A Cloud based UC Model Emerges

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April 27th, 2009

Paul McMillan, our podcast guestIn late March of 2009 Siemens Enterprise Communication announced a UC cloud service where it has placed its OpenScape Voice and UC applications on Amazon’s EC2 cloud infrastructure. This is significant and important as it’s the first time that a UC application is available in the cloud and offered in a SaaS model. This represents a new and fundamentally different channel to address the SMB market. The hope is that UC delivered as a SaaS offers a radically different delivery and price model and may very well be the model enterprises have been waiting for to consume UC on a massive scale. Paul McMillan Director of UC Technical Vision & Strategy at Siemens Communications is my guest as we talk about UC in the cloud and offered as a SaaS.

Lippis Report 124: Re-thinking Wide Area Network Design

April 21st, 2009

Nick LippisThere are multiple business and technology trends that are now interacting and forcing IT planners to rethink their wide area network (WAN) design. The macroeconomic downturn has proven once and for all that business and its processes are global. With economic globalization and the current turbulence people are required to collaborate more closely, more frequently and across greater distances, more so than at any other point in time. At the same time IT leaders have been consolidating IT service delivery into data centers as well as consolidating their number of data centers. Data center consolidation offers large economic efficiency but places greater distance between data, applications and end-users, putting great strain on application performance. Corporate green initiatives have driven up the number of home and mobile workers to the point that 15% of traffic flows to and from mobile workers and data centers. Adding more pressure, WANs have historically been designed in a piecemeal fashion with little to no regard for delivering consistent WAN Services among sites.

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How Should an Enterprise Move Toward Unified Communications?

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April 21st, 2009

By Avaya

There is no single strategy to ensure that enterprises will move forward with unified communications since each customer has a unique set of needs and existing infrastructure. Avaya understands this and moves customers toward unified communications to support complex and flexible work environments. The consultative process begins with a business assessment to understand the communication patterns within the organization, and to identify where business processes slow or bog down. To identify opportunities for unified communications, business processes should be evaluated to identify where latencies exist due to human interaction and communication.

This white paper offers proven strategies for UC implementation that are business process driven. Find out how by downloading this paper.

Optimizing Branch Office Network Infrastructure Total Cost of Ownership with Cisco Integrated Services Routers

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April 21st, 2009

According to various industry sources, branch office users comprise 30 to 90 percent of enterprise employees globally, with remote locations and users consuming 70 to 90 percent of business resources. To be successful, these employees require access to the same applications, systems, and tools as employees located at a corporate headquarters. At the same time, business continuity is accelerating resource centralization, with more and more critical assets moving into the enterprise headquarters and data center. To meet regulatory compliance and cost control requirements, many organizations are optimizing resources and reducing complexity in the branch office. Although centralizing branch resources and increasing access brings great benefits, it can also pose security, latency, and performance challenges. Branch office networks need to be secure, available, remotely manageable, and extensible — and they must deliver application performance and quality of experience that is as good as it is in the main offices.

This white paper offers strategies to optimize branch office networks when conflicting requirements are present. Find out how by downloading this paper

ROI Success Story: Siemens Drives Cost Efficiencies & Employee Productivity Up With OpenScape Unified Communications Solution

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April 21st, 2009

By Mainstay Partners

In 2007 Siemens Enterprise Communications deployed its OpenScape UC Server at its own offices to both reap its benefits and measure costs. Siemens commissioned an internal business case analysis, which concluded that the project could cut communications costs by up to 30%, saving millions each year. In less than six months Siemens deployed OpenScape UC Server at its North American operations, linking 21 offices and connecting more than 1,900 employees, including some 500 home-based teleworkers. To quantify the benefits post deployment, Siemens asked independent advisory firm Mainstay Partners to conduct a financial assessment of the project.

This white paper contains Mainstay’s findings of $35.5m in cost savings and productivity gain. Download it now.

WAN Advantage: New Thinking in Branch Office and WAN Edge Design plus Services

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April 21st, 2009

By Nick Lippis, Lippis Consulting

Along with a turbulent macroeconomic cycle comes business rationalization and in networking the wide area offers a unique opportunity to deliver value both in terms of operational efficiency and business initiative alignment. Advances in network-embedded, software-based WAN Services such as security, unified communications (UC) and WAN optimization are starting to deliver the same type of application experience and management tools to control application performance that was once only available over the LAN. But the wide area network has been pieced together usually site by site without a comprehensive plan. This lack of planning is most acute in branch-office-to-WAN and data center connections as geographically distributed branches are connected with inconsistent WAN Services and indigenous WAN transport. IT planners are being offered an opportunity to implement a common set of WAN Services embedded within routers such as UC, WAN optimization, security etc., between branch, headquarter and data center sites which promises to lower operational spend, align business initiatives and policy while delivering Local Area Networks (LANs) like application performance. This paper presents a strategy for common WAN Services embedded in routers connecting branch offices to data centers and larger corporate sites that speed up workflow and business process for all employees independent of geographic location.

Learn about UC architecture by downloading this white paper.

How Unified Communications Can Help You Achieve HARD Dollar Savings in a Difficult Economy

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April 21st, 2009

Mark StratonOf the original 500 S&P companies just 82 remain. The pace of change and corporate flexibility required to keep up continues to dramatically accelerate. Both McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group say one-third of companies in the top quarter of their industry failed to maintain their competitive position during the 2000 economic slowdown. Five years later, just 10% returned to their same competitive position. The Business Roundtable reports 45% of CEOs expect declining sales over the next six months. The bottom line is that companies which excel figure out how to save money but also prepare for the rebound. Mark Straton, Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Siemens Communications is my guest as we discuss three imperatives for communications management during a tough economy that will ensure your company maintains its competitive position during and after the economic slowdown.

Cisco’s WAN Advantage

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April 21st, 2009

Our Podcast Guest, Tere BracoAlong with a turbulent macro economic cycle comes business rationalization and in networking the wide area offers a unique opportunity to deliver value both in terms of operational efficiency and business initiative alignment. The branch WAN as been pieced together usually site by site without a comprehensive plan as branches are connected with inconsistent WAN Services. IT planners are being offered an opportunity to implement a common set of WAN Services embedded within routers such as UC, WAN optimization, security etc., which promise to lower operational spend, align business initiatives and policy while delivering Local Area Networks (LANs) like application performance over the WAN. Tere’ Bracco Senior Marketing Manager for Network Systems and Security at Cisco joins me to discuss Cisco’s new WAN Advantage initiative that delivers a common set of WAN Services between ASR and ISR routers.

Lippis Report 123: The Future of UC Is In Social & Collaboration Applications

April 7th, 2009

Nick LippisUnified Communications (UC) as an integrated launch point to multiple communications applications will swiftly fade as UC is integrated into corporate social networking and collaboration applications. This is the impression I walked away with after the Orlando VoiceCon industry event. The implication of this is systemic, sending change throughout the industry from suppliers, buyers, and even industry event organizers. What I mean is that UC as a standalone desktop application has limited value. IT and business leaders are pressing suppliers to improve user experience and in the process productivity.

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Mobility Without Complexity: Four Tips to Prepare Your LAN for 802.11n

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April 7th, 2009

By Cisco Systems

Businesses have long recognized the benefits of wireless networking: flexible network connectivity, improved productivity, and lowered cabling costs. As the demand for reliable and predicable wireless support for time-sensitive applications (such as video streaming and real-time collaboration) has risen, many organizations have made the decision to deploy 802.11n to meet their higher performance requirements.

To take full advantage of the performance enhancements and scalability offered by 802.11n, the four easy-to-follow suggestions in this paper can help to simplify deployment of an 802.11n wireless network on your wired LAN to maximize network efficiency.

Find out how to deploy 802.11n by downloading this white paper.

Accelerating Unified Communications with an Enterprise-Wide Architecture

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April 7th, 2009

By Zeus Kerravala, Yankee Group

The communications industry has touted Voice Over IP (VoIP) and unified communications (UC) as technologies that can transform the way workers collaborate and raise the bar on workers’ productivity. However, despite much industry hype, the majority of UC applications deployed revolves around basic conferencing services and unified messaging. More strategic UC applications, such as presence and mobile integration, remain near the bottom of the list of already-deployed UC applications. This raises the question: If UC has so much corporate value, why has technology adoption struggled?

The answer lies in the underlying architecture used to support UC. To meet the needs of today’s work force and support many of today’s business challenges, a new architecture for communications is required. This report defines UC and the business needs that drive UC, raise awareness of the challenges associated with UC deployment, and then defines what a new architecture should look like. Finally, it will provide the reader with insight into how to choose a solutions vendor and pursue the next steps in UC deployment.

Learn about UC architecture by downloading this white paper.

Zeus Kerravala, Yankee Group SVP discusses the benefits of Avaya Aura™ with Avaya Vice President, Jorge Blanco

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April 7th, 2009

Kerravala and Blanco record a video on Avaya’s new Aura™ product. The video provides a good overview and assessment at the end. Links to additional Aura™ information are provided.

Can Collaboration Deliver a $100 Billion Stimulus Package in 2009?

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April 7th, 2009

By Cisco Systems

In this ten-minute video (64MB download) with Alan Cohen, Cisco’s VP of Enterprise Solutions, he makes the strong argument that collaboration solutions can deliver $100B worth of stimulus through productivity gains and cost avoidance. Alan also builds upon this argument in a two-part blog found here:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2

Force10 Expands Its Data Center Networking Portfolio

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April 7th, 2009

Steve Garrison, our podcast guestForce10 Networks has introduced ExaScaleTM E-Series family of switch/routers to meet the stringent performance, management and cost requirements of today’s virtualized data center and cloud computing environments. As enterprises transition toward virtualized data centers and adopts cloud-based services, the network is increasingly required to be more dynamic and responsive to changing resource demands. Steve Garrison, VP Marketing for Force10 Networks is my guest as we discuss the new design options for data center networking in a virtualization era.