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.



Putting Human Call Center Agents on Hold

By Joseph Williams February 23, 2017

The impact of artificial intelligence on contact center operations will be significant. Chatbots are the first step, but automated bots that naturally interact with callers will initially reduce and eventually eliminate all but the most complex human agent interactions. The industry has arrived at a formidable convergence of natural language processing, speech synthesis, machine learning, and declining compute costs that will make it possible to produce outstanding customer service outcomes from AI bots within the next five years – if not sooner.

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Avaya – What is the Path Forward Through Bankruptcy?

By Phil Edholm February 21, 2017

Now that Avaya has been in bankruptcy for a month, I was asked repeatedly what I thought was going to happen. Having been through a similar process at Nortel and having listened to the Avaya team and examined the available public documentation, I thought I would speculate on the potential options/outcomes and which may be best for the customers, Avaya, and the industry.

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Related UC Vendors: Avaya

A Cacophony of Chimes

By Joseph Williams February 20, 2017

Amazon Web Services announced the release of its fully managed communications service that it branded as Amazon Chime. About a year ago CaféX announced its Chime product. To keep it all from getting confusing, let’s look at both, ignoring whatever trademark issues might be arising, so you are clear on what is what.

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Related UC Vendors: CaféX

Avaya Engage – Loud on Cloud and the Bright Side of Chapter 11

By Jon Arnold February 16, 2017

It’s clear that Avaya has a first-class product portfolio and a healthy book of business, with strong financials upon which a Chapter 11 plan will emerge that should keep the company largely intact. Bigger questions loom around finding growth via net new business, and whether the Avaya brand has a strong enough mojo to be the partner of choice as businesses go down the path of digital transformation. This is much bigger than UC, and there’s a lot to digest from what we heard, and for this post, I’m just going to touch on two big themes.

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Related UC Vendors: Avaya

Enterprise UCC is Giving Way to Conversational Experiences and Engagement

By David Smith February 14, 2017

We are at a pivotal time in enterprise communications and collaboration. The rise of mobile team messaging and collaboration applications signify a shift in focus towards creating better conversational experiences as the driver for collaboration and productivity. There is a collaboration continuum that includes content, plus people inside and outside of the organization in a contextual web, that captures and keeps the data of all collaborative interactions.

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Related UC Vendors: Cisco, Microsoft, Unify

Connex17 – Connecting with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

By Blair Pleasant February 14, 2017

Just in time for Mardi Gras preparations, Alcatel Lucent Enterprise (ALE) held its analyst conference in New Orleans, where the discussion was all about verticals and ALE’s new cloud overlay service called Rainbow.

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Related UC Vendors: Alcatel-Lucent

Logitech Brio – Do You Need a 4K Web Cam?

By Phil Edholm February 8, 2017

Yesterday Logitech announced their new Brio web cam with a 4K capability along with other new features. It includes HDR for wider contrast range, IR sensors that integrate to Intel RealSense and the capability to deliver 60 frames per second in 1080P HD. It is also certified with major UC vendors like Microsoft and Cisco. To better understand the value, I will review each capability and what they mean for enterprise UC users.

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Related UC Vendors: Logitech

Bots Are Here To Stay

By Nicolas De Kouchkovsky February 6, 2017

A few years ago, bots were automated chat agents. They would aim at replacing customer service representatives in case of traffic spikes or when all were busy. Very rudimentary, they usually left consumers frustrated. Bots are now enjoying an incredible momentum. As they reach the peak of inflated expectations, one can wonder if it is a temporary fad. I believe bots are here to stay and here is why.

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RTM SDN Project Wins Product of the Year for 2016

By Pascal Menezes February 3, 2017

Open source Project Atrium which is focused on the International Multimedia Telecommunication Consortium (IMTC) RTM SDN use-case specifications, just won Internet Telephony Magazine 2016 SDN Product of the Year Award.  

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Related UC Vendors: Cisco

WebRTC Edges Ahead

By Phil Edholm February 3, 2017

I have been a strong advocate of the web-based transformation that WebRTC will introduce to real time communications. In the UC world, we have seen an increasing number of traditional telecom apps come into the market with WebRTC. But for the last three years, the first comment that the naysayers have made is that Microsoft and Apple do not support WebRTC. Now the number of holdouts is down to one. Microsoft announced that they are stepping up to provide WebRTC 1.0 support, while increasing the drive for the additional functionality in ORTC.

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Related UC Vendors: Microsoft

Virtualizing The Reality of Business

By Evan Kirstel February 1, 2017

As a tech strategist, planner and consultant I am constantly bombarded with new tech ideas and solutions. Most of the time I find they are just another technology “in search of” a customer or user. To provide really effective solutions, it must solve real-world problems but also have real CFO ROI (return on investment) benefits.

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Cisco Spark Board: Excellent Packaging, No Wires, A Few Strings

By Marty Parker January 30, 2017

The Cisco Spark Launch event on January 24 was a top-notch production. From the always-excellent stagecraft of Rowan Trollope to the great hands-on demonstrations spaces to the small group sessions with Cisco’s Spark leaders on both technical and business topics. Of course, the star of the show was the launch of the Cisco Spark Board – a very impressive package of meeting room technology. Here are some highlights of the event, from my perspective.

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Related UC Vendors: Cisco

Cisco and Microsoft – Two Approaches to Room-Based Collaboration

By Jon Arnold January 30, 2017

Avaya’s recent news has overshadowed everything else in the market, but Cisco and Microsoft are very good at staying in the limelight. As it turned out, last week both companies had collaboration updates, and I happened to get briefings on both. Cisco’s latest iteration of Spark has been in the works for some time, and with so much at stake in terms of owning the collaboration experience, Microsoft was not going to remain on the sidelines.

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Related UC Vendors: Cisco, Microsoft

Spark Continues to Evolve

By Blair Pleasant January 27, 2017

At its Spark Event in San Francisco, Cisco introduced the new Spark Board and Spark Meetings to revolutionize the way people meet. That’s a pretty tall order, but Cisco seems to have done a great job in simplifying and improving the meeting experience.

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Related UC Vendors: Cisco

Avaya Chapter 11 – Issues and Impact on the Telecom Sector and Avaya Customers

By Roberta J. Fox and Bill Elliott January 26, 2017

Bill Elliott brings over 30 years of direct telecom industry technology and management experience to his NG9-1-1 role, plus 10 years of consulting as enterprise practice leader with us at FOX GROUP. I asked him to provide his perspective on what the recent Avaya announcement means from his unique viewpoint.

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Related UC Vendors: Avaya

Vidyo Announces CPaaS 2.0 Cloud Embedded Video

By Phil Edholm January 25, 2017

Today Vidyo announced a new cloud delivery solution for embedded video, Vidyo.io. Vidyo based the new solution on the work the company has been doing in enabling premise-based embedded video solutions extended to a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) delivery model. The Vidyo solution is specifically focused on the emerging CPaaS 2.0 market, where the solution delivers communications embedded in the application and using the internet instead of the Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN) integration.

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What Is Collaboration? Forrester Wave Report Offers Answers

By Marty Parker January 23, 2017

In 2017, we are very likely to hear many, many claims for leadership in “collaboration.” However, as is often the case, the leadership claims will be based on definitions of collaboration that are shaped to match a vendor’s product offerings, rather than on the actual needs of the users and of the enterprises who employ the users to deliver the enterprise’s products and services. In December 2016, Forrester provided us with a solid perspective on this topic in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Collaboration, Q4 2016.

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

Avaya Bankruptcy – A New Dawn or the Beginning of the End

By Phil Edholm January 19, 2017

This morning, January 19th, the day before the presidential inauguration, Avaya filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. What happens now and how the company moves forward are key concerns for Avaya customers, employees, and the market in general. Having been through a somewhat similar event with Nortel in 2009, there are a few things that we probably can predict as well as some key questions.

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Related UC Vendors: Avaya

Did Qualcomm Kill WiMAX?

By Michael F. Finneran January 18, 2017

In what seems like a major case of déjà vu, the term “WiMAX” has miraculously popped up in the papers this week. WiMAX, or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, was a standard for fixed and mobile wireless Internet access that had a short and uneventful run starting around 2007. What proved to be the death knell for WiMAX was a dearth of mobile devices that supported the service. A suit brought this week by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Qualcomm seems to indicate that lack of user devices might not have been a coincidence.

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FOX GROUP 2017 Predictions – Think like a Customer!

By Roberta J. Fox January 17, 2017

In listening to and reading what my fellow technology industry experts have been saying is going to happen in 2017 over the past month, I have also heard a lot of comments about things like AI, IoT, the crash of the public internet, continued consolidation of traditional telecom manufacturers, the death of phones, the demise of “the cloud,” and even that 2017 will be a tipping point where new vendors are starting to take serious market share from legacy telecom/network providers.

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