The UCStrategies Experts share their expertise in bylined articles, opinion pieces, blogs, and podcasts, to define unified communications, educate you about unified communications technologies, and help you make informed decisions about unified communications solutions.
UCStrategies.com defines unified communications as “Communications integrated to optimize business processes.” The definition of unified communications narrows significantly when you can read and hear about real-world examples that other companies are implementing right now—and apply them to your situation.
This section offers learning tools to help you plan your unified communications implementation.
This section provides a practical, vendor-independent service to any Enterprise that is seeking the benefits of Unified Communications. How do you pull everything together to implement unified communications? Use the tools in this sequence to define unified communications for your business.
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A supplier of objective information on unified communications, UCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of unified communications since its inception.
At VMworld 2012 Cisco and EMC announced further collaboration to help accelerate IT transformation by providing customers with choice and flexibility via “three paths to the cloud” – custom-designed productized infrastructure, validated reference architectures tailored to SMB and mid-market customers with Cisco solutions, and pre-integrated converged infrastructure supporting VCE (Virtual Computing Environment) Vblock Systems.
The first reference architecture or Cisco Validated Design (CDV), called the Cisco Solution for EMC VSPEX for Microsoft Hyper-V Architectures, specifies how to use EMC storage, Cisco UCS servers, networking technology, and Hyper-V to build private cloud infrastructures for either 50 or 100 virtual machines. The second, Cisco Solution for VSPEX for VMware vSphere 5.0 Architectures, is similar, but uses vSphere to build private cloud infrastructures for 50, 100 or 125 virtual machines.
“Through VCE we've unleashed market-moving innovation through the pre-engineered, pre-integrated Vblock Systems. Now, we're working together to meeting customer demand with Cisco Validated Designs for EMC VSPEX and aligned channel incentives to accelerate VSPEX adoption," said Rick Snyder, Cisco’s vice president of global and strategic partners.
For the Channel: More than 200 Cisco and EMC Velocity channel partners within the global VSPEX community have been trained to resell and deploy EMC VSPEX with Cisco Unified Datacenter. Many of these are joint partners of both Cisco and EMC. The initial partners that have been trained for VSPEX have selling strategies focused on the datacenter in addition to the meeting the resale requirements for the products contained in the VSPEX reference architectures.
Furthermore, the two companies have also aligned their channel incentive structures to simplify the process of accruing incentives and boost partner profitability on VSPEX reference architectures. Cisco currently uses the Solution Incentive Program to connect partners with deal registration and incremental incentives that will boost partner profitability. EMC has a similar program and set of incentives for VSPEX approved registrations.
The Cisco and EMC VSPEX partners will be involved in the Prepare, Plan, and Design aspects of PPDIOO (Prepare, Plan, Design, Implement, Operate and Optimize) services stack. Partners who are service-enabled through EMC for the VNXe and VNX storage platforms may implement the storage component of VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. Additionally, EMC recently announced new Assembly Services capability for its distributors. Distributors worldwide will be provided with the technical training, proven methodologies and the backing of EMC’s Global Services organization so they may assemble EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure and other solutions for their reseller Partners. Distributors will need the same enablement and capabilities for the compute and networking components of the VSPEX Proven Infrastructure. Reseller Partners have the choice to deploy and implement VSPEX themselves or choose to leverage their distributors’ assembly services to drive faster, easier, and more efficient implementations of multi-vendor solutions based on EMC technology for their customers. As Cisco and EMC develop more capabilities and offerings, they will consider working with their larger partners who have expressed interest in providing deployment and implementation services. It is also important to note that post-sale support is sold by the respective manufacturer (i.e. SmartNet for Cisco).
For the Customer: VCE's fully productized converged infrastructure standardizes processes and life cycle management to significantly improve application availability and enable VCE's unique seamless support experience. In a similar vein, Cisco and EMC have implemented a customer support framework for VSPEX for collaborative case management.
VCE Customer Care is provided 24x7x365 days a year with experts that respond to problems for any component in a Vblock system including storage, networking, compute, and virtualization. VCE’s support staff is trained on all aspects of Vblock systems. In addition, unified intercompany collaboration tools connects VCE with EMC, Cisco, and VMware support experts, enabling VCE personnel to rapidly identify problems between products and to facilitate problem resolution.
VCE channel partners, who build a complete solution around a Vblock System (i.e. Exchange, VDI, etc.), are the primary contact with the customer and will take the first call and interface with VCE support personnel. When a service request is opened, customer information is immediately routed to a VCE Customer Care representative to act as a single point of contact, owning that case from issue to resolution.
Maintaining the integrity of each Vblock system is critical to business operations. During the VCE response to a service request, if it is determined that the issue root cause relates to a software problem and the issue is addressed in a support patch, VCE technical resources will remotely assist the customer with implementing the required support patch. These support patches are implemented with complete awareness of the entire installed base, thereby reducing any risk associated with software patch deployment.
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Communications Integrated to Optimize Business Processes.
UC integrates real-time and non-real time communications with business processes and requirements.
Uses presence capabilities for coordination, and presents a consistent unified user interface and experience across multiple devices and media types.
Learn more at What is Unified Communications all about?