Thursday, September 3, 2015

Making Music - Again - with the SIPtones in Indy - Video Highlights

Another hat I wear is music-making, which I would do all day long if I could spare the time, but that's a longer conversation. I got to play again with the SIPtones - again, at the 2015 Interactions conference put on by Interactive Intelligence back in June.

This time around, we got to play two full sets, and I played keyboards on about half the songs. As always, it was great fun, and band leader Rick Hathaway did his usual video compilation, and he's just posted that to YouTube.

Lots of music that night, so it's a 16 minute clip, and I'm sure you'll recognize most of the songs. The audio isn't great, but maybe next year we'll get a video sponsor and a get a full camera crew - any takers?

If you like the music, we also played at last year's ININ conference, and here's the link that includes the video highlights from that set.

Next Smart Grid Webinar - Predictive Analytics

If you don't know, I wear two analyst hats. My main hat is in the collaboration space - VoIP, UC, cloud communications, IoT, contact center, etc. For several years, however, I've also been active in the Smart Grid space, which now encompasses Smart Homes, Smart Cities, etc. Lots of great tie-ins between these worlds, and I see a lot of opportunity, as do many of the vendors I closely follow.

Along the way, I've been working with Austin-based Zpryme Research, and I'm an Advisor to their booming Smart Grid/Clean Energy market research practice. If this is new to you, here are two posts of mine from our latest conference, ETS 15.

I regularly moderate their webinars, and the next one is coming up a week from now - September 10.

The topic is predictive analytics and how this is shaping the direction of Smart Grid evolution. Our featured speakers are Dr. Noa Ruschin-Rimini of GRID4C, and Robbie Wright of Direct Energy. The registration page just went live, and it should be an informative session - hope you can join us!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back to Work - Gartner UC Magic Quadrant Podcast

No complaints about being away the past few days, and the world is still intact, so it's ok to shut down and recharge every so often.

Since being away, I wanted to share this post from last week's UCStrategies podcast about the current Gartner Magic Quadrant report on the UC market. Many nuances to discuss, so it was a lively session. It's worth noting that the vendors in the UC MQ are unchanged from last year, and that's a sign that the space is maturing somewhat.

Maybe so, but the waters are far from still and we all had something to say about that. If you haven't caught it yet, here's where you can access the podcast, and you can pick up my comments at the 20:42 mark. Don't stop there, though - lots of interesting perspectives from the group from start to finish.

Friday, August 21, 2015

My "Coffee with Chris" Podcast - Comms Technology, Disruption and Millennials

Chris Gorog is an interesting guy, and it's easy to think of everyone in the tech space purely in those terms. We crossed paths around VoIP security, and from there, he's taken me to his real passion, Logic Central Online.

This is a community he's building that's focused on leveraging knowledge beyond tech to help people better understand the real world around them - not the virtual world! - and lead more meaningful lives. I'm not looking for spiritual journeys, but I do like how his ideas help frame technology in a richer context that goes beyond entertainment and making us efficient knowledge workers.

One of his hats is Coffee with Chris, an ongoing podcast series built around these ideas. We did ours recently, and it's posted now on his site. He's got quite a few there, so if you like this sort of thing, there's lots to explore. Our session is CWC 44, and our chat is titled "Bridging the Gap: How the Knowledge of the Working Generation will be a Springboard to the Future for Millennials".

Whew, that's a mouthful, and I would have shortened that title up a lot. Anyhow, it's a bit about how I got into VoIP, and from there a discussion about how pervasive IP-based communications has become. We tied that into themes around Big Data, collaboration, disruptive technology, and how Millennials are adapting to all this change.

It's a bit different from what I normally do, and I hope you give it a listen. If any of this resonates, I'm sure you'll enjoy checking out the other CWC podcasts, as well as his broader Logic Central Online initiatives. I'll be doing that myself, and you'll likely be hearing more about that here soon. Until then, here's the link to our podcast, and any sharing would be great.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My New White Paper for Cisco: The Omnichannel Experience

I write a lot of white papers, and this one has been in the works with Cisco for some time. Things tend to take longer to unfold with large companies, but I'm patient, and Cisco has always been a great client to work with.

The topic is omnichannel, a topic I've been writing about for some time, and Cisco has been on the leading edge in taking contact centers to the next level with this. Like Unified Communications, the omnichannel concept is hard to define - and sell, and deploy, and use - but when all the stars align, it's a pretty powerful approach to improving how contact centers and their agents support customers.

As usual, my white papers are supported by industry-based research, and are largely vendor-neutral. The focus of this paper is very much about how the contact center space has evolved from single channel to multichannel and now to omnichannel, and from there explains where and how it provides new value to the contact center.

To promote the white paper, Cisco has created an infographic, which you can see here.

From there, a link is provided with more detail about my white paper along with a registration form to download it from their site. That's just part of the deal, as vendors generally use white papers to generate leads, but as you'll see, my analysis is about why omnichannel is important - if you want to follow up directly with Cisco after, that's your call.

That aside, I really hope you give it a read, and if the registration process isn't working for you, drop me a line. Am happy to answer questions any time, and as always, any sharing would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My VoIP "Buying Decisions Series" for TechTarget - Parts 1 - 3

I recently started writing a 3-part series about VoIP for TechTarget, and the third post is running now. Together, these posts will be part of a bigger buyer's guide that will be published there soon.

In case you didn't know this was a series of posts, now that they're all running, here are links to all three of them.

#1 - Analyzing VoIP's basics reveals telephony's evolution

#2 - Three use cases that highlight the benefits of VoIP

#3 - What you need to consider before you buy VoIP

As always, comments are welcome, and any sharing you can do with your colleagues or customers would be greatly appreciated!