Hyperconnectivity and A Missing Link

April 23, 2009 2:08 PM

Hyperconnectivity hit home personally when my daughter, a paleomammoligist, called home last summer via a satellite phone from an island in the far north in the region of the North Pole. A storm was raging and she was confined to her tent. Nice to hear her crystal clear voice as if she were down the street!

But the story doesn't end there.

She was leading an expedition that had just found the skull of a 20 million year old fossil that they had found the year before, making her find 65% complete.

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Sunacle Bucks The Trend

April 22, 2009 7:01 AM

Let's take a look at the Oracle acquisition of Sun. Big news, that came out of nowhere after IBM tried to do the same. Big bucks for sure ($5.6B). But does it make sense?

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Social Networking vs UC

April 20, 2009 1:44 PM | 1 Comment

Unified Communications (UC) includes new modalities such as social networking, though most UC solutions today don't deliver social networking solutions, beyond simple linkages such as blog or wiki click-to-call.

A lot has been said and written about the ROI for 'traditional' UC, but what about social networking (i.e. blogs, wikis, social bookmarks and the like)?

I think the angle that enterprises planning blog and wiki investments should consider is the value of these contextual communication tools is in making it easier to connect to co-workers that may have the skills and information needed to solve business problems.

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Mobile Signing

April 17, 2009 7:43 AM

Many hearing-impaired people use email and text messaging to communicate. Some, I'm sure, are using 3G wireless phones equipped with video cameras to communicate via sign language. Great idea, but high cost and battery life are real problems that are a bottleneck to wide adoption.

Until now!

A team of engineers from University of Washington in Seattle and Cornell have just about completed a functional prototype, they dub 'mobile ASL (American Sign Language)'.

I applaud this initiative to extend the value of hyperconnectivity to more people.

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"Beware the Single Vendor as Trusted Advisor: Gartner". So read my blog of Oct 22 2007.

What's changed? Not much. Cisco is still reaping huge margins in its data business at the expense of its customers, who are also hit with higher energy bills.

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Hyperconnectivity for Science

April 12, 2009 12:54 PM

Hyperconnectivity is brought to you by an explosion in cell phones and in networked sensors for everything.

Eric Paulos of Carnegie Mellon University is proposing to converge these two hyperconnectivity trends by shifting cell phones from being purely personal communications devices to being "networked mobile personal measurement instruments."

For example, many cell phones have GPS positioning capabilities and many are starting to integrate motion detectors (e.g. for Wii-style gaming). Combining these two into a massively distributed, earthquake early warning system may reap huge benefits for science and mankind.

Innovation comes from interdisciplinary thinking such as exemplified by Dr Paulos.

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1980-style Cloud Computing

April 8, 2009 11:10 AM

Bo Gowan wrote a nice piece on yours truly, but the picture (vintage 1980) needs some explaining.


I'm thinking particularly of the device covering a good part of my desk. This was a VuCom 1 made by Control Data Corp. It was basically a CRT screen and a keyboard. It was a very heavy and very thin client connected by a 1200 bit/s async circuit to the cloud, actually a Nortel packet network.

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The National Workers' Housing Fund Institute (Infonavit), a government mortgage provider with offices throughout Mexico, recently announced that a Nortel-Microsoft solution which will replace a number of non-Nortel PBXs with a software-centric UC solution built around OCS 2007.

Nortel's role? Professional services, the Nortel Communication Server 1000 and Secure Router 4134 both integrated with OCS, a Nortel Contact Center solution, and Application Gateways .

This will save an average of 30 minutes per employee per day and result in a payback of 13 months.

Two messages:
1. CIO's are looking for day one demonstrated business value from their investments.
2. The Nortel-Microsoft Innovative Communications Alliance (ICA) is alive and well and, with this win, has chalked up over 1200 wins.

I will be retiring on April 10 after 37 years in Nortel. The decision was actually made pre-filing, but I decided to stay on to participate in one last VoiceCon, my swan song so to speak.

I have spent my career help create networking for a hyperconnected world.

Back in the 70s (what I called my pioneering years), when the world was circuit switched and flat, and when the ARPAnet was running on minicomputers over 4.8Kbps lines (not a typo), I was part of the team mandated to develop a carrier-grade packet switch that could support 56 Kbps trunks.

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Presence is not the Future Dial Tone

April 1, 2009 9:25 AM

I participated yesterday in a session at VoiceCon called Presence- Dial Tone of the Future?

May I have the envelope please.

The answer is NO.


Dial tone tells you that you can make a call and doesn't tell you anything about the status of the person you are calling.

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Web.alive Beyond e-Commerce

March 30, 2009 6:28 AM

I have previously highlighted the application of Nortel innovation in the form of web.alive in e-commerce applications, specifically as used by Lenovo in their e-Lounge virtual storefront.

But the applications of web.alive go well beyond e-comm environments.

We recently announced our first customer application in an e-learning environment, specifically with Virtual Heroes.

Virtual Heroes is best known for creating the US Army Game training platform and HumanSim, a medical training world (check out this ABC News video - it's a great example).

Orlando preview

March 26, 2009 12:36 PM

My last speaking engagement was a keynote at ITExpo in Miami.

At VoiceCon in Orlando next week, I'll be speaking in three sessions:
Monday, March 30, 2009 from 1:30 to 4:30 in a tutorial on UC vendors run by Marty Parker
Tuesday, 2:30 to 3:45 on a panel called Presence: Dial Tone of the Future?
Wednesday, 12:45PM to 1:15 in a Nortel session on our Open UC solutions.

At other times, I will be at the Nortel booth (#808) demonstrating web.alive, of which I have spoken often. Cool stuff.

Maybe we'll see you there. Please drop by.

Geoffrey Moore Perspectives

March 23, 2009 3:26 PM

I'm behind in my podcasts, but here's an interesting one I just listened to including an interview with Geoffrey Moore, of Crossing the Chasm fame. It comes from OCRIRadio and is over a year old, but still insightful.

Crossing the Chasm.jpg

Some interesting quotes (my paraphrasing):

His top 3 venture capital opportunities:

#1: "Clean technologies.... Green is no longer a cause, it's a market".

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Digital Detoxing

March 19, 2009 10:23 AM

A recent IDC study sponsored by Nortel found that the percent of respondents willing to send business text messages on vacation varied from 52% in China and 67% in the United Arab Emirates to 11% in Canada and 17% in Japan.

Another survey of city workers in the U.K. by CREDANT Technologies found that 83% plan to take their mobile phone or BlackBerry with them on vacation, while 65% plan to make contact with the office.

This may be just fine for you, but if you feel that you are suffering from cellphonitis, help is at hand.

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