UCStrategies Views

UCStrategies Views

Articles from the UCStrategies.com UC experts, providing insights and analysis on UC products, events, market trends, and the state of the UC industry.



Goodbye Lync

By Dave Michels December 22, 2014

Microsoft intends to change the name of its Lync solution for real-time communications to Skype for Business. I’ve heard some negative reactions to the change. Despite these criticisms, I believe rebranding Lync was an ingenious move. For lots of reasons, but I will highlight three.

 

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Related UC Vendors: Microsoft

Unified Communications Retrospective – Prospective

By Marty Parker December 22, 2014

Year-end seems to bring reflection on how we got here and where we’re going. Here’s this year’s version.

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Related UC Vendors: Avaya, Cisco, Unify, Microsoft, IBM

Avaya Engages, New Strategy or ?

By Phil Edholm December 16, 2014

Avaya held an all-day Silicon Valley coming out party for the strategy and direction of the company going forward. It was intended to focus on what Avaya sees as its transformational path forward and how the company intends to succeed in the evolving communications, collaboration and customer interaction marketplace.

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Related UC Vendors: Avaya

Comprehensive WebRTC Ecosystem Report Available

By Phil Edholm December 15, 2014

With Microsoft announcing support for WebRTC and agreements on codecs, adoption is escalating. There is a wide range of companies delivering WebRTC-based solutions, tools and components. How do you keep track of what is happening in this transformational world? The WebRTC Ecosystem Report is the most comprehensive description and analysis of companies and offerings based on WebRTC technology that has ever been produced.

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Mobile Business Customers Need “UBI” Not Just “UC”

By Art Rosenberg December 11, 2014

What used to be a dependency on phone calls to a “call center,” had moved through the “contact center” that also handled email and fax, to what I now describe as a cloud-based “Unified Business Interaction” (UBI) center. That description also helps shift the old, heavy focus on live, voice-only customer assistance to multimodal self-service applications, enhanced with live assistance as a flexible option on demand (screen share, email, text chat, voice, video, social).

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Related UC Vendors: Avaya

Speaking with Voxbone on Unified Communications and WebRTC

By Robbie Pleasant December 9, 2014

Voxbone is known for its all-IP telecommunications, providing voice services from the cloud. As part of our series on MAP sponsors and their views on Unified Communications, its future, and the challenges ahead, we spoke with Voxbone’s VP of Marketing and Product Management, Dries Plasman.

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Related UC Vendors: Voxbone, Cisco, Microsoft

Change – The Only Thing That’s Constant

By Blair Pleasant December 8, 2014

It’s been an interesting last few months in the UC world, especially as individuals move around from one company to another. Here’s a recap of some of the news and highlights from the past two months. 

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Related UC Vendors: Mitel, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, 8x8, Microsoft, Unify, Cisco

Blair Pleasant Shares Her Thoughts on Unified Communications

By Robbie Pleasant December 8, 2014

Blair Pleasant is a UC Expert and co-founder of UCStrategies, as well as President and Principal Analyst of COMMfusion LLC. She has over 20 years of experience, and has written multitudes of market studies, white papers, and research reports. As part of our series on UC Experts and their views on Unified Communications, we spoke with her on the ups and downs of UC, and her thoughts on its applications and future.

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Planning for the Best UC Experience? Follow the Millennials

By Stephen Leaden December 5, 2014

As UC continues to evolve under the UCStrategies definition, “Communications integrated to optimize business processes,” I can’t help but think where UC will ultimately end up and what it will look like. I believe we've seen just “the tip of the iceberg” of what UC will eventually become. There are hints as to why it will proliferate at outstanding growth rates. According to PWC.com, “Millennials matter because they are not only different from those that have gone before, they are also more numerous than any since the soon-to-retire Baby Boomer generation.” Millennials can be your greatest advocate for deploying UC in your own organization.

 

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Can Cisco and Project Squared Drive Innovation?

By Jon Arnold November 25, 2014

The lock note presentation from the Cisco Collaboration Summit was given by Steven Johnson, built around his book/TV series, "How We Got to Now." How does all this tremendous energy and investment that Cisco is throwing at collaboration exemplify the learning and best practices that Steven Johnson shared with us about innovation? Steven honed in on six factors that characterize what it takes to drive innovation, and much of this applies to the process of collaboration itself.

 

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Related UC Vendors: Cisco

The Challenge to Social for Business - Where Do You Live?

By Michael F. Finneran November 25, 2014

It’s going to take more than just training to get users off the dime on social business adoption. Unless all team members buy in, that collaborative workspace is going to be a pretty lonely place. To be successful with a social business initiative, everyone in entire portions of a business will have to agree to change the way they do their work.

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Related UC Vendors: IBM, Unify, Cisco, Microsoft

Cisco’s Project Squared – Get A Room

By Blair Pleasant November 24, 2014

Those of us in attendance at the Cisco Collaboration Summit had the opportunity to not only see live demos of Project Squared, but to try it out for ourselves to see how it works, and to also provide feedback to the developers. I found the service very easy to use, and I was able to start communicating with colleagues right away.

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Related UC Vendors: Cisco

Mitel Talks Frankly About the “Elephants in the Room”

By Blair Pleasant November 17, 2014

At its analyst conference in Dallas, Mitel’s CEO, Rich McBee, was open and frank with the industry analysts, and didn’t shy away from questions about “the elephant in the room,” notably Mitel’s offer to acquire rival ShoreTel.

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Related UC Vendors: Mitel, ShoreTel

Comparing the Plantronics Savi W740 and the Jabra Motion Office

By Phil Edholm November 14, 2014

Having a single headset device on the desk that can easily interface to the desk phone, mobile devices, and a PC/USB port is a great way to enhance UC adoption. The Savi W740 is a basic device that follows the general design philosophy of Plantronics and has simple buttons for each of the three sources. Earlier this year, Jabra brought out the Motion Office. The comparison between the Savi W740 and the Motion Office is interesting because it clearly shows how each is focused to a slightly different user profile.

 

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Related UC Vendors: Plantronics, Jabra

There’s UC Gold In Them There Mobile Business Apps!

By Art Rosenberg November 10, 2014

The key to successfully exploiting mobile apps for online business self-services is to provide flexible options for the mobile end user to “click-for-live assistance” whenever there is a question or problem with the “mobile app.”

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Related UC Vendors: Microsoft, NextPlane

SIP Trunking and E-SBCs For All Forms of UC – It’s Not Just Voice Any Longer

By Stephen Leaden November 6, 2014

I liken and envision SIP trunking similar to the disruption and transformation that took place when moving from legacy TDM digital IP-PBXs to IP-based Unified Communications. It is now the carriers’ turn to move their networks to a full IP-based infrastructure. Carriers have been providing IP-based networks for decades now, and SIP trunking now includes a QoS standard not experienced in a non-QoS-based data network or Internet access.

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Hits and Misses – Six Takeaways on Unify’s Circuit Launch

By Jon Arnold October 30, 2014

I attended last week’s Unify event for analysts and consultants, we were given an in-depth preview of Circuit. The event provided many answers but raised lots of questions as well, and is indicative about how challenging it is for communications vendors get things right these days. I’ve got six takeaways to share here – three hits and three misses – and hopefully this gets some dialog going.

 

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Related UC Vendors: Unify

Big Data or No Data?

By Marty Parker October 22, 2014

Big data and analytics are all the rage in both the technology and the public press. But it’s hard to find much of this happening in the telecom and UC sectors – more like no data than big data. This seems to be true even while Jim Burton is advising vendors that we are entering the age of analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is built on analytics.

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Related UC Vendors: Microsoft, Cisco, IBM

VaaS-ing with LifeSize Cloud

By Dave Michels October 22, 2014

Many hardware companies are shifting to software and services, so its no surprise that LifeSize has a new video conferencing service. The new LifeSize Cloud is the company's second video as a service (VaaS) offer. The first service was known as LifeSize Connections a few years back. LifeSize Cloud is an entirely new, purpose-built service that became generally available last Spring. I’ve been using it heavily for the past few weeks and I like it – a lot.

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Why Invest in WebRTC When Everyone Goes Self Service?

By Tsahi Levent-Levi October 21, 2014

I have heard more than once doubts about the usefulness of WebRTC to the contact center when enterprises are looking to empower their customers through self-service. Let’s take a step back to see how WebRTC can impact out contact center when it comes to cost reduction and customer satisfaction. To do that, we need to understand the three separate touch points of WebRTC to the contact center:

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