Friday, October 2, 2015

September Writing Roundup

Another busy month has passed, and despite just one local industry event, I had plenty keeping me busy through September. Things pick up on the conference front for October - posts coming about that - plus my long-overdue website/blog overhaul just kicked off yesterday - stay tuned there as well. With that said, here's a recap of my posts from September I think you'll enjoy if you missed them first time around.

Tracking the Evolution of UC Technology, Tech Target, Oct. 1 - technically not September, but was written that month, and is fresh now - and popular. The rest of the series runs this month, and I'll include those in my next writing roundup.

Is UC the Best Solution for Collaboration?, UCStrategies, Sept. 30

Defining the Problem Set for Collaboration,, Sept. 29

So, you Think you can Collaborate?,, Sept. 18

IT Considerations for Replacing your Legacy Phone System,, Sept. 17

Rethinking Collaboration, Part 1, Internet Telephony Magazine, Sept. 16

Replacing your Phone System - the Case Against the Third Option,, Sept. 10

Why Audio Quality Really Matters for Conferencing, UCStrategies, Sept. 10

Reviewing the VoIP Phone System Landscape - Tier 2 Vendors,, Sept. 4

Making Music - Again - with the SIPtones in Indy - Video Highlights, my blog, Sept. 3 - hey, gotta have a little fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Evolution of UC Technology - My Latest Series

I've started another series with TechTarget on their SearchUnified Communications portal. I also contribute regular short form commentary there, but these longer pieces allow for richer analysis, in this case to help IT decision-makers understand the UC value proposition.

If you missed it earlier, I recently completed a similar series on VoIP for business, and you can get the links here for those posts.

This is the first post in a three part series on UC, starting with how we got here and what problems UC is trying to address. Following this will be an add-on piece from another contributor that helps decision-makers evaluate specific offerings, so watch for that as well. My kickoff piece was just posted yesterday, and I hope you find it helpful. Stay for Parts 2 and 3, and along the way, any sharing would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Is UC the Best Solution for Collaboration?

This is a valid question.

Lately, I've been looking deeper into the relationship between UC and collaboration, and it's getting rather convoluted. IT decision-makers don't have it easy these days, and collaboration is right up there on the must-have list, with seemingly 10 directions you could be going in.

UC vendors have to adapt, and this presents some interesting challenges, especially for identifying the problem set your collaboration solution is supposed to address. I don't have all the answers, and if anything I hope to raise new questions about what collaboration is supposed to look like today.

That's where I'm going with my current post for UCStrategies. As a UC Expert, I contribute a monthly post to the portal, and I hope you stay for a while to explore our podcasts and other posts from fellow UC Experts.

Before doing that, I hope you read my post first, and would love to hear your thoughts. Sharing is greatly appreciated, and if the UCSummit is on your calendar, I'll be speaking there as well.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Predictions we got Wrong - Latest UCS Podcast

If you think analysts are always right, I'll happily keep that myth going by agreeing with you. Of course, nobody likes admitting being wrong, especially when your reputation is on the line. However, technology is a moving target by nature, and it's always fun to cite famous misses by the likes of Bill Gates.

Our latest UCStrategies podcast was along those lines, and rather than dwell on missed predictions, we talked more about trends we thought would have come to fruition by now. This takes us to topics like social media/business, WebRTC, mobile UC, UCaaS, and the basic concept of UC itself.

Lots of ground to cover, and I hope you give our podcast a listen. My comments come at the 11:18 mark, and the podcast is posted now on the UCS portal. Please share if you like it, and before you know it, we'll have a new podcast for you to hear.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rethinking Collaboration - My Latest Column

There's a lot to think about with collaboration - as with UC, it can be an overused and amorphous term, so I'm giving it a closer look. My current Rethinking Communications column for Internet Telephony Magazine explores that, and will continue with Part 2 in next month's edition.

Part 1 is running now online, and I hope it gets you thinking more critically about what to expect with collaboration, as well from the vendors selling it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

CTCA Golf Tourney - Last Hurrah

On Wednesday, I came to the dinner following a full day of golf with the CTCA. They do this annually, and while this marks their 30th anniversary, it will be their last. Back in June, I attended their annual conference, at which time a vote was taken - and passed - to fold CTCA into the SCTC.

I'm an outlier in this world of communications consultants, and am the only analyst among the CTCA ranks, but I get a lot out of it, and I know they want to see more of my kind in their ranks. As the transition to SCTC unfolds, I think more of this will happen, as I know SCTC wants to broaden its reach.

J.R. Simmons is the common thread for me in all this, as he's an SCTC Executive, a fellow UCStrategies Expert, and he came up here to speak at the dinner about why the SCTC will be good for CTCA members.

For independents like me with U.S.-based clientele, I'm looking forward to the change, and you can expect to see/hear/read things from my end under the SCTC banner in due time. I just booked my travel for their conference next month in Atlanta, and that will be a first for me. If you're attending, I hope to see you there, and if you're free on the last night of the conference - October 8 - I'll be playing again with the SIPtones. What could be better?

J.R. Simmons during dinner

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why Audio Quality Matters for Conferencing

That's the title of my latest post for UCStrategies, and is one of those topics we don't think enough about.We tend to take voice quality for granted, and I mean that going both ways. Audio quality for legacy telephony has been the standard for so long, it's hard to believe that something can actually be better. It's very good, but what people tend to really value is the consistent experience. When it works well all the time, you get used to the audio, and only notice the shortcomings when something better comes along.

Think about the first time you saw HD TV. Nobody was complaining before that about their viewing experience, but once you experience HD, there's really no going back.

Conversely, by the way, we've become so accustomed to crappy voice quality on mobile devices, legacy audio quality stacks up very nicely, so there's no reason to think there's something better. Of course, there is something better, and HD is a big part of that story. When it comes to conferencing, many other factors impact the experience, and it really takes a holistic approach that goes beyond just having HD audio.

That's what my writeup covers, and if you've had your share of poor conferencing experiences, you'll find this a good read. For transparency, the post is sponsored by Revolabs - they're a really interesting company actually - but the content is mine. As always, comments and sharing are most welcome!