Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How to Make UC Strategic - New Article

I've been writing my monthly Rethinking Communications column for TMCnet for a few years now, and even within the world of UC&C, there is always something new to consider.

My columns usually run in their flagship publication, Internet Telephony, and that's where you'll find my current article. The value of UC has always been difficult to pin down, and in this post I examine two ways to make it strategic to the business. UC is not about cost reduction, and to get buy-in, the business has to see it in different ways.

While it's easy to assume decision-makers know how to do this, that's not always the case, and in next month's issue, I'll look at two examples of how not to be strategic with UC. Until then, I hope you start at the beginning and read my current post. Comments are welcome, and sharing is great too!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My TMC Interview - State of UC&C

Before you know it, we'll be covered in snow and I'll be thinking a lot more about the ITExpo, coming later next month in Fort Lauderdale. I'm ready for Florida now, but still got work to do before signing off for a bit.

I posted recently as a preview of what I'll be up to at the Expo, and more will be coming as the date gets closer. Another way to promote the event is with editorial coverage from TMCnet, and they recently did a Q&A with me about the UC&C space.

For some reason I missed this when it came out, so am just sharing it with my followers now. The interview is running here on their Shaping Influence portal, and while you're there, that's lots of other great content to read. If my views pique your interest, comments are welcome, as is any form of sharing - thanks!

Friday, December 18, 2015

5 Trends Driving UC in 2016 - New Article

Well, it's that time of the year, huh? I get my share of requests for what to expect in 2016 from the media, and I'll share those as they get published.

This post is along those lines - "5 Trends Driving UC in 2016" - but is rooted in a presentation I gave back in October rather than what a journalist asked me yesterday about the year ahead. My presentation was for the Telecom 2015 conference here in Toronto, and if you follow my blog, you'll already know that.

As a companion piece, the show producer asked me to write an article based on the presentation for publication in the next Info Telecom magazine. This is the quarterly publication of the CTC - Community of Telecommunications Consultants - of which I am a member.

The print edition is out, and so is the digital version, which all members get. However, the publisher is happy to share this and help build awareness of the CTC. I'm happy to do that, and of course, to share my article with my readers.

You can access the article here, but only after registering, which anyone can do. Instead, if you want to get a PDF of the full December 2015 magazine directly, please drop me a line.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cisco and the New Era of Collaboration

That was a big theme at last week's Cisco Collaboration Summit, and I've put my thoughts together around that in my current post for UCStrategies. The lines are blurring between UC and collaboration, and while Cisco only talks about the latter these days, there's a lot of UC in what the latest iteration of Spark can do. If they end up owning the market, those terms will go away and Spark will simply become a verb that encompasses all these applications. I'll bet they'd love for that to happen, but that's another conversation.

For now, I'll steer you to my post on the UCStrategies portal. I'm only touching on three big takeaways here, but there's a lot more we could be talking about from the summit. Perhaps another time, perhaps another place, perhaps on a Spark session!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Two Things to Know About Hosted UC

That's the theme of my current Rethinking Communications column for TMCnet's Internet Telephony Magazine. Every month I examine different themes in terms of communications technologies that business decision-makers might need to rethink. There's still a lot of legacy technology out there - much of which is working very well - and with that comes varying degrees of legacy thinking about the value of these technologies.

Hosted UC is one such topic, and that's the focus of my column running in the current issue. There's a lot to like about the cloud, but before jumping in - or up - a few realities need to be considered, and my post addresses two of them. I hope you give it a read, and if you care to comment and/or share, that would be great.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Business Benefits of the Cloud for UCaaS

My UCaaS series for Tech Target continues on their SearchUC portal, where the takeup has been very good. In the first post, I defined UCaaS and explained why it's becoming so popular now.

For the latest post, my focus shifts to outlining the business benefits of hosting UC in the cloud, along with three use cases where UCaaS has strong value. This post is running now on Tech Target, and part 3 in my series will run a few days from now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

UC Summit/BC Summit Podcast

Somehow I missed this last week - better late than never. I recently posted my takeaways about the UC Summit, and since then, we did our own post-mortem via our regular UCStrategies podcast.

Lots to digest, not just because it was a really solid conference, but also because we launched our new identity changeover from UC Summit to BC Summit. That process will unfold over time, but it reflects how the nature of UC&C has evolved, and how our focus as analysts and consultants has had to change along with that.

The podcast was ably moderated as usual by Michael Finneran, and you can download it here from our portal.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Upcoming Webinar - "BYOD Mobility or Bust"

I do my share of webinars, but for a change this one isn't mine. Am just doing a friendly shout-out for Voxvalley, who is doing their own webinar this Thursday.

The topic is a familiar one for me, and wanted to help get the word out. It's got a catchy title: "The Death of the Desktop IP Phone. BYOD Mobility or Bust!" Am not sure if that's a promise or a threat, but it's not hard to make the case that the desk phone is in terminal decline. If you accept that premise, then developing a business plan around BYOD should be a priority for 2016.

To learn more about why this is important and what businesses should be doing, sign up now. Here's the registration page, and after that, mark your calendar for this Thursday at 2pm ET.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Telecom 2015 Video Interviews - Here's Mine

I really enjoyed the Telecom 2015 conference here in Toronto back in October. On Day 2, I presented on UC trends for 2016, and am hoping to hear soon about how the video of that turned out.

Otherwise, earlier during the conference, I was interviewed by Chris Henry about my practice as an analyst as well as what I'm seeing in the Canadian market. This was part of a series of inteviews done on video by the FOX Group, and they've all been posted now to their FOX Group TV channel on YouTube.

Here's the clip Chris did while interviewing me, and will update my blog once there's news on the video of my presentation. Otherwise, to check out more about the conference, I posted about it here, and wrote a recap article for UCStrategies.



Next Stop - San Francisco and Cisco's Collab Summit

I don't travel extensively, but am in the midst of traveling three weeks out of four, but after that I'm staying local til mid-January.

Next week, I'll be at the Cisco Collaboration Summit in San Francisco - what's not to like? This has been a regular event with me for a while, and it's definitely going to be interesting. If you follow my writing, you'll know I distinguish between UC and collaboration, and next week we'll be hearing a lot about Spark.

It's too early to tell where this fits in their overall UC&C roadmap, as well as what kind of revenue contributionk Spark can bring Cisco. Given the recent Atos/Unify deal, Cisco is no doubt paying close attention to the need to properly support these new collaboration platforms, as well as get a sense how this will impact their more established UC business.

If you're wondering about the same things, check my blog next week, and for more timely updates, please follow me on twitter - @arnoldjon.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

November Writing Roundup

No two months are ever the same for me, but November was another busy one with a continued variety of articles, thought leadership and speaking at conferences. Here are the highlights, and any sharing is greatly appreciated!

Where do IoT and Collaboration Technologies Intersect?, TechTarget, Nov. 25

UC Summit - Three Takeaways - Searching for the Center - UCStrategies, Nov. 25

UC as a Service Emerging as a Viable Deployment Model, TechTarget, Nov. 24

Why Collaboration is Harder with UC, Toolbox.com, Nov. 24

How to Collaborate Without a Phone System, Toolbox.com, Nov. 18

ITExpo - Never too Early for Florida, my blog, Nov. 13

UCaaS Vendor Landscape - Microsoft and Google, Toolbox.com, Nov. 12

UCaaS - Three Reasons to Think Twice, Toolbox.com, Nov. 9

Choosing a VoIP Vendor - New Buyer's Guide - TechTarget, Nov. 6

My Next Webinar - So, You Think You Can Collaborate? - Toolbox.com, Nov. 5

UCaaS - Three Reasons to Adopt - Toolbox.com, Nov. 2

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Series on UCaaS for Tech Target

I've done a few series recently for Tech Target and their Search Unified Communications portal, and they continue to attract a strong readership.

My latest is on UCaaS - UC as a Service - a topic I've been researching and writing about quite a lot lately. As with the other series, I'm doing a three-part analysis of UCaaS, and each writeup stands on its own.

The first post is running now on their portal, and Parts 2 and 3 are coming soon.

Also, these writeups will be followed by an analysis of the key vendors, done by another writer. Once these run, all of this will be bundled into a free-standing UCaaS Buyer's Guide, which makes for a nice all-in resource for decision makers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

UC Summit - Three Takeaways - Searching for the Center

I was part of last week's UC Summit, and what really stood out for me was how fragmented this space is becoming. There seem to be several centers of gravity now, and tracking them all is, well, what we try to do at UCStrategies.

For those of you who weren't there, I've written up my thoughts, which are summed up into three basic themes. They all bring me to same conclusion that there may not a true center any more for UC, so you have to stay on top of a few trends to get the big picture.

Am not sure where this is taking us, but there are a lot of companies now vying for your business. However you define the pool of vendors to consider, it's only going to get bigger, and I hope my post helps make that clear. It's running now on the UCStrategies portal, and as always your comments are welcome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UC Summit - First Take

Wanted to get a quick post out and share some photos from the first full day of the UC Summit. The conference actually started on Sunday, and I spoke on the first session. I also moderated a session yesterday, and so far, the content has been consistently first rate. There's a healthy mix here of consultants, end customers and sponsors, and it's great to have access to all this in a vendor-neutral setting.

Aside from the familiar players - and most all the majors are here - it's great to have so many new ones that you wouldn't normally associate with the UC space, such as Google, Tata, Vonage and newcomer Redbooth.

The UC&C space is undergoing major disruption - and understanding that is the big takeaway overall from this event. To reflect that, we've adapted too, with the new name and logo being launched. Going forward, the UC Summit will now be known as the BC Summit - Business Communications.

I'll have more to say about this in my wrapup post, which will follow once I'm back from the summit. Until then, here are some photos from yesterday.

Jim Burton welcoming the audience, with the new BC Summit logo behind him
Vendor roundtable - well, looks more like a new offensive line formation - great session, but too short for so many people
Dave Michels talking about how disuptive the new messaging-based collaboration platforms are - totally agree
Blair Pleasant and Kevin Kieller talking about usage and adoption challenges for UC
Clark Peterson of Vonage Business explaining why they're in this business and how well they understand the changing needs of end users, especially Millennials

Friday, November 13, 2015

ITExpo Preview - Never too Early for Florida

It's getting chilly in Toronto, and am already thinking about the warm Florida sun. TMC's next ITExpo isn't until late January, but the conference agenda was announced earlier this week, so it's time to start talking about it.

The conference continues to evolve, and I've had a small hand in adding new topics to keep the agenda fresh. To that end I'll be moderating two sessions, and if others materialize, I'll post those later.

"Are You Communicating or Collaborating?"  This is on the UC track, and runs Wednesday at 2:30

"Making Video Easy - How Hard Can it Be?" This is on the Business Transformation track, and runs Thursday at 10am.

For some reason, the agenda page on the website doesn't provide specific links for each session, so to learn more, you have to go to the main agenda page and scroll down to the right time - or filter search by track or day.

Lots more updates to come, and it's not too early to be making plans for Fort Lauderdale!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Atos Acquisition of Unify - UCStrategies Podcast

This move last week came out of the blue for most of us, and with so little detail being made public, it's hard to know what's really going on. Atos is not well known in North America, and while Unify isn't a household word so much here either, they also bet heavily on Circuit. I've had my own reservations about Circuit, and one could view this deal as a sign that after a year, they've run out of time/patience/resources to realize its potential.

I'm just one voice among many, and if you're wondering what to make of the Atos/Unify deal, our latest UCStrategies podcast should be your next stop. The podcast was moderated by Dave Michels, and he engaged several of us in a lively discussion. It's been posted now, and I hope you give it a listen. We'd love to hear your thoughts as well!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

UC Summit - Starts This Sunday

Got a few conferences coming up now, with the next one starting on Sunday. It's the UC Summit, an event I've blogged and written about before. This post is a friendly reminder that we're just a few days away. I fly there Sunday morning, and presuming there are no travel hiccups, I'll be on my first panel at 2pm that afternoon. Slides are all ready, and am looking forward to La Jolla!

As per my last post, here's everything else you need to know about the summit, along with what I'll be speaking about.

As a UC Expert, I'm part of the UCStrategies team that is presenting great content on all things UC&C, and we'll have a solid mix of customers, vendors, consultants/analysts and channels. This year, I'll be speaking on two sessions:

Sunday at 2pm - Contact Center Update

Monday at 5pm - The Changing Role of IT and Shift in Technology Decision-Making

For more detail, here's the summit agenda, along with full details about the conference. We also issued a news briefrecently outlining how this year's summit will be structured.

Also, if you missed last week's podcast, we did a preview of the summit. I was away and couldn't participate, but there's plenty here to get you excited about what's coming.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Choosing a VoIP Vendor - New Buyer's Guide

I've been writing a few different series for TechTarget's Search Unified Communications portal, including one on VoIP for businesses. I contributed a series of three features on this topic, and have cited those here on my blog as they are published.

Another way to track these - along with the various other forms of content I write for them - is to view my profile page on the site.

Aside from being published on a serialized basis, these three VoIP features are also part of a more comprehensive buyer's guide, with additional content prepared by another contributor that profiles the leading vendors. This has all been pulled together under the title "Choosing a VoIP Vendor", and has just been published on their portal.

For anyone just starting down the path with VoIP, I think this will be a valuable resource, but I'll let you be the judge. Comments are welcome as always, as is any form of sharing.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Next Webinar: So, You Think You Can Collaborate?

This week's shout-out is for my upcoming webinar for Ziff Davis, where I contribute regularly to their VoIP News and Toolbox.com portals.

The topic of collaboration is trickier than it looks, and I'll be exploring that during the webinar. I'll be presenting next Wednesday, November 11 at 2pm ET, and I hope you can join us. Full details and registration steps are on the landing page here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

UC Summit 2015 - November 15-18

Just a quick shout-out for my next conference - the UC Summit, held as usual in La Jolla, CA.

As a UC Expert, I'm part of the UCStrategies team that is presenting great content on all things UC&C, and we'll have a solid mix of customers, vendors, consultants/analysts and channels. This year, I'll be speaking on two sessions, and am working on those presentations now:

Sunday at 2pm - Contact Center Update

Monday at 5pm - The Changing Role of IT and Shift in Technology Decision-Making

For more detail, here's the summit agenda, along with full details about the conference. We also issued a news brief recently outlining how this year's summit will be structured.

Also, if you missed last week's podcast, we did a preview of the summit. I was away and couldn't participate, but there's plenty here to get you excited about what's coming.

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Writing Roundup

Time flies, and there's no shortage of things keeping me busy. For those who don't follow me regularly, I put these monthly digest posts together, so you can see in one place a good cross-section of what I've been writing about and doing in the UC&C space. Here's a quick recap of my October.

Telecom 2015 - State of the Canadian Market, UCStrategies, Oct. 29 - ping me to get a copy of my presentation I made there - it's referenced in the article.

Collaboration Buying Decisions - Three Keys to Success, Toolbox.com, Oct. 26

Collaboration Buying Decisions - Knowing the Vendor Landscape, Toolbox.com, Oct. 21

SCTC Conference Coda - our SIPTones Gig, Oct. 19 - no writing here, but wanted to share the fun side being in this space - video highlights of our set in Atlanta - I play both keyboard and guitar.

Three Buying Principals for UC Products, Oct. 16, TechTarget

Slack May be the Uber of the UC Space, Internet Telephony, Oct. 14

Communication Versus Collaboration - Defining Value for UC, Toolbox.com, Oct. 13

Four Ways UC Benefits Productivity, TechTarget, Oct. 7

Reality Check on the Promise of Collaboration, Toolbox.com, Oct. 6

How SMBs Really Feel About UC, Metaswitch blog, Oct. 6 - announcement of a short report I wrote for them about this topic that is now published and available for download.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Telecom 2015 Conference - Quick Take

During the last two days, the Telecom 2015 conference ran here in Toronto, and I spoke yesterday about UC trends to watch for in 2016. The event is in its third year, and while small, we had a pretty engaged group with a good mix of vendors, consultants and end users.

I summarized my takeaways in a post that is running now on the UCStrategies portal. Since my focus for the event was on UC, I figured this was the best place to run it, and I hope you give it a read. Otherwise, here are a few photos from the event.

Future of Work panel discussion, moderated by the FOX Group's Susan Dineen
Demo at the Panasonic booth, done for me and my running mate, Ronald Gruia. Pretty nice touch screen IP PBX handset here. They also had a nice demo of their cordless phone systems, so innovation isn't totally dead in the desk phone space, folks.
Event organizer, Michel Bruyere doing the prize drawings at the end of Day 1. Small world - the winner here was John Sneyd from Panasonic - he gave us the demo just cited above. Maybe we brought him good luck!

Monday, October 26, 2015

BroadSoft Announces Tempo - UCStrategies Podcast

Today marks the start of BroadSoft's Connections event, and with that comes lots of news. One item was the launch of Project Tempo, their new cloud-based UC "hub". Anyone following the event will have the news by now, but for another take, that's what our latest UCStrategies podcast covered.

We were briefed on Tempo last week, and during this podcast, we were joined by key BroadSoft marketing execs, so it was a pretty interactive session. To align with Connections, the podcast was posted earlier today to our portal, and I just want to be sure you know about it.

So, You Think You Can Collaborate? My Next Webinar

Got another Ziff Davis webinar coming up, and it's on a topic I've been writing about a fair bit lately. Collaboration these days is easier said than done, and it's just as much of a moving target as Unified Communications. Lots of great promise from the underlying technology, but many types of obstacles as well.

That's the gist of what I'll be covering, and the registration page was recently posted on their IT Management portal. The webinar will be on Wednesday, November 11 at 2 ET, and I hope you can join us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Next Event - Speaking at Telecom 2015 Next Week

There aren't many conferences in my space right here in Toronto, let alone Canada. Of course, technology keeps changing, and at some point we need stop calling these things telecom conferences, but for now that label is still sticking.

On that note, I've been asked to speak at Telecom 2015 next week, and it's always great to do this in town. It's a fairly new event, and having attended last year, I'm happy to be back, especially as a speaker.

The conference runs next Tuesday-Wednesday, and the website provides all the detail for the agenda and registration. I just put my presentation together, and will be speaking on Day 2 at 2:20 pm. My topic is 5 Trends Shaping UC for 2016, and if you're attending, I hope to see you there!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Slack May be the Uber of the UC Space

I sure think so, and that's the focus of my current Rethinking Communications column with TMCnet. These columns usually run in their long-running flagship publication, Internet Telephony. These days, a magzine title like that seems dated, but that's another conversation. The pub continues to pull strong readership, both in print and online. The digital edition is posted now, and you can read my latest column here.

Speaking of TMCnet, their next ITExpo is in late January - perfect time of year for Fort Lauderdale. I'll be there, moderating some sessions as usual. Planning will be underway soon, and I'll provide updates here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

SCTC Conference Coda - Our SIPTones Gig

I'm keeping my day job as an analyst, but the more I get to play with the SIPTones, the better we sound. Music is hard work, but great fun, and whether playing piano or guitar, it's always enjoyable.

Am finally catching up from back-to-back road trips, and two weeks ago, I attended my first SCTC conference in Atlanta. On the last night, the SIPTones played a set, and our devoted bandleader, Rick Hatahway always tapes the performances. He puts together a highlight reel, and this time around, he got it done quickly, and it's posted now on YouTube.

If you're not inner circle with the band - don't worry, I don't think that's a thing just yet - you may never find it, so I'm doing the hard work for you. Without further ado, here's 14 minutes of what do when we're not talking about UC, collaboration, SIP trunking, cloud, etc.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Three Buying Principles for UC - New Feature

This is the third installment in my UC feature series with TechTarget, and it was just published the other day. Am catching up from being away, and if you didn't see it yet on their site, I'm sharing it here. The series is getting strong readership, and the post includes links to the first two features in case you missed those as well.

SCTC Conference Recap

Been on the road the past two weeks, so blogging has gone quiet, but now there's lots to catch up on. For now, I'll just quickly comment on the SCTC 2015 Conference, which I attended the week before in Atlanta.

This was my first SCTC event, and having just been folded in via the CTCA amalgamation, many in this crowd were new to me. Most of my time during the sessions was during vendor day where we heard their perspectives on what's happening in the marketplace and how they address today's IT challenges. There was a good mix of UC&C and contact center applications, so most of the messaging was pretty familiar. Didn't hear all that much about evolving business models, but maybe that came out during other sessions.

It's a pretty small group - maybe about 60 attending, and it really should have been more. Nothing new here - specialized industry groups like this are widely dispersed and it's hard to get everyone out to conferences. Regardless, lots of great expertise on hand, and it was a great way to network and learn about how consultants are going to market.

Not much else to say, I'm afraid, as I wasn't there for the whole conference, especially since I was part of the SIPTones, and we needed a full day to rehearse for the closing dinner event on Thursday night. Definitely hard work, but always worth it, and when people are dancing, you know it's going right. In time, the video highlights will get posted, and I'll share that with you here.

Group photo session - they sure picked a challenging space to squeeze everyone in, but the photographer managed to make it work!
 Sound check before the music - the Excellerators first, then us, and one more set from them
 Three of us in Johnny Cash black - myself, Steve Leaden and Rick Hathaway

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Four Ways UC Benefits Productivity - New Feature

I don't normally blog about an ongoing series of posts, but this one is getting a lot of readership, and wanted to be sure my readers knew about it. My most recent series with TechTarget has been about UC, and Part 2 of 3 ran yesterday. Part 1 continues to get strong readership, and Part 2 is off to a good start as well.

Here's the link for the second post in this series, and following my three posts, TechTarget will conclude with a fourth post focused on vendors. If you like this post, then you'll probably like the first one, and there's a link for that in the writeup. Stay tuned, and the third post will be out soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How SMBs Really Feel About UC - My New Paper

I've done work off and on for Metaswitch Networks for many years, and most recently, they engaged me to prepare a writeup to summarize findings from extensive market research recently done with SMBs about VoIP and UC. Having been a market research practitioner over 30 years, I have a good sense of how to interpret tons of data and distill it down to an essence that decision-makers can follow.

This writeup is quite short by design, but provides a good sense of the opportunity, especially for service providers looking to offer VoIP and/or UC to their SMB customers. Lots to consider, and if this speaks to your current situation, I encourage you to give it a read.

Today, Metaswitch formally announced the paper on their blog page, and you can also access a download link from their Resources page, which also provides other reports, papers, etc. worth checking out. Would love to hear your thoughts, and by all means, please share as you see fit.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Next Stop - SCTC Conference, Atlanta

Got some business travel coming up, starting with this week's SCTC conference in Atlanta.

This is not the crowd I normally run with, but I come to it via the CTCA. I became a member there last year, and they have recently folded their lot in with the SCTC. I'm the only analyst in this group, and while that makes things a bit lonely, I have regular involvement now with the consultant community. It's a fair trade as they get to hear my industry-based perspectives, and their feet-on-the-ground dealings with customers complements my ongoing research.

I'll be flying to Atlanta tomorrow, and am staying through til end of the conference. For me, the end is actually the best part, as I'll be playing again with the SIPtones at the finale dinner on Thursday night.

If you want to connect in Atlanta, my member profile is on the SCTC site, or you can just ping me directly. I'll be tweeting as time allows, and you're welcome to do the same - #SCTCATL.

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, Toolbox.com, Sept. 29

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewing the VoIP Phone System Landscape - Tier 2 Vendors, Toolbox.com, 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!

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!

Friday, August 14, 2015

ADTRAN Connect - First Take

Am back from ADTRAN's 2015 Connect event in Huntsville, Alabama. This was their first press/analyst event since late 2011, so a lot has happened. The company continues to do well, and their big focus now is enabling broadband connectivity. One way is through their Enabling Communities, Connected Lives program to advocate Gigabit broadband buildouts. They're having good success, and this week announced a new milestone, where ADTRAN has now enabled 200 communities with Gigabit connectivity.

Another broadband focus is ProCloud, which is also seeing a lot of momentum. This is their managed WiFi offering, built on their Bluesocket acquisition, and they brought in some customers to talk about how it's being deployed. You'd be surprised at the wide variety of use cases, and this is definitely a case where if you give businesses these capabilities, the applications will quickly materialize.

Closer to my everyday focus, though, ADTRAN has moved away from the UC market, and while they continue to serve the telephony space with their NetVanta product family,it's not a core focus at present.

That said, I think their focus on Gigabit broadband is sound, especially for how it helps make their customers - service providers - more competitive for today's always-on end users. Related to this, we heard a lot about another strong focus - NFV/SDN. Again, they're on the right track, but pretty much all the carrier-centric vendors are doing this, so it's hard to say if this will truly differentiate them.

For now, I just have time for these short comments and a few photos from the event. Gotta get back to everything else, but I'll have more to say soon.
Chris Thompson
Jay Wilson
CEO Tom Stanton during the press/analyst roundtable
Dinner at The Ledges - with just a tiny bit of prodding, I got Kevin Morgan up to sing, and he pretty much stayed there all night!
A few shots from the plant tour - something you don't get to see much of these days unless you go overseas

This is their wall of patents, showcasing all the innovation coming from ADTRAN
Space Museum - this place never gets old - highly recommended. Didn't catch the name of the band performing underneath this gigantic Saturn V rocket, but very impressive.

Monday, August 10, 2015

UCStrategies Podcast - Is There Really a UC Market with SMBs?

That's the topic for last week's UCStrategies podcast, for which I was the moderator.

The question came to mind during my analysis of a recent market study sponsored by Metaswitch Networks and Edgewater Networks. Their research focused on the broader VoIP opportunity, but there was some coverage of UC as well, which I distilled into a post for UCStrategies. That sparked a lot of interest, so we expanded our efforts and did a podcast about it.

There are many angles to explore here, and I think we covered 'em all. I'll let you be the judge of that, so here's the link, and I hope you give it a listen.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Next Stop - ADTRAN Connect

Travel has been very light this summer and am very happy about that as I moved end of May, and still have a lot of unpacking ahead of me. However, I'm also very happy to be going to ADTRAN's Connect event on Monday. It hasn't quite been an annual event, and as I search my blog - yikes - we were last there in late 2011, so there's a lot of catching up to do!

As a matter of course, I get regular briefings, but nothing beats being with their team in their house for a couple of days. Will tweet and post from Huntsville as time allows, but if I come across any killer BBQ recipes, I'll keep those to myself,  :-)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My New E-Guide: 3 Hot Buttons for Hosted UC

I've been doing some work recently with ShoreTel, a UC player I've been closely following for years. They've carved out a solid niche mainly with SMBs and the mid-market, but like everyone else, have lots of competitors, both for hosted and premise-based offerings.

In June, I did a well-attended webinar with them on the topic of "3 hot buttons for UC". The focus was on three trends currently driving this space, namely security, application integration and scalability.

This was based on some broader research of mine which I have distilled into an e-guide. It's great format to get a quick but effective update on current topics - not a full-length report, but more narrative than the slides from my webinar. If this hasn't crossed your radar yet, the guide has been published, and can be downloaded from the Resource Center of ShoreTel's website. Here's the link, and if you have any problems getting it, please let me know. Otherwise, I would love to hear your thoughts, and so too, would ShoreTel.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Three VoIP Use Cases - My TechTarget Series Continues

Last week, I posted about the start of a three-part series on VoIP for TechTarget's SearchUnifiedCommunications portal.

That post has picked up a lot of traction, and the second post is running now. It's titled "Three Use Cases That Highlight the Benefits of VoIP". I hope you enjoy it, and any comments or sharing will be greatly appreciated.

A third post is coming soon, and together, these posts will be added to some other posts for a buyer's guide, so stay tuned for the finished product. As soon as that's all done, we're moving on to do the same for UC, so watch for updates on that shortly.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July Writing Roundup

Whew, July was a busy month, and a number of things I'd been working on for a while all came together around the same time for being published or posted. More of the same coming for August - custom projects can take a long time, especially with Tier 1 clients, but I'll share things as they become public.

Here's what I'd like to share from last month that you might still want to read or share with others. My profile has been growing a lot lately, so a lot of people aren't familiar yet with what I do or the various places my writing is published.

Key Benefits of Hosted VoIP for SMBs - Toolbox.com, July 1

The State of UC - Experts Weigh In - GetVoIP.com, via my blog, July 7

Hosted VoIP Landscape - CLECs - Pros and Cons - Toolbox.com, July 7

Is UCaaS a Blip or a Trend? - UCStrategies podcast - very popular - check it out if you missed it, July 10

Cisco Canada - Pan Am Games Update - my blog, July 10

Key Buying Considerations for Hosted VoIP - IP Phones - Toolbox.com, July 17

Hosted VoIP - Are You Buying Telephony or a Communications Solution? - Toolbox.com, July 20

Should SMBs Buy From Incumbents? - Internet Telephony magazine, July 23

New Research - What SMBs Think About UC - UCStrategies, July 24

New Accolade for my Blog - 2015 Top Tech Blog Awards - my blog, July 29

Analyzing VoIP basics reveals telephony's evolution - TechTarget SearchUnifiedCommunications, July 29


Friday, July 31, 2015

UCS Podcast: What Is/Should be Kaput or End-of-Life?

We had some fun on this week's UCStrategies podcast, talking about things we think should be goners or are walking dead, but just don't know it yet.

Of course, everyone has their pet peeves, and the one that resonated for me was Kevin Kieller's comment about privacy. Yeah, that's a big one, and we're giving it up, one tweet at a time - as long as we can have fun in the moment, really, what else is more important in life? Party on....

I'm even bleaker, but you'll have to get to the 28:19 mark for my thoughts. Lots of good ideas otherwise - some very technical and some just everyday practical. Unless I missed something, I don't think anyone said that UC itself is kaput, and there are certainly times when I think that's the case.

Let's stay upbeat and get you over to our portal. The podcast was moderated by the always-you're-wrong-unless-I-tell-you-otherwise Dave Michels, and it's now posted there for downloading.

Sneak peek - I'll be moderating next weeks's podcast - that will be a first for me as a UC Expert. I recently posted about some new research that had some noteworthy findings about how SMBs view UC. It's not a topic we hear enough about, so we'll all get to explore things further then. Watch for it here and on the UCStrategies site towards the end of next week.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Analyzing VoIP Basics - New Post, New Series

I've been contributing to TechTarget in various forms for many years, and am currrently working with them on a VoIP series, which will be followed by a UC series.

Ultimately, these series are being produced to help IT make better buying decisions around communications technologies, and my posts provide independent analysis that will be complemented by other forms of content from other contributors.

My first post for the VoIP series was published yesterday on their SearchUnifiedCommunications portal. It's titled "Analyzing VoIP basics reveals telephony's evolution", and it's getting good traction already. I hope you give it a read, and even better if care to share it - and, as always, comments are welcome.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New Accolade for my Blog - 2015 Top Tech Blog Awards

From time to time, we all get recognition, and in the morass of anonymity known as the Internet, it's always good to have validation that someone is actually paying attention. Most of us don't blog to make money - I write, therefore I blog. Well, not as much as I used to, and now it's just one of many platforms I use to share my views on the markets I follow.

Vendors and operators aren't the first things that come to mind as award-givers, but like everyone else, they have to rely on independent sources for what's happening out there. Broadview Networks falls into that category, and they've been doing this for a few years now. Being in the hosted communications space, I'm glad to be on their radar.

This week, they announced their 2015 "Top Tech Blog" awards, and am happy to say I'm on the list. I don't know all the blogs in this group, but I'll definitely need to check them out to broaden my own horizons - and would encourage you to do the same. I made their 2013 list as well, so it's good to be back.

Monday, July 27, 2015

How is Microsoft Doing in UC These Days?

In the UC space - UC&C as well for that matter - the world largely revolves around two vendors - Microsoft and Cisco. They're hardly the only games in town, but nobody can match their footprint and market power. Despite Microsoft's size, the jury is constantly out for being leaders or laggards, and I don't think we'll ever have a clear answer.

Whether you think Skype for Business is the right name, they're sticking with it, and the latest development is their plan to add PSTN connectivity to Office 365. You might say it's too little too late for that, but you might also say that it doesn't matter as much now with so many other options for voice.

These are the state-of-flux scenarios that keep us busy at UCStrategies, and that was the focus of our latest podcast. Lots of commentary from all over the spectrum, and this is a great way to get up to speed on where Microsoft is sitting in the eyes of analysts and consultants. The podcast was hosted by Marty Parker, and my comments turn up at the 34:31 mark - here's the link.

Also, a warm welcome to Simon Dudley as part of our UC Expert ranks. We worked well together when he was at Lifesize, and we look forward to his UCStrategies contributions, which actually begin with this podcast.

Friday, July 24, 2015

What SMBs Think About UC - New Research

Hopefully you know that as a UC Expert with UCStrategies, I contribute a monthly post to their best-in-the-biz portal. I'm working on a project with Metaswitch Networks, where I'm producing a report that pulls together the findings from their current 2015 SMB Market Report - and you'll be hearing about that soon. This study is quite extensive, and my job is to distill a ton of slides and a mountain of backup data into concise guidance for decision makers about VoIP and UC. I've been a market research practitioner for 30+ years, so I'm definitely up to the task.

For UCStrategies (with blessings from Metaswitch), I've zeroed in on the handful of questions asked specifically about UC, and the findings are definitely worth sharing. Even these few data points tell a good story, so if you want to quickly digest how SMBs are seeing UC, you'll want to give my analysis a read. It was just posted to the portal, so here you go. Would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you're an SMB.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Should SMBs Buy From Incumbents?

Time flies when you're busy and I didn't realize how long it's been since my last blog post. Life happens, summer's here and my kids are away. Am also working on a re-fresh of my website, and you'll be hearing more about that over the next few months. Back to work now.

My current Rethinking Communications column is now running in Internet Telephony magazine and as the title suggests, there's a David vs. Goliath reality when it comes to making decisions about VoIP and UC. SMBs have not been the highest priority for incumbents, and with so much competition now chasing this market, they have to up their game to keep what was once a captive customer base.

By nature, incumbents cannot easily change their stripes, but by necessity, they're learning to be more SMB-friendly, and that's what my post explores. I hope you give it a read, and would love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wednesday Webinar - What to do with your Aging Phone System

Just one more alert about this Wednesday's webinar I'm doing with Ziff Davis B2B. What started out as a topic specifically about aging Nortel phone systems, has now been broadened to address what all SMBs struggle with as time marches on.The value proposition of telephony sure has changed, and if you take a glass-half-full approach, it can be an exciting time for moving on to today's IP-based technology.

The webinar is at 2pm ET, and all the details for registration are here. Hope you can join us.

Friday, July 10, 2015

UCStrategies Podcast - Is UCaaS a Blip or a Trend?

That's the question we tackled on this week's UCStrategies podcast. Lots of opinions on this one, and I'm not going to give it away here. Let's just say UCaaS is for real, but we're not there yet.

Dave Michels moderated this one, and my comments start at the 25:41 mark. Everyone has something to say on the topic, and if you can't listen to the whole thing, feel free to cherry pick for the UC Experts you want to hear from. It's posted now on our portal, and we'd love to hear your thoughts as well.

Cisco Canada - Pan Am Games Update

Today is the official opening of the 2015 Pan Am Games here in Toronto, and it's totally taken over the city. Cisco is a major partner, driving most of the technology both behind and in front of the scenes. It's a great opportunity to showcase their collaboration, networking, wireless and data security capabilities, much like the games are a huge global showcase for the city.

Yesterday, I was part of the local media and analyst contingent invited to Cisco Canada's new HQ. The main focus was to update us on all the cool things they're doing around the games, but also to invite us back to their almost-ready new offices. Back in February, I was part of the hardhat tour that showed us their vision for intelligent buildings, and now we're seeeing the near-finished product.

Cisco excels at large-scale challenges, and this is as big as it gets in Canada. Much of what we saw and heard will be baked into the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and that was another reason why yesterday's event was populated mostly by visiting media from Latin America. It was a lively group, and thankfully, they had a translator to follow Cisco's messaging.

Plenty of buzz all over town, and everyone loves to follow the torch relay leading up to tonight's opening ceremonies. They had a couple of torches on display yesterday for photo opps, but the main event was about how Cisco is keeping all that data flowing faster than any of us can possibly run. I'm sure they'll hold up their end of the bargain, but we're not quite at the point where it can solve all the traffic congestion. That's another topic, and for now, let's stay in a good mood and enjoy the games!

And - don't forget to tweet - #TO2015 for the games, and #CiscoTO2015 for their feed. Overall, here's a cool social media tracker from Cisco Canada for all the tweets - have fun.

 Cisco Canada President, Bernadette Wightman
Cisco Canada CTO, Jeff Seifert giving us a real-time check-in of the Velodrome located in Milton, about an hour outside Toronto
 Cisco Innovation Center demo
 What the space looked like back in February

 Lucky me - I happened to see the torch bearer passing through my neighborhood earlier this week
Ok, so look closely - yes, that's a big spider outside the window. We're 29 stories up - how did it get there, and how is it surviving? Maybe a new Olympic event?



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

June Writing Roundup

Had several events in June, plus I'm still getting settled from moving, but I managed to stay busy on the writing front. Here's a digest of my top posts for June that showcase what I'm seeing the IP comms space. I also had a blast playing keyboards with the SIPtones at the Interactive Intelligence event in Indy. Once the video highlights have been compiled, I'll share that here and on social media.

Hosted VoIP Landscape - Incumbents: Pros and Cons, Toolbox.com, June 30

Cloud Realities to Consider for Hosted VoIP, Toolbox.com, June 23

Interactions 2015 - Big Bets, Smart Bets, Great Music and a Silver Lining for UC - UCStrategies, June 15

Three VoIP Realities - Caveat Emptor for SMBs, Toolbox.com, June 11

VoIP Security - It's Real, but so are the Solutions, Internet Telephony Magazine, June 8

CTCA 2015 Conference - What Partnering Means for UC, UCStrategies, June 5

Hosted VoIP for SMBs - Evaluating Your Needs, Toolbox.com, June 2

Canadian Telecom Summit Highlights, my blog, June 2

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

State of UC 2015 - The Experts Weigh In

GetVoIP.com is one of the better info portals designed to help SMBs make buying decisions around communications technologies, especially VoIP and UC. That's definitely my sweet spot, and I've been tapped several times by GetVoIP's founder Reuben Yonatan for his various state of the market reviews.

This time around, the focus was on UC, and I was one of several analysts asked to comment on where things are going in 2015. If you follow me on UCStrategies, you'll know I'm close to this space, as are several others for this update. Overall, it's a pretty informed take on UC, so if you want to know what the thought leaders think, I urge you to give it a read, and show Mr. Yonatan some link love.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Next Webinar - What to do with your old Phone System

Got another Ziff Davis B2B webinar coming up to tell you about. The topic is SMB phone systems and what to do with them as they get old. These days, you don't have wait until end-of-life to make a change, and in some cases, it might be time to move on from have a phone system altogether. There are several options to explore, and I hope you'll join me to see what those look like.

The webinar date is Tuesday, July 15 at 2pm EST, and all the details are here. Time to start putting my presentation together!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Nielsen IT Consulting New Office Reception

The Canadian IT consulting community is pretty small, and our paths cross - beneficially - from time to time. Nielsen IT Consulting is the one I tend to do the most with, and it's great to see their practice doing so well. They're doing well enough that it's time for new offices, and yesterday they held an open house for the IT community.

Emily Nielsen is one of the hardest-working people I know, and it's really paying off with the way their business is growing, and it's certainly a good-news story for the London tech scene - which I'm told is booming. Their new offices look great, and they made a statement blending old and new with the location and modern design. The space is housed in the railway roundhouse building - not quite a heritage designation, but pretty close. Very cool, and no doubt it makes a great impression on clients and prospects. There are some photos posted here on their website if you'd like to see more.

Was glad to be there, and I look forward to working with Emily and her growing team again soon. Congrats again - always glad to give a shout-out to support the Canadian tech sector.