The battle lines remain drawn: It's the network folks against the desktop folks and, to some extent, Cisco against all comers. The stage on which the UC drama is playing out is changing quickly, however, with advanced video platforms, mobile devices and a never-ending stream of new applications.
Articles by Carl Weinschenk
Companies in the news this week include Janalent, Microsoft,Verizon Business, Digium, BlackBerry, Zeacom, Broadcore, IntelePeer, GeniSys, GENBAND and Nortel.
Google has a plan. It's so freewheeling and ambitious, however, that few people know precisely what it is. A couple of things are for sure: It is deeply tied to unified communications, and the Chrome OS -- a Webified take on the traditional operating systems -- is at its core. The traditional UC sector needs to pay close attention, since the new operating system is due by the end of the year.
An exhaustive InformationWeek survey suggests that businesses just are not getting it when it comes to unified communications. But they do understand the benefits it provides. The challenge is to sell the concept as well as the individual services and their benefits.
Companies in the news this week: Apple, Esna Technologies, Cisco, Avaya, Mitel, Nortel, Iwatsu, AASTRA, Toshiba, eON, Shortel, Asterisk, LG, LifeSize, Nadel Phelan, Damaka, Frost & Sullivan, Saba, Cameo Solutions, VoIP Supply, HelloSoft, Sprint, HTC, Stanford, Carbon Disclosure Project and AT&T.
The saying that there is nothing new under the sun obviously was first spoken by somebody outside of the unified communications business. Increasingly, companies must figure out how to incorporate emerging communications applications into established UC structures. Roberta Mackintosh, the director for Unified Communications and Collaboration for Verizon Business, tells Site Editor Carl Weinschenk that careful planning is a must.
Companies in the news this week also include National Unified Procurement Company, Mitel, Librestream, Cisco, ADTRAN, Hello Direct, Jabra, RADVISION, Apple, LG, LifeSize, Polycom, Zoltes and Officescape.
The increasing acceptance of unified communications as a repository of corporate communications tools suggests that the next big battle -- the creation of standards enabling interoperability between products from different vendors -- has arrived.
Unified communications' fortunes are to a great extent dependent on the ability of systems from different vendors to communicate. An impressive array of important companies -- so far minus Cisco, IBM and Avaya -- have formed the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum. In this podcast, UCIF Vice President Mark Gorzynski describes the group's mission and timing and discusses the big players who haven't yet joined.
Companies making news this week include Inforonics, Cisco, RADVISION, United Data Technologies (UDT), Wainhouse, Esnatech, Microsoft, Handango, Avaya, Mitel, Nortel, Iwatsu, AASTRA, 3Com, Asterisk, eOn, Teltronics, Siemens Enterprise Communications, Axacore, TelcoBridges and BrightCom.
IT and telecommunications staffs have their hands full with today's issues. But at least two technologies -- high-speed short-range networking and bendable displays -- will impact unified communications in the relatively near future.