Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013 Look-Ahead - I See Video

Last week on UCStrategies, we had our look-ahead podcast for 2013, and not surprisingly, everyone had an opinion. I certainly recommend you give that a listen to get the big picture on where UC is going - or not - and collectively, we sure covered a lot of ground.

I wanted to expand further on a theme I think is going be big for all kinds of reasons in 2013 - video. This has been a big story for a while, and has been primed to become an  even bigger story for just as long. Of course, Cisco has been betting big on video for a few years now, and even though they've had as many hits as misses, I wouldn't bet against this trend right now. I think video is the key to success for each of the Big 3 vendors in North America - Cisco, Avaya and MSFT - and there's a lot of innovation and disruption coming  from the bottom up. Startups and pure plays like Vidyo, BlueJeans and Vidtel are building nice traction now, and I'm pretty sure there are companies nobody is following now that will become hot names in this space at some point next year. I don't know who they are yet, but I am certain that's going to happen.

Enough said - otherwise, you won't get around to reading my analysis. For that, I need to steer you back to the UCStrategies portal, where you can read my December contribution and 2013 look-ahead.

Friday, December 21, 2012

2013 - the UCStrategies Look Ahead Podcast

Well, you name it, and we covered it on this week's UCStrategies podcast. It's a long one, but if you want a collective perspective on what we think 2013 holds in store, you can download the podcast here. Topics covered include overall UC adoption trends, WebRTC, cloud UC, mobility, video and federation.

Jim Burton did the moderating, and he had his hands full making sure everyone got a chance to contribute -nicely done. There's also a transcript if the sound of our voices is getting too familiar. Enjoy, and we'd love to hear what you think 2013 is going to look like as well!

Friday, December 14, 2012

So, What DO Analysts Think of Industry Conferences?

Well, who better to ask than the analysts? That's exactly what we talked about on this week's UCStrategies podcast, which also included consultant perspectives. There's a core group of us who go to a  lot of the same events, so this is a good chance to get our collective take, especially in terms of what we actually get out of going to them, and how well they meet our needs.

In case you're wondering, we don't just go for the fancy dinners and open bar - that's really more for the host's customers than us - attending these events is a lot of work. Job 1 is trying to absorb a non-stop firehose of information, and parsing out the useful bits from the marketing-speak. Not to mention the opportunity cost of billable time from being out of the office and fulfilling project work. It just means having to try and juggle all these things at the same time, and after you go to enough of these, this becomes second nature. The biggest wildcard is the destination, as most shows are on one of the coasts, so some of us are always dealing with jet lag, especially those coming from overseas.

If this is your idea of fun, then scour the Careers section of the analyst firm websites. It doesn't quite hold the romance of joining the Navy, but as long as the coffee is fresh and the room is bedbug-free, I can think of worse ways to make a living.

Almost forgot - yeah, there's a podcast to get the full story - here's the link for the audio, along with the transcript. Blair Pleasant - who I probably see at events more than any other analyst - moderated, so hat tip to her!

Been heads-down writing all week, btw, so blogging has been on hold til now. Should be back to more regular posting next week.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

VoIP - Stepping Stone to UC - Webinar this Friday

One more shout-out for my upcoming webinar with VoIP News - it's this Friday at 1pm, EST. This is a follow up to our last webinar, which covered the rationale for SMBs to adopt VoIP. Once you've made that move, UC should be the next thing on your radar. If you're in that frame of mind, you'll want to join us, and all you need to do is register here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New White Paper - UC for SMBs

Wanted to share word about a short white paper I recently produced for  a client - Vertical Communications. They have a long history in this space and a pretty refined value proposition for small businesses. To support that, they engaged me for this paper, which can now be downloaded from their website.

The paper is titled "Beyond VoIP - Enabling Collaboration, Mobility and Business Process Enhancement with UC", and it just takes a minute to register here. If you're an SMB considering the merits of VoIP, I think you'll find this a good starting point on your journey.