As more and more organizations transition to next generation communication networks, they are quickly finding out that today’s networks are becoming more and more complex. Today’s UC networks are built off of a multi-vendor architecture and enables multimodal communications that can be accessed from anywhere, corporate LAN, home network, mobile network or even public WiFi.
The shift from traditional telephony platforms to Unified Communications (UC) has put organizations in more of a consumption model, which is causing a shift in how UC is supported. The concept of a call server or PBX is really going away, as all the functions of a UC environment – voice, video and collaboration – are more and more distributed. This trend causes server monitoring and availability to be de-emphasized.
As the effects of Superstorm Sandy are still being felt all over the East Coast, I can’t help but reflect on the importance of Communications especially during times of disaster. Business Continuity requires visibility, availability, reliability and redundancy to ensure the entire organization is kept well informed during emergencies. Are remote locations healthy and available or are services potentially degrading to prevent remote employees from being productive? When the business must reprioritize functions between different geographic territories, are the communications networks successful in handling the increased workload for service quality and throughput?
Do we need yet another communications platform in the seemingly crowded Enterprise Communications space? Microsoft has not only answered this question to a resounding YES but they have rapidly become a leader in the Enterprise Unified Communications (UC) space according to the latest Gartner 2012 UC Magic Quadrant. Gartner cites Microsoft as a leader in the Unified Communications space, along with Cisco, Avaya and Siemens. Among the key strengths identified by Gartner’s study on Lync are adoption rates for enterprises ranging from small to large organizations, integration with Skype, and integration with enterprise business processes and applications.
We recently announced the release of ReliaTel 4.0 and officially launched at the Enterprise Connect show in Orlando. Amongst the key features packed into this major release, we introduced a new Dashboard interface that benefits both management and operations.
This week, Tone Software announced the release of the highly anticipated ReliaTel 4.0 release that includes product features designed to positively impact the Operational and Business returns for the Enterprise, MSP and Integrator markets. Over the next few weeks, I will highlight the key features as individual blog entries to provide a more in-depth analysis of the release. Furthermore, stay tuned to our blog as we officially launch the ReliaTel 4.0 release at The Enterprise Connect show in Orlando next week.
As we conclude Day 2 from ITEXPO in Miami, we focus our attention towards the vendors exhibiting throughout the conference and the interesting dynamics of vendor-to-vendor / vendor-to-audience relationships. As mentioned from my previous blog posting, it’s evident the focus on Cloud offering dominates all aspects of businesses showcasing this year. Day 2 began with my educational session on boosting the business of service providers through remote managed services hosted by Telecom Reseller (A quick thank you to Doug Green from Telecom Reseller for his hospitality and coordination efforts). The audience consisted primarily of service providers seeking to create a Managed Services offering but unable to determine an appropriate launch program. While educational by design, several attendees expressed their desire to launch a remote managed services program but lack the tools and expertise to effectively succeed.
The first day of ITEXPO East is expectedly dominated by conversations of Cloud. How to monetize Cloud, distinguish offerings, technologies, pitfalls and more. I sat in a few sessions today, however the one worth noting was a session hosted by Peter Bernstein from TMC titled “How To: Generate Monthly Revenue with Unique Service Offerings”. With a panel consisting of CA, AireSpring, Digitalk and CBeyond and an audience primarily consisting service providers/resellers, the discussion was primarily focused on the Cloud offerings for the SMB marketplace. The panel generally had a consensus on the following issues:
As we have just concluded the 1st week of 2012, I can’t help but reflect on the contrasting differences between the start of 2011 and 2012. It appears that 2012 is starting in a cautiously more optimistic note compared to 2011. The proliferation of Unified Communications, Videoconference, Telepresence, Cloud and Managed Services within the enterprise domain sets up 2012 for continuous growth through quantifiable ROIs and expansion towards the SMB space.
How important is UC monitoring and management to organizations? According to a Gartner study published in September 2011 called “Survey Analysis: Top Five Challenges When Migrating Your Unified Communications Infrastructure Into Your Data Center“, real-time performance is second only to ensuring compatibility and interoperability of the UC vendor technologies. The Gartner study spanning 8 countries, over a 100 organizations per country with a minimum of 1000 employees per organization outlines the key challenges when adopting UC technologies into the data center. Gartner’s findings quantify the end-user importance of real-time visibility into the UC environment.