Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Magor Communications - Making Collaboration Easier

Last week I got a briefing in advance of some news items that are going public this morning. The focus here is on Ottawa-based Magor Communications and their TeleCollaboration offerings. They've been in the market for one year now, and today's announcements are meant to show some critical mass and validation for their value proposition.

I think Magor has the right idea about using video to drive collaboration, and providing solutions that are as easy to use as making a phone call. They have a good story to tell, and I put my thoughts together about this for my latest analysis on the UCStrategies portal. The article is running now, and was posted just after the new releases were made public, so I'd like to think that UCStrategies has the scoop on Magor. You can read it here, and as always, your comments are welcome.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Building the Case for Hosted Contact Centers

The second installment of articles for my new blog feature is running now on Exony's website. I'm told that my first column was picked up by numerous visitors to their site, and as this series continues we hope this traffic will build nicely.

In this article, I touch on some drivers, issues and challenges faced by enterprises - and service providers - who are considering the hosted path for some or all of their contact center operations. There are many moving parts to integrate, so nothing about this is easy. However, the associated benefits can be pretty attractive, and this is my first look at the big picture here. I'll get more granular in future postings, but here's my current thinking, and I'd certainly like to hear yours.

Friday, February 11, 2011

UCStrategies - Our Take on ITExpo and Lotusphere

This week's UCStrategies podcast focused on two recent telecom events - TMC's ITExpo and IBM's Lotusphere. Both are important, long-running events that go well beyond telecom, and are relevant to the UCS audience. Some of us attended ITExpo, some attended Lotusphere, and David Michels attended both (that's ambitious!).

I was at ITExpo last week, but only saw it in passing, since I was running my smart grid event. However, I saw enough and have been to enough ITExpo's that I could add to the conversation. So, if you want to know the key takeaways from both events - esp from a UCS perspective - have a listen to our podcast.

It's running now on the UCS portal, and you can open the link here, as well as read the transcript. If you attended either event, by all means, share your thought with us!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Smart Grid Summit - Day 1 Highlights

I don't blog here much about smart grid, but wanted to follow up on the photos I posted yesterday. My first recap article is running now on the Smart Grid Portal, and I'll have another one coming tomorrow - stay tuned!

New Forum to Follow - Exony and Hosted Contact Centers

I've been shifting my workload a bit lately - let's just say I'm right-sizing and aligning myself with some new opportunities. One of those is with Exony, an up and coming vendor in the hosted contact center area. They're U.K.-based, but have strong traction with an impresssive client base - not just over there, but over here in Canada and the U.S. as well.

We've recently launched an initiative where I'll be producing an ongoing series of research and thought leadership articles about this space. These articles will be featured on their website in a section called The Jon Arnold Blog. Perhaps that title could use a bit of work, but you get the idea! Anyhow, my first article - "Redefining the Contact Center in 2011 -What's Your Plan?" - is posted there now, and I'm about to get busy with the next one. I hope you follow along, and would love to hear your thoughts.

Siemens OpenScape UC Suite 2011 - Making UC Work

I've been working with Siemens under the UCStrategies banner, and wrote an article about some recent deployments to showcase the diverse capabilities of their latest iteration of OpenScape.

The article was published late last week on UCStrategies.com, but with the smart grid summit last week, I wasn't able to get to this until now. So, if this is still news and you're interested in Siemens and/or Unified Communications, you should find this a good read.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Smart Grid Summit - Photo Highlights

I've been on vacation the past few days and wasn't planning to post these til tomorrow. However, there's a flight delay and with free WiFi, I've got a window here to share some photos. I'll have a recap article about the summit on the portal in the next day or so, but until then, here are a few photos...

Larry Karisny leading the opening panel on cybersecurity. Larry was a huge help, not just with his industry knowledege, but also for moderating and speaking on a few sessions.

Dr. Massoud Amin from U of Minnesota. The "father of the smart grid" did not disappoint - just wish the lighting was better for a picture!

Maureen Harris and Orjiakor Isiogu on the NARUC smart grid working group update

Joy Rychlik (also from Toronto), moderating the Green IT/Data Centers panels, along with Henry Bailey (SAP), Kyle McNamara (Verizon) and Charles O'Donnell (Liebert AC Power)

Ken Rowen's keynote about what PAETEC Energy is doing in this market

Sandra Manning, City of Tallahassee - very engaging, and great to have some local presence for the Florida market

Dr. Mo Shakouri (Alvarion) on the Rural Smart Grid Opportunity panel

SAP's Henry Bailey on the Electric Vehicle session - yes, they are very busy in this space!

Olivier Pauzet (Sierra Wireless) on the Public vs. Private Networks session, along moderator Larry Karisny, Andy Balaschak (Tropos) and Jeff Dygert (AT&T)