Recently in Unified Communications Category

UC Reality Check

August 28, 2009 7:27 AM

Brent Kelly from Wainhouse Research is a straight shooter and does a great job laying out the UC landscape.

In the first part of his article, he points out that Microsoft is winning the UC seat and perception war (Nortel was right in their alliance with Microsoft), and that UC costs are increasingly untrackable and very difficult to compare.

In the second part, he talks extensively of the prospects of UC as a Service, a scenario that is becoming really interesting.

I would add that CIOs are still very confused by what UC is and how they should justify the investments, and questioning particularly how UC relates to social networking and the consumer effect in enterprise.

Skype at 80

August 10, 2009 7:13 AM

I have used VoIP at work for over a decade, but I only recently downloaded Skype on my personal netbook.

The first call I received was from my 80-year old uncle in southern France. I knew he was on Skype because he had called his 94 year old sister in Canada on something she called 'Sky' though she had received the call on her land-line phone. He told me he didn't have ADSL but rather piggybacked on a friend's WiFi connection.

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Proposing that Avaya's Aura could act as a SIP consolidator if Avaya and Nortel come together may only make sense for some larger multi-site enterprises with lots of caveats.

Sure SIP would allow simple interop, but it would introduce a third user experience (e.g. how to forward a call or set up a conference call).

Remember SIP is more like SNMP than like WiFi. It's very open ended and allows for all sorts of implementation specific details, and it generally doesn't define the user experience.

While SIP will play a role, Aura is not the savior to compete against Cisco. Product rationalization is going to be hard.

O yes, and the world has moved well beyond VoIP to UC.

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Contrary to naysayers, the Nortel-Microsoft strategic alliance under ICA is alive and well.

This week's announcement, not only included two new customers (Movares and SQLSoft+), but also described five new offers.

#1- SIP Contact Center 7.0 + Microsoft Office Communications Server: This is a very significant development in the CC application space.
#2- Web Services: This is really part of Nortel's Communications Integration play, which includes ACE.
#3 and #4- Enterprise Lighthouse and Enterprise Mini Lighthouse: professional service offers for customers interested in deploying OCS Voice and Conferencing and Microsoft Exchange Voicemail.
#5- UC Conferencing: This is an enhancement to Nortel's current solution to work with OCS R2.

But the big news is that the Nortel-Microsoft relationship has gone from just being about integration (only the last of the five areas is a pure integartion play) and has really started to focus on the transformational software opportunities of UC.

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TiVo'ing Conference Calls

July 10, 2009 6:30 AM

An IDC study sponsored by Nortel found that 16 percent of the global information work force is already hyperconnected, and that another 36 percent are poised to join them soon.

One interesting result is that more than 1 in 3 business users would like to be able to "TiVo" their conference calls.

TiVo, if you are not familiar with it, is a subscription service, that can bring you all your favorite TV shows, ready to watch whenever you want and wherever you are. It's a Digital Video Recorder, effectively a disk-based VCR, which can connect to the Internet, to deliver movies to your PC, laptop or Netbook and video, music, photos, and more--right to your TV.

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UC Enhances Your IQ

June 17, 2009 6:41 AM

A few years back, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers in 80 clinical trials.

What he found is that workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than a person smoking marijuana or losing a nights sleep. That's the down side of hyperconnectivity.

The upside exists in unified communications.

In simplifying and integrated a person's communications environment, UC can be viewed as an IQ enhancer, as compared to today's environment where employees need to juggle messages and work.

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Communications Dimensions

May 1, 2009 12:10 PM

Phil Edholm, the enterprise CTO at Nortel, has an uncanny capability of synthesizing complex issues.

Across multiple blog postings, he talks to a simple graphic of what he calls Communications Dimensions.

Edholm's Comms Dimensions.gif

I like the way he breaks out event and social driven interactions. I see these very much as two sides to the unified communications coin.

IBM has embraced this view with their Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) strategy, as has Nortel who have led the way in leveraging virtual reality for business with their web.alive solutions.

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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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.

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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