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.



Gamification in a Business Environment

By Robbie Pleasant August 16, 2016

Games engage the players, get them involved and invested in what they’re doing – if only there were some way to utilize that kind of engagement in a business environment. That’s where “gamification” comes in, using mobile games to engage employees.

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Vonage Calls on Integration

By Dave Michels August 10, 2016

In the recent Q2 2016 performance briefing CEO Alan Masarek provided a glimpse into why Vonage acquired Nexmo. The acquisition surprised many as most UCaaS vendors see CpaaS as a separate business.

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Related UC Vendors: Vonage

UC SDN and UCaaS

By Pascal Menezes August 8, 2016

In my prior article I wrote about how Skype for Business released a whole new framework in how to get an enterprise ready for the cloud. Now amplify the complexity as UC moves to the cloud using some intermediary set of networks, managed by multiple different providers to get to the UC service. Since it requires months of effort just to get an on-premise UC deployment running smoothly, with a large amount of highly skilled engineers to keep it tuned just right, what makes us think that UC in the cloud is going to be any easier?  

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Business Communications Reseller Channel Study 2016

By Jim Burton August 5, 2016

We are pleased to announce the new BCStrategies Reseller Channel Study 2016. We are currently looking for vendor sponsors for this important study that will shed light on how channel partners are adjusting to the new cloud and mobile environment, and how vendors can help them to be more successful.

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Vonage Update: CEO and VP Sit-Down

By David Stein & Steve Leaden August 5, 2016

We had the occasion recently to sit down with Alan Masarek, the CEO of Vonage as well as Jeff Savage, VP for Enterprise Sales at Vonage for Business last week. In an informal gathering, we covered a lot of ground.

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Related UC Vendors: Vonage

Summer of Confusion – Who’s Who in the Zoo to Buy From?

By Roberta J. Fox August 5, 2016

What a weird summer this is turning out to be! Generally, us consultants are very busy in the summer doing strategies, migration plans and acquisitions to be implemented in last quarter of the year. We have heard that a lot of customer projects have been conceptually approved, but not signed. While sitting by the pond reflecting on what has changed this year, we came up with a few points to consider that may be affecting customer acquisitions and deployments.

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There’s More to the User Experience Than Meets the Ear

By Blair Pleasant August 3, 2016

When it comes to business communications, a key factor in the user experience is audio or call quality. No matter how many features and functions a UCC solution may have, if you can’t properly hear the party at the other end or they can’t hear you clearly, the solution will fail. When I was recently asked to try out the new enhanced Sennheiser PRESENCE mobile headset, I jumped at the chance.

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Related UC Vendors: Sennheiser Electronic Corporation

Mobile UC: No Money, No Love

By Michael F. Finneran August 2, 2016

An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Tech Sector’s Profits Are Fueled by Mobile, Cloud” caught my attention and caused me to rethink the peculiar duopoly of mobile and cloud.

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Related UC Vendors: Microsoft

What’s In a Name?

By Dave Michels August 1, 2016

In this industry we use a lot of terms that we think are understood, but they aren’t. Kind of ironic for an industry that has a mission to help people communicate. My point isn’t to argue the definition of UC, but to talk about definitions. You see, all the technology in the world can’t help us communicate and/or collaborate if we can’t get past the basics of language. UC as a broad category works because we all understand it’s a broad topic whose definition varies with the beholder.

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Does Architecture Matter?

By Melissa Swartz August 1, 2016

We have a client who recently received several proposals for a UCaaS solution. We had specified the functionality the new solution must provide, but not the architecture. When we met with them initially to review the proposals, we asked them about their preference for a particular architecture model. To our surprise, the client said, “No. Does it matter?” Yes, it matters.

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BC Summit 2016: November 1-3, 2016

By Jim Burton August 1, 2016

BC Summit 2016 is now accepting applications for attendees. The 2016 version of this annual event will be held November 1-3, 2016, at the La Quinta Resort & Club, in Palm Springs, CA.

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Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2016 – Raising Questions about UC!

By Marty Parker July 29, 2016

This year’s 14th annual Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (UC MQ) was published on July 13, 2016. The well-established UC experts Bern Elliot and Steve Blood continue as authors and are joined this year by Megan Marek Fernandez. As always, the report is a concise summary of the UC marketplace and vendors.

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Related UC Vendors: Cisco, Microsoft, Mitel, Avaya, NEC, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Unify, ShoreTel, Interactive Intelligence

Misusing the Gartner Reports

By J.R. Simmons July 29, 2016

The recent release of the Gartner UC magic quadrant reminded me of how some IT decision makers fail to make proper use of the information. The mistake made by otherwise smart readers is glancing at the quadrant chart and allowing a snapshot to guide procurement decisions.

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Tomorrow’s UC – Nobody’s Talking About Voice

By Jon Arnold July 28, 2016

Analysts are good at seeing the big picture, and we all connect the dots in different ways. As we know, UC continues to be a moving target, especially as both innovation and disruption continues to be driven from players outside the realm of who we usually talk about. For this post I’m going to link takeaways from three recent items, with my take on how UC looks poised for yet another 90 degree turn.

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Related UC Vendors: Dimension Data, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft

Latest Significant Trends in SIP Trunking

By Stephen Leaden July 26, 2016

SIP trunking has been promoted as a carrier solution for close to 48 months at this juncture, and has now, for all intents and purposes, gone mainstream. SIP trunking offers several key benefits for those enterprises willing to take the plunge and implement it. There are several key "out-of-the-box" benefits one can leverage:

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Never Mind the Quality

By Simon Dudley July 20, 2016

I’ve talked about the importance of quality endlessly over the years. I was wrong. I started with the idea that quality was a one-way street; once you experienced something better, like a business class airline seat, or a CD, or Blu-ray DVD, you would struggle to go back. I was wrong. That doesn’t mean quality doesn’t matter, it just means it only matters a little bit.

 

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Messaging Apps - Team Collaboration Comparison and Review

By David Stein July 20, 2016

I recently presented my research on messaging-based applications at Enterprise Connect which focused on illustrating what some of the leading applications have in common, how each of them compare to one another and what they offer the Enterprise. This article summarizes what features and functions are most common, and what key ingredients might be missing from some or all of the contenders, focusing on a set of specifications for a 50-user team collaboration software suite.  

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Related UC Vendors: Interactive Intelligence, RingCentral, Cisco, Unify

Changing Landscape of IT, Telecom and UC – Let the Buyer Beware – Part 1

By Roberta J. Fox July 13, 2016

Upon reflecting on the mid-year review podcast with my UCStrategies peers, and analyzing our end-user acquisitions activities and vendor selection results (for 2015 and the first half of 2016), we noticed some major shifts in or client’s vendor selections. I thought it would be interesting to try to identify what was happening, and also why, for our readers.

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Skype for Business Operations Framework and UC SDN

By Pascal Menezes July 12, 2016

I attended the Microsoft World Wide Partner (WPC) conference this week and witnessed the launch of Skype for Business’ new program called Skype Operations Framework (SOF). I think this framework sets the industry standard for a comprehensive guide on how to implement and manage a reliable UC deployment.

 

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Related UC Vendors: Microsoft

Polycom Bought by Siris Capital for $2Bn; Mitel Loses Out

By Simon Dudley July 12, 2016

Recently I predicted that Siris Capital would be the winner in the contest to secure Polycom. Today it seems I was proven right.

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Related UC Vendors: Mitel, Polycom, Lifesize, Microsoft, Logitech

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