Lippis Report Issue 108: Siemens Enterprise Communications Close to a Deal

June 30th, 2008

At the Siemens Enterprise Communications Analyst Conference in Vienna discussion of a deal that would consolidate the enterprise communications industry further was rampant. Thomas Zimmermann, COO and Gerhard Otterbach, CMO let the room full of analysts know that a deal was close at hand and would be announced any day in the business press. I had dinner with Thomas and a few other analysts high atop Vienna on a wine vineyard complete with a full moon rising over the city as the backdrop to an industry restructuring conversation.

Many believe that Siemens will either be acquired by Nortel or private equity firm Cerberus Capital. We discussed the potential scenarios of Siemens being acquired by a competitor, software provider and financial sponsor to see which would be best for customers, partners and Siemens. I'm concerned that a competitor match up would not create additional value beyond the combination of the two firms.

Ajay KapoorCorporate Communication Strategies During Down Markets

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IP-Enabled Contact Centers: Lowering Costs, Raising the Customer Experience

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June 30th, 2008

By Avaya

Lowering the cost of raising the customer experience is a major imperative for most, if not all, businesses today. As a result, enterprises of all sizes are investing in multi-site contact centers to improve the customer experience and reduce operating costs while addressing redundancy and business continuity.

This paper explores how Internet Protocol (IP) can be leveraged to lower the cost of enhancing customer service via the contact center, whether H.323 or SIP. IP is a critical enabler for multi-site contact centers, providing the underlying technology that enables enterprises to cost-effectively extend their contact centers to locations anywhere around the world "” from regional satellite and branch offices to offshore outsourcers, hosted solutions and at-home agents "” and deliver consistent, high-quality service.

For companies such as ebookers.com and Delta Airlines, contact center migration from a traditional TDM-based environment to IP has had tangible benefits "” typically resulting in enhancements to contact center management, financial management and IT management. In addition to providing a look at how ebookers.com and Delta have successfully leveraged IP in their contact centers, this paper offers a checklist that can help other enterprises determine if IP is a viable solution for their contact centers. Finally, the paper offers insight into the some of the advantages that Avaya brings to the table when an enterprise is considering migrating to or expanding its use of IP in the multi-site contact center environment.

Extend Video Surveillance to Branch Offices Using Your IP Network

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June 30th, 2008

By Cisco Systems

In many enterprises, physical security departments are making a notable transition, from traditional analog and proprietary systems for video surveillance to open, digital solutions based on IP networking technologies. This transition arises from the limitations of traditional systems and the opportunities offered by IP networks for reducing costs, improving surveillance capabilities, and gaining new value from physical security operations. In this white paper, both network and physical security managers can discover:

  • Limitations of traditional video surveillance solutions, due to isolated, disparate systems that are not integrated with other network resources
  • How network-based capabilities improve the efficiency and flexibility of physical security operations across an enterprise, as well as how video can be linked with other branch applications
  • The Cisco® Integrated Video Surveillance Solution for the Cisco 3800 and 2800 Series Integrated Services Routers, which deliver multiple network services in branch offices and other remote sites; and the Cisco Empowered Branch framework, which unifies services at the branch office to reduce operational complexity

New Jersey Township Enjoys New Converged Network, Boosting Consistency, Response Times and Productivity by More Than 50%

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June 30th, 2008

By Extreme Networks and New Jersey Township

Middletown, New Jersey is a 42-square mile community located in Monmouth County, home to more than 67,000 people. The Township had many of its municipal buildings networked together, including its main administration building (which houses the police and court) as well as the Department of Public Works, three parks department buildings, and the Johnson Gill annex (which houses the tax and MIS departments). The network was facing constant and massive congestion problems with users often pulling down streaming videos. "œIt bogged things down, causing troublesome bottlenecks. We needed a more complete, leading-edge network foundation that would allow us to build an intelligent, segmented network", according to Todd Costello, IT Manager with the Township of Middletown.

Extreme Networks® Makes the Grade for Marysville Schools

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June 30th, 2008

By Extreme Networks and Marysville Schools

The Marysville Exempted Village School District is a growing school district located approximately 20 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio. The district has over 5,000 students within its six elementary schools, one intermediate school, one middle school, and one high school. In mid-2007, it had an outdated and under-performing network that wasn't able to support some of the applications the schools planned to deploy, including Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and video streaming for on-demand educational presentations within the classrooms. There was also the need for fast Internet access. Not all Marysville Schools were on the same network, so the plan was to standardize on one infrastructure that could support Internet access, streaming video and a stable backbone for VoIP, as well as other educational and administrative applications that the faculty and staff needed.

Marysville Schools wanted a comprehensive wired and wireless solution, preferably from one vendor, and issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to leading equipment providers. Placing priority on feature functionality, ease of use and management, and cost-effectiveness, Marysville Schools chose Extreme Networks and the Summit WM200 solution.

Leveraging Contact Centers To Increase Corporate Value During Down Markets

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June 30th, 2008

It's a fact that the global economy has slowed, prompting contact center managers and IT leaders to explore strategies for maintaining efficiency and meeting revenue targets with fewer resources and constrained budgets. But within a contact center environment, there are many opportunities, sometimes hidden, to actually maximize efficiency and still control and possibly reduce costs. With an expert, holistic examination of operations and identification of areas of improvement, management can be proactive in identifying and implementing strategies that not only help their businesses navigate through a potential economic downturn, but accomplish business results that remain beneficial after the economy recovers. Eddie Jenkins, Vice President, Customer Service Practice for the Professional Services business at Avaya, joins me to discuss leveraging contact centers for strategic corporate value, which means increasing revenues, corporate productivity and gaining market share during down markets.

Corporate Communication Strategies During Down Markets

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June 23rd, 2008

Ajay KapoorWith the slow down in the global economy we ask the question; how is this business cycle impacting IT and communications? During down markets cost reduction initiatives are obviously important, but so too is service creation as corporations respond and react to new market realities. One major difference in this down cycle from others is the fact that many firms are in the middle of a communications infrastructure upgrade cycle. Traditional TDM PBXs are reaching the end of their economic and reliability lifecycles. Most enterprises are either in the middle of or have migration plans to move to IP telephony platforms, implementation of Unified Communication applications, and the upgrading of Call Centers to Contact Centers. Given the state of this communications technology migration, IT organizations will find it even more difficult to manage the inevitable downturn in spending and tightening of resources to accomplish their missions. Ajay Kapoor, Director of Consulting and Systems Integration for Enterprise Communications for Avaya is my guest as we offer several actions that IT leaders can take immediately that help IT increase efficiency while reducing costs within 12 months. This is a great IT management podcast that business and IT leaders will find valuable and timely.

Special Edition Lippis Report on Network Security, Issue 2: Security Best Practices for PCI Compliance

June 16th, 2008

In this Lippis Report we offer industry best practices for Payment Card Industry Compliance (PCI) for the mid-market commercial corporation. We'll explain PCI benefits, the severe consequences of non-compliance enforced by the largest banks through fines plus increased transaction fees and how to avoid them. PCI is a big issue for all corporations that transact business with credit cards. According to industry sources, "œthe average corporation under budgets PCI by 40%." Who needs to worry about PCI? Any corporation that processes credit card information in any of these three ways: 1) processes credit card information; 2) transmits and/or; 3) stores credit card information. If your corporation does any one of the three or all three you need to be PCI compliant. Penalties for non-compliance are severe and are enforced by banks such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and others through fees plus increases in transaction cost. For the mid-market, a doubling of the transaction fee charged by banks for non-compliance will have a large negative impact on profit.

Terry Quinn-AndryMid-Market Commercial Firms: Are You PCI Compliant?

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PCI Solution for Retail Architecture

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June 16th, 2008

By Cisco and RSA

No single device can be PCI compliant. Cisco, RSA and the other partners secure sensitive data throughout the transaction flow and provide the audit trail for central management and policy control. Other PCI solutions cover only part of the overall steps needed for compliance. The PCI Solution for Retail includes a set of configured and audited architectures that incorporate technology from Cisco and RSA to help retailers meet the requirements of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. Since RSA and Cisco are top technology providers to retailers, both are focused on providing PCI Solutions to customers. Cisco is the network provider to more than 90% of the top 25 global retailers while RSA is the leading provider of technology solutions that enable companies to secure their most critical business assets.

PCI Currents: Staying Afloat

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June 16th, 2008

By Darrik Cupps, Securestate

The PCI Currents: Staying Afloat presentation provides information on the need for PCI, case studies, PCI defined, PCI best practices and strategies for compliance. It's a presentation that gets one up to speed on PCI, the threats it mitigates and how to get into compliance.

Payment Card Industry Compliance

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June 16th, 2008

By Securestate

Securestate is an information security assessment firm that specializes in the Payment Card Industry's Data Security Standards. As a Qualified Security Assessor, QSA Securestate has performed assessments and audits for PCI merchants and service providers of all levels. Securestate does not sell or implement products, therefore maintaining ethical independence and segregation of duties. In this overview, Securestate provides a process and check to ensure PCI compliance.

Data Retrieval Firm Boosts Productivity while Protecting Customer Data

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June 16th, 2008

By Cisco, HEIT Consulting and DriveSavers Data Recovery

With HEIT Consulting, DriveSavers deployed a Cisco Self-Defending Network to better protect network assets, employee end-points, and customer data. When Michael Hall says of his company, DriveSavers Data Recovery, "œWe regularly, literally save businesses," he is not exaggerating. DriveSavers is one of the premier data recovery companies in the world"”with a track record of rescuing data from hard drives that have been through warehouse fires, bus crashes, and even several days at the bottom of the Amazon River. Given the nature of DriveSavers' business, the company must worry not only about the security of its own applications, but also the rescued customer data that resides on its network, much of which is highly sensitive. Many customers now require any company handling their data to comply with SAS 70 security audits, detailed internal examinations of a company's security processes and systems. However, DriveSavers traditionally relied on security solutions from a variety of vendors, making auditing difficult. To meet customer requests, DriveSavers' engineers frequently had to take time away from their regular duties to retrieve and manually compile information from dozens of different sources in the network.

Accor North America

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June 16th, 2008

By RSA

When consumers think about hotel security, they often think about door locks and safes. In general, consumers don't think about how crucial it is for hotel operators to protect the credit card information they're given. As a critical security requirement for hotel operators, Accor North America selected RSA® Key Manager with Application Encryption which is designed to centralize the provisioning and lifecycle management of encryption keys and enable end-to-end encryption. According to Harvey Ewing, Senior Director of Information Technology Security, "œOne of my primary responsibilities is to make sure Accor North America complies with Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirements for protecting consumer information".

Mid-Market Commercial Firms: Are You PCI Compliant?

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June 16th, 2008

Terry Quinn-AndryAccording to industry sources, "œthe average corporation under budgets PCI (Payment Card Industry Compliance) by 40%". Any company, from mom and pop shops to Fortune 50 corporations that processes credit card information needs to be PCI compliant. Penalties for non-compliance are severe and are enforced by banks such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and others through fees plus increases in transaction cost. For the mid-market, a doubling of the transaction fee charge will have a much larger impact on its cost to productivity. Terry Quinn-Andry, Compliance Solutions Manager for Cisco Systems joins me to discuss PCI requirements for mid-market corporation. We'll explain PCI benefits, exposure of non-compliance and how to avoid penalties.