found beneath most computer desks, as people connect an assortment of storage, scanner, printer, camera etc etc to their PCs.


But this may be a short-lived "sport" as wireless USB, complemented by WiFi and to a lesser extent Bluetooth, emerge as solutions to everyone's below-the-desk Hyperconnectivity challenges.

Briefly Wireless USB (technically USB3.0) is a hub and spoke technology, creating a cluster of up to 127 devices. To achieve up to 480Mbps (equivalent to USB 2.0) at distances up to 3 meters, WUSB uses low power ultra-wideband (UWB) transmission over an extremely wide spectrum (technically from 3.1 to 10.5 GHz), and will coexist peacefully with other wireless technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth.

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DynaTAC then.... iPhone Now

October 20, 2008 10:27 AM

The first U.S. commercial cell call was placed 25 years ago to the grandson of Alexander Graham Bell in Germany - using Motorola's DynaTAC 8000X portable cellular phone. It weighed in at 28 ounces, and had 60 minute battery life on a 10 hour charge.

"DynaTAC" sounds more like a coffee drop than the start of a mass market technology revolution!

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Nortel Embraces OCS 2007 Telephony

October 16, 2008 7:06 AM

The recent OCS 2007 R2 announcement by Microsoft highlights the growing set of telephony feature provided by OCS.

This includes for example,
> Attendant console and delegation
> SIP CO trunking
> "Response group", providing a simple-to-use basic engine for call treatment, routing and queuing, and
> Single-number reachability to mobile devices such as Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms.

So what is Nortel's response to user interest in OCS telephony, particularly for mobile and nomadic users?

Nortel is actively working with Microsoft, and our customers, to demonstrate the value of OCS, including its telephony features.

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I admire truth in advertising.

And the Cisco human network effect is hugely .....NEGATIVE... when it comes to CO2 emissions.


Across some 500 million Cisco enterprise ports globally, Cisco is adding an additional 11.5 MILLION metric tons of CO2, that wouldn't be added to the atmosphere if those ports were Nortel.

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Contact Centers As Precursors of UC

October 10, 2008 8:05 AM

I recently attended a Nortel Contact Center Customer Advisory Council, involving a number of leading edge customers.

This included companies from a diverse set of verticals: for example, a healthcare provider, a pharmaceutical, a retail bank, a global semiconductor tools vendor, an SI, a retailer, a food services firm. These folks get UC, because they have been doing it for years.

Why do I say this?

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Nortel's Business Communications Manager UC portfolio (including the just announced BCM 450) has been rated #1 by Dell'Oro.

Let me look under the UC covers as to how unified communications plays in the small medium business (SMB) market?

It certainly plays in companies that are communications intensive (e.g. real estate offices), have a high proportion of information or knowledge workers (professional offices), or are highly mobile (real estate agencies).

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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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Personal Hotspots

October 3, 2008 3:36 PM

Hyperconnectivity is upon us, and now here's your WiFi-To-Go, a PDA-sized EVDO router that fits in your pocket.

Cradlepoint Personal Hotspot.jpg

As long as you're in your cell provider's EVDO coverage area, you just power on (via an AC adaptor or maybe a DC plug for your car) and you can connect any WiFi device to the Internet.

Pretty neat idea- this one from Cradlepoint, but a number of other vendors have solutions addressing variations on this theme.

Imagine how popular you would be with your friends if you created your personal hotspot with free access!

Create your own scenario.

Un-unified Communications From Cisco

October 1, 2008 11:14 PM | 1 Comment

Cisco UC box2-small.jpg

....and, given a chance, they'll box you in too!

Nortel Brings IT on

October 1, 2008 7:31 AM

The highlights of any CIO summits and customer advisory councils that I have participated in, has invariably been listening to and learning from CIOs exchanging views on everything from green IT to alignment with business priorities. The truth is that peer CIOs are by far the best source of knowledge and expertise, especially in the area of business transformation.

Now Nortel has taken a significant step to broadly share its real-world IT experience in operating a global enterprise, using Nortel technology and services.

In addition to business cases and implementation guides, the 'Nortel on Nortel' site includes free downloads of software utilities used in-house by Nortel IT to better manage their network.

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Wireless To Power Hyperconnectivity

September 29, 2008 10:15 AM | 1 Comment

Hyperconnectivity and particularly mobility is largely enabled or encumbered by battery power. Help is at hand from an unlikely source.

Something called Wireless Resonant Energy Link (WREL), a concept championed by MIT.

Intel Corp. recently demonstrated this technology at their Developer Forum.

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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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