Siemens Delivers SMB Unified Communications Solution

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October 30th, 2007

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Shayna KaneshiroRichard Wood, Global Vice President of Portfolio Marketing, and Shayna Kaneshiro, Global Product Marketing Manager, both from Siemens Communications, join the Lippis Report Podcast to discuss Siemens’ unified communication solution for Small-to-Medium sized Businesses or SMB called HiPath OpenOffice ME. The OpenOffice ME appliance integrates messaging, mobility, presence plus voice communications and conferencing into one box, simplifying the deployment of these rich services to a market with little IT support allowing SMBs to be more productive and responsive to their customers. I was impressed with OpenOffice ME’s integration with outlook and its visual voicemail and I’m sure you will too.

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Siemens Delivers SMB Unified Communications Solution (Presentation)

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October 30th, 2007

A PowerPoint Presentation which accompanies the podcast of the same name, which can be found here.

Lippis Report Issue 92: Cool Communication Applications

October 22nd, 2007

With the communications industry transitioning toward a software and service model we thought it appropriate to ponder and highlight a few cool applications. As most Lippis Report readers and listeners know, communication silos are in the process of being integrated into office productivity and mobile computing application software thanks to unified communications. The days of transiting from the phone, to email, to IM, to voice mail, mobile endpoint, etc., will soon be gone. These applications will be available as a single launch point on a desktop, laptop and mobile device near you. With unified communications being that single launch point and communication vendors such as Avaya, Siemens, Cisco, Nortel, Mitel, ShoreTel, et al exposing their features to a web services application development layer, business and IT leaders will be equipped with the tools to inject communications into business process speeding up workflow or creating new processes altogether. It’s an amazing time. During Microsoft’s October 16 Office Communication Server launch, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Chairman, used the term Communications Enabled-Business Processes. This is the first time that I can remember that the software industry used the same terms to describe the same opportunity as the communications industry. Bottom line, software and communications are in synch on the new opportunities ahead in this new era of communications. With these two huge industries motivated to work with each other, an explosion of new cool communications applications will be the result.

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CheckPhone SIPdefense

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October 22nd, 2007

By CheckPhone

A SIP security gateway can provide comprehensive, scalable, flexible security and connectivity for remote and mobile VoIP users. The emergence of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) as the standard of choice for real-time IP communications is fueling the convergence of previously separate applications including telephony, Email, Instant Messaging and Online collaboration. But by combining aspects of networking and telephony, VoIP presents a unique set of security challenges. Administrators are struggling to find ways to provide a service with the quality and reliability of traditional telephony, while mitigating the same risks and threats faced by online services like port 80 and email Unless these issues are properly addressed, critical business applications can be left open to attack or abuse resulting in service disruption, financial loss and legal liability. This paper describes a mitigation approach which includes VoIP over VPNs and associated techniques to close VoIP vulnerabilities.

Customer Demand Drives Need for Better Data Protection in the Contact Center
Safeguard Sensitive Information to Avoid Identity Theft and Maintain Customer Trust

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October 22nd, 2007

By Envision

Identity theft, the fastest-growing crime in the United States, poses significant risks to the health of an enterprise. When someone steals sensitive, personal customer information from a company, the organization can suffer severe financial losses as a result of lawsuits, non-compliance penalties and the erosion in customer trust and brand reputation.

The contact center is particularly vulnerable because confidential information is routinely captured, stored and managed during agent-customer interactions-and then shared across the enterprise. With quality monitoring and business intelligence solutions from software providers like Envision, contact centers can record screen and voice interactions and then mine the rich customer data they contain (the “voice of the customer”) to improve service, increase sales and optimize performance. This paper describes the market forces driving the demand for increased security in the contact center, key elements of an effective, continuous security strategy and the role technology can play in deploying this strategy.

Jacada® WorkSpace White Paper

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October 22nd, 2007

By Jacada

This paper explains how Jacada WorkSpace improves contact center productivity and reduces handle time by simplifying and automating time-consuming contact center processes using a single universal desktop solution. Read this paper to learn about: single universal desktop solutions, call handle time improvements and providing agents with the necessary tools to optimize each interaction, agent productivity improvements via simplification and automation of contact center processes.

Maximizing Unified Communications for Your Business
Guidelines for Success in Deployment and Solution Optimization

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October 22nd, 2007

By Avaya

Unified Communications is the convergence of real-time and non-real-time business communication applications accessible from devices and modalities. The real significance of Unified Communications is its ability to enhance the quality of the interactive experiences across the entire enterprise. As the speed and efficiency of communications between employees, clients, partners and suppliers is enhanced, the benefits to the business show up in multiple ways — improved customer experiences, increased productivity, more frequent collaboration, reduced costs, and ultimately, competitive advantage.

Unified Communications represents an extremely powerful set of converged network applications that can directly enhance a company’s market advantage. For business leaders that are interested in taking advantage of these new applications to gain a competitive edge, this executive brief first discusses the hallmarks and business benefits of Unified Communications, then ends with a set of recommended approaches to help companies ensure smooth and successful UC deployments that optimize application performance according to the unique needs of each business.

Microsoft Delivers OCS, But Where is ICA?

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October 17th, 2007

Zeus KerravalaZeus Kerravala, of The Yankee Group and I discuss the Oct 16 Microsoft unified communications event in San Francisco where Office Communication Server and client as well as a host of other editions to existing products were announced. We debate the impact upon the communications and IT industry due to the event and ponder the question of what happen to the Mircosoft-Nortel ICA relationship. For sure the event was an ecosystem announcement and one that put the industry on notice that there is a new way to do communications. In short we are at the early stages of a systemic and worldwide shift in communications that promises simplicity in the use of multiple modalities of communications through software and in particular presence and identify. We define the new battle lines. You have to listen to this.

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Microsoft’s Office Communications Server and Siemens

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October 16th, 2007

Mark StratonOn October 16, 2007 Bill Gates will make his last product announcement with Microsoft’s Office Communications Server (OCS). This event will change the communications industry accelerating its shift toward software economics and professional services. Siemens has been a long term Microsoft partner specifically around its OpenScape software. Siemens is the largest enterprise Microsoft customer in the world too granting it a unique position with the software giant. Siemens Communications has focused its investments on open communications software and professional services to address new market needs. It has strong unified communication relationships with IBM Lotus Sametime and Microsoft’s OCS. Mark Straton, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at Siemens Communications talks with me about OCS and the Siemens-Microsoft relationship. You’ll be just as surprised as I was to hear what Mark has to say.

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Network Virtualization: The New Building Blocks of Network Design

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October 15th, 2007

By Nick Lippis, Publisher of The Lippis Report

Business and IT leaders have been demanding an IT infrastructure which is more dynamic and responsive to the quick pace of business while being less costly. By dynamic they mean the ability to deliver new applications at the speed in which to be responsive to market dynamics while creating competitive differentiation. For many, IT expenditures as a percentage of revenue are to be managed down. To address these industry requirements IT suppliers have offered virtualization technology and services. Network virtualization represents a new IT paradigm, which challenges existing assumptions and IT deployment models. In this paper we explore network virtualization as a strategy to make corporations more agile and IT expenditure efficient. Network virtualization is presented as a new approach to network design and IT service delivery. Its main four building blocks are presented along with guiding deployment principals.

Evan JaffaRelated Podcast:
The First American Corporation and Network Virtualization

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Ben GoldmanRelated Podcast:
Cisco Redefines Modular Switching; Launches Virtual Switching

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Lippis Report Issue 91: Risk Management Techniques To Increase Network Availability

October 8th, 2007

The network infrastructure industry is both consolidating and expanding its number of suppliers. In late September, 3Com was taken private by Bain & Company and Huawei. Juniper is rumored to be readying its launch into the high end LAN switching market during the first quarter of 2008. Companies such as Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, Foundry Networks, ProCurve Networking by HP and Nortel possess full and broad product lines, which scale from the edge to the core. Over this next business cycle conventional wisdom suggests that consolidation may eliminate or combine a few of these firms as the market matures. The question is which companies will survive a consolidation phase? This question is on the minds of many business and IT leaders too as they view their network purchases as investing in platforms versus products. As both a hedge against consolidation and a risk mitigation strategy executives from large corporations are reviewing the single vs. dual network vendor strategy. For inspiration they look toward the service providers who have successfully deployed dual network vendors to deliver a service, thanks to standards. Risk management executives striving to increase uptime by mitigating the risk of network outages are recommending a dual vendor strategy. In this Lippis Report I explore the single versus dual network vendor strategy from a mitigation of network downtime risk perspective.

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Risk Management Techniques To Increase Network Availability

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October 8th, 2007

Risk Management techniques to increase network availability has become an important topic as Risk Management Executives have become engaged in network design. This thoughtful analysis is available in both white paper and podcast media. The white paper can be found here.

The white paper abstract follows. The white paper provides risk management techniques to increase network availability and reduce network outages. The paper explores the tools and techniques available to business and IT leaders who seek to increase network availability through management, device feature exploitation and network design. The mixed network vendor approach to diversity and redundancy is explored and brought into question. The paper takes the position that a common network based upon mixed network supplier platforms paradoxically reduces network availability by increasing complexity, which increases Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) and operational cost. The paper further identifies that a mixed network vendor environment restricts design options, increases security vulnerabilities and limits the ability to optimize application performance. A single network platform supplier is recommended for mission critical operations as this approach reduces complexity, increases design options, and simplifies trouble isolation, hastening resolution while optimizing operational resources.

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Microsoft Readies for OSC Oct 16th Launch: It’s A Water Shed Event

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October 8th, 2007

Zeus KerravalaZeus Kerravala, SVP of The Yankee Group Enterprise Research joins Nick Lippis to discuss Microsoft’s pending Oct 16th announcement of Office Communications Server (OCS). This will be an event that will change the communications industry accelerating its shift to an industry driven by software economics and professional services. Zeus and I pontificate on the impact OCS will have on the communications industry. Our apologies that the quality of the recording is below our standards, but the content is outstanding. Enjoy.

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Risk Mitigation: A Strategy for Reducing Risk Through A Single-Vendor Integrated Network

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October 8th, 2007

By Cisco Systems

With the increased reliance on the network for application support, enterprise customers are increasingly focused on the availability of the network. While there are considerations to building a diverse vendor environment, a highly available single-vendor architecture is readily achievable. A single-vendor environment also allows the customer to use the network more effectively, by reducing operational expenses as well as providing a foundation for innovation adoption.