Thursday, June 30, 2016

Refresh Coming for my Blog and Website





I've been working on this do-over for some time, and it's getting real close. The blog you're seeing now has been running here since 2005, and the same is true for my website.

Not only is all of this getting a full updating - am working with a great web design team, and referrals are welcome! - but both entities are getting combined. So, my blog will now be folded into my website, just like how the rest of the world seems to do things. I'm still old school, and have resisted this for a long time, but it's futile, so onward we go.

This may very well be my last blog post at this location and using the format you see here. We're doing a cutover this weekend, and if things go to plan, my regular blog traffic will redirect automatically.

You'll end up on my new website, which remains unchanged:

I know this will cause some hiccups for some people to find me, but if you stay with me, I think you'll like what's coming - and if you do, please let me know!

If this is the last post on this blog site, then I'll  go full circle and exit at my point of entry - my first post here from March 29, 2005.

I don't re-read old posts, but if you check this out, I think you'd agree I've stayed true to my focus when I started out back then as an indie analyst. I'm still here, so I must be doing something right!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Is Microsoft's Purchase of Linkedin a Good Idea?

Big story and a big question. It's not quite at the heart of the UCC world, but close enough that it needs to be further understood. That's what we addressed in our latest UCStrategies podcast, and it's running on our portal now.

This is Microsoft's biggest acquisition to date, and their track record hasn't be great, generally overpaying and under-delivering. They are Skype's third owner, and you'd be right to question why this name has taken over from Lync, but clearly, they're sticking to it. MSFT paid a similar amount for Nokia, which was written off about a year ago, and a few years before that their pricy acquisition of aQuantive met a similar fate.

They have never been able to crack the mobile market, so precedent does not suggest Linkedin will be a home run. For that much money, it better be, but on the other hand, MSFT can afford it. Perhaps more importantly, they can't afford to miss big opportunities, especially in the business market, which is easier to monetize than the consumer space.

Linkedin reportedly reaches an audience that's bigger than Skype - some 430 million vs. some 300 million - and they've built a highly engaged community with solid business value, whereas Skype remains largely a low cost or free consumer-grade communications platform. No idea what the synergies may be between those two worlds, and it sure will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Of course, there are concerns that the Linkedin community will become a sales channel for MSFT products, and if it's not handled right, another pureplay business/professional network platform will surely emerge to give that community an independent alternative. Lots of angles to explore, and there's more on the podcast, so I hope you give it a listen.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New JAA Content - Two Papers for ShoreTel

Been busy on several fronts, and ShoreTel is one of them. Last week was my well-attended webinar on how to choose the right deployment model for UC.

That webinar was based on my recently-completed white paper for them, titled "Cloud, Hybrid or Onsite: Assessing Deployment Options for UC".

From that, ShoreTel has also developed an e-book, titled "Find the Best Fit for Your Business". It doesn't have my JAA byline, but it's a snappier, condensed version of the paper for those who don't want to read the whole thing.

Both documents can be downloaded from ShoreTel's site - just need to complete a short registration page. Here are the direct links for both: white paper and e-book.

Let me know if any problems, and can provide PDFs if needed.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Is Interactive Intelligence an Exponential Organization?

Unless you saw Salim Ismail speak at the recent Interactions 2016 conference, this title may sound cryptic. Previously, I didn't know what an exponential organization was either, but now I do. After hearing Salim, I began wondering how well his ideas - which I really like - apply to the host company, Interactive Intelligence.

The event itself was great as usual, and I posted briefly about that here. This bigger question - not quite exponentially bigger, but still worth asking - needed a different forum, and to address it, I put on my UC Expert hat. My writeup is running now on our UCStrategies portal, and tomorrow I'll be moderating our next podcast where I'll get my fellow UC Experts to weigh in on this as well. Your comments, as always, are welcome!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tower of Babel and Texting, plus a few updates

Gee, time flies when you're heads-down writing.

Just realized I haven't blogged all week, and there is stuff to talk about. My ShoreTel webinar on Tuesday was really well attended, and with UCStrategies, we did a timely podcast this week about the Microsoft/Linkedin deal - I think we'll be pondering that one for a while. Have also been finishing up two new white papers and an e-book, and just got the proofs back on an upcoming magazine feature I wrote about the future of work.

I'm also quite excited about my long-in-the-works refresh of my blog and website. I've got a great team working on this, and we're merging these sites, so finally there will be one place for all of my content, along with an updated overview of my services and how I work with clients. New projects are about to start with new clients, so it's never dull around here. Oh, on the fun front, it looks like I'll be doing another gig with the SIPTones at the annual SCTC conference this fall in Kansas City - yee haw!

So, Tower of Babel? Almost forgot. This is about our most recent UCStrategies podcast, where we focused on how various text and messaging applications are complicating the UCC landscape. This keeps folks like us gainfully employed, but it's getting even harder now for decision-makers to know where to place their bets. I think our collective thoughts on this might help, so if you missed it, here's the link.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Call-out - my UC Webinar next Tuesday with ShoreTel

Response has been strong for this, and if it hasn't crossed your path yet, I'm doing a webinar next Tuesday at noon ET. The topic is helping SMBs choose the right deployment model for UC, and it's based on a paper I recently did for ShoreTel.

If that's on your radar now, I hope you can join us - registration details are here.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Interactions 2016 - Reimagine the Future

How do you reimagine the future if it hasn't happened yet?

Hmm. Sounds like an oxymoron, but if you listen closely to what's been on tap during this week's Interactions 2016, it's not. The present is changing so quickly, that whatever notions we have about the future are very likely based outmoded thinking. Some of that thinking is outmoded by generations - but it still persists - but other thinking is outmoded by only a few years. The latter is kinda scary, but just look at our kids - what's cool to them right now probably wasn't even invented six months ago.

Interactive Intelligence definitely gets this, and that's the messaging they're trying to impart to the roughly 2,000 people here in Indy. Both customers and channel partners need to reimagine the future, and ININ provided us with a pretty good glimpse about the future they want to take the contact center market into.

Hold that thought for now, as time is short with this being my getaway day. Several of us at UCStrategies were here, and we'll be doing a podcast about our takeaways next week, plus, I'll be doing my own writeup on what that future just might look like, so stick around.

Until then, here are some photos from the conference, with highlights from a few different stages, both non-musical and musical. :-)

Head of Whoopass Marketing, Dan Rood - these guys know how to have fun, and it's great to see such a youthful team at Interactive - I think that's a big part of why they're doing so well.
Keynoter Salim Ismail - way too many big ideas to absorb about the future and disruption, so run out and buy his book. Better yet, order it from Amazon and have a drone deliver it in ten minutes. Or, before long, you can just download it to a chip that ultrasound waves will gently implant into your brain. Yeah, he's that kind of guy - loved it!
I know, they just had the Indy 500 here, and this car isn't going to set any land speed records. However, it's a great example of exactly what Salim was talking about. On demand driving - another form of car rental - just like with bikes - and it's ideal for cities. You pay at the kiosk, get authenticated to drive the car - it's all charged up, this one at post 01, and you're off. Just drop it off when done at any Blue Indy spot downtown and walk away. We talk about ease of use as a driver for getting people to adopt new technology like UC - same thing here - what could be easier?
PureCloud demo time - yes, it works as advertised
If you don't believe those guys, here are real customers talking about it with Dan Rood
Mr. Interactive, CEO Don Brown - great as always
Ed Omland of Amazon Web Services - explaining why the cloud is so powerful and why their partnership with ININ is so strong - agreed.
Fun time - Canadian Music Night at Tastings wine bar - I'm on the left playing guitar. Thanks to Lynn McCready for the photo!
More fun - Open Mic at the Slippery Noodle last night. We came out in big numbers, and our steady rolling SIPTones man, Steve Leaden sat in on drums for bit - he was great. The SIPTones didn't get to play at ININ this year, but hopefully next year. If you want us back, make some noise and let 'em know. If you didn't see us play last year at Interactions, here's the highlight video of our show.