Articles by Carl Weinschenk 

Think About UC Needs, Not Definitions

What unified communications is comprised of is confusing to end users – and even to those in the field. It's possible, however, to avoid the headache by focusing like a laser on what the platform should accomplish, not definitions of what telecom/IT category it fits into. Whether to go with a "best of breed" or single vendor approach is a related and important question. 

Market Update: USDA Funds 45 Rural Telemedicine Projects

Also in the news this week: Plantronics, BroadSoft, Fonality, Partnerpedia, CommuniGate, Logicalis, Direct Visual Limited, The United States Department of Agriculture, Cisco, Plantronics, Alfresco, Microsoft, Siemens Enterprise Communications, HP and Ingram Micro.

Podcast: Apptix Introduces UC in the Cloud

Apptix's cloud-based offering builds on a Microsoft Exchange/SharePoint/OCS base and offers all the elements generally associated with unified communications, including voice. Vice President of Product and Software Development James Bond suggests that the efficiencies of hosted unified communications are allowing it to supersede the on-premise approach.

Podcast: Virtualization, Mobility and Best of Breed

In an informal survey run at a November webinar, Mitel found that 34 percent of respondents think voice virtualization is an important technique. That was good news for the company. Stephen Beamish, Mitel's vice president of marketing and business development, tells Carl Weinschenk that the company has been working on the concept with VMware for two years.

Market Update: Broadvox, Cypress Complete Merger

Other companies in the news are Cisco, Providea, IDC, Mitel, ShoreTel, O2, 2e2, In-Stat, Sennheiser, Polycom, Windstream, eZuce and SIP Print.

UC Wants to Make Its Presence Felt

Presence, which always has been a big part of unified communications, may grow in importance. By expanding the role of presence, vendors and service providers can introduce value-added services – and perhaps define unified communications in a way that finally is understandable to end users.

SMBs Living Large with Unified Communications

The benefits to SMBs of UC -- and its telepresence element -- don't differ conceptually from enterprises. There is an additional advantage for small companies, however: While enterprises already have big profiles, UC can help the SMBs seem, and act, bigger than they are.

Market Update: Aspect Unveils Universal IP 7

Other newsmakers this week include: WorkSpace Communications, Microsoft, Telus, Genband, Clarus Systems, Cisco, HP, Tango Networks, CyberTech, Alteva, In-Stat, VoxOx, TelCentris, OnRelay,  Swisscom, Ancero and Integrated Network Consulting

The Link Between Social Media and UC

Social media is exploding in importance as a way to improve the relationship between a company and its customers, employees, vendors and partners. Integrating these tools  – which can run on UC platforms – is not easy. 

Market Update: Sprint, Smoothstone Offer Cloud Services

Newsmakers this week include Vertical Communications, ePlus Technology, HP, Microsoft, Unified Communications SAP, Andrea Electronics, Avaya, Konftel, Intellicomm, Apptix, Microsoft, D2 Technologies, Freescale, Android, BMO Capital Markets, Polycom, Clearfly and Estech Systems.

Around the World with Verizon Business UC

Verizon Business is making its move and doing so across international lines. The company, which earned the top spot in ABI Research's assessment of hosted VoIP and UC vendors, last month began offering service to its eleventh European country.

Podcast: Avaya Sees a Transitional Year Ahead

The year ahead will see significant changes to the world of unified communications, according to Avaya's Ajay Kapoor. Among the most noteworthy will be the integration of consumer equipment and services into corporate UC platforms.

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