Monday, May 31, 2010

Skype Plans to Bring Video Chat to All Android Phones


By Alice Straight, TMCnet Web Editor

Skype (News - Alert) will be offering an application to all Android handsets later this year, which will include a video chat feature. Currently Skype on Android (News - Alert) is limited to Verizon Wireless' handsets.

"Skype envisions a world where video plays a larger role in the way we communicate. It’s on computers, televisions, and it will eventually be coming to mobile devices too. We’re betting big on video, and we intend to set the bar on mobile video calling, and it’s something we’re going to do this year. We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers," the company said in a statement.

Fring, a Skype competitor, recently announced a new Android application that offers free video calling. Fring wraps together a number of services, such as Skype, MSN, ICQ, GTalk and other IM platforms into a single application.

On Tuesday, Verizon (News - Alert) Global Wireless announced that its customers used 200 percent more VoIP time in 2009 than in the previous year.

"Since we launched our VoIP portfolio 10 years ago, we’ve seen steady growth reflecting customer desire for reliable, cost-effective IP voice services," said Mike Millegan, president of Verizon Global Wholesale, in a statement. “And, as this market grows, we continue to add new VoIP services while enhancing our existing portfolio.”

Verizon has added new applications such as short-duration calling systems for call centers and mass notification systems. The company also announced plans to add a more robust VoIP network interfaces in Europe later this year.

Also by the end of the year, Verizon expects to offer a VoIP-based feature that will enable its users to dispense with paper invoices and instead receive electronic invoices with call details included on them.

Verizon Wireless has forged a close relationship with Skype, the independent VoIP pacesetter, over the past few years.


The Dangers of Cloud Computing

By jheary on Fri, 05/28/10 - 3:03pm. networkworld.com

Cloud services can be a huge money saver for businesses and looks to be the future direction of IT for many. I'm a huge proponent for cloud services as long as folks enter into agreements with their eyes wide open. To this end here are five things you need to be aware of before you move your data to a cloud service.

There are three types of cloud services: Infrastructure as a Service, Platforma as a service, and Software as a service. Most of the concerns I'll talk about will apply to all three types.

Right to audit your cloud provider - Many default contracts will not provide you with the right to audit your cloud services appropriately or in some cases at all. You need to make sure that you retain the same auditing rights as you would expect to have in your own data center. At least that is the ask for, the reality is you'll probably end up with something a bit less than that type of auditing access but aim high. Be sure to ask how they control privacy in a multi-tenant environment where everyone has the same right to audit policy. You need to make sure that your services are properly segmented from others so they cannot audit you as well. Be aware that there are no private or public regulations for auditing cloud services today. We need a trusted third party who will do this auditing for us and allow us to compare the security of similar cloud provider services. Until this happens we each need to fight independently to get the auditing rights we desire in our contracts.

Data Privacy Concerns - In almost all cases if you have a IaaS or PaaS service then you should be encrypting your data at rest. Be sure the Key server is not also stored in the cloud service as this would defeat the purpose. Have the key server be at your corporate site or some other site not related to the cloud provider. Why should your data you ask? Well, in a nut shell when you move data the question of "Is it still just your data" becomes a very real one.

Cloud providers are subject to law enforcement subpoenas, surveillance and data seizure activities that you wouldn't normally be subjected to in your own Datacenter. Loss of 4th amendment rights for US companies are also at issue. By moving data to a cloud service you may be decreasing your protection from search of your data by law enforcement and civil plaintiffs? A warrant with a gag order mean that’s that your cloud provider must provide your data without notifying you they did so. Ability to protest a warrant is also compromised because the warrant is issued to the provider not your business. There is no legal obligation for the cloud provider to inform their customers that data was given because of a court order, etc.
In one case the FBI seized assets the physical assets/servers from a co-location provider. Over 50 innocent companies were shutdown in the process because their data was intermingled with the FBI target. Read more here FBI raids Data Center . When one of the affected companies tried to sue the texas court ruled that the FBI had the right to do this.

Digital Forensics - Cloud services do not lend themselves well to the methodical collection of digital forensics. If you do have a security breach, digital forensics become critical to finding out how extensive the breach was. Several state and local governments now have "breach notification" laws on the books. In addition the healthcare hi-tech law and PCI require you to notifiy customers of a breach. The notification methods sometimes vary based on the size of the breach. Be sure your contract provides you with the necessary forensics capabilities you'll need. Chain of custody is also an issue. Be sure your provider will not hamper your ability to prosecute criminals. Ask them about how they handle log and other important data.

Penetration Testing - Penetration testing is usually prohibited in the default contracts of cloud providers. However, this is a requirement of PCI and most security policies. This is a trick problem for cloud providers. On the one hand they want to provide their customers with this capability but on the other hand providing this to them could cause damage to their systems and other customers service if used incorrectly. Several large cloud providers, like Amazon and Google, are letting customers scan their own equipment and services. This is a good step forward, but it still lacks the ability to scan the cloud providers infrastructure. You should ask for this capability or an equivalent (like a periodic report from a trusted third party scanning service) in your contract.

Natural disasters and end of contract issues - Be sure to ask your cloud provider how they deal with the following:
•Natural Disaster clean up
•Removal of data at contract end. Can you verify it's destruction?

Cloud providers are getting better at securely disposing of your data at the termination of your contract but you still need to ask or look in your contract to be sure it meets your needs. Ideally, they should either physically destroy hard-drives or perform an approved Department of Defense erase procedure.

An often-overlooked issue is how cloud providers deal with the protection of your data during and after a natural disaster. For example, if a hurricane hits their datacenter and rips it apart what are their procedures for keeping your data secure. In many cases the physical access controls will be rendered inoperable by the storm and worst case servers could be strewn throughout the site. They need to show you a comprehensive plan for securing the site and your data during the clean up effort. You don't want volunteers picking up the pieces.

Those are five of the things you should be aware of and check on before you sign a contract with a cloud provider. For more good info on what to ask for in a contract or service see the excellent guide done by the cloud security alliance here http://www.cloudsecurityalliance.org/

What other things are you making sure to look for when considering a cloud provider's services?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cisco issues advisory for building management systems

Vulnerabilities could lead to unauthorized control of devices

By Cisco Subnet on Fri, 05/28/10 - 12:41pm.

Cisco has issued a security advisory for its Network Building Mediator (NBM) and legacy Richards-Zeta Mediator products. The products allow different building systems to communicate with each other for facilities management.

Cisco acquired Richards-Zeta last year.

Multiple vulnerabilities affect the legacy Richards-Zeta Mediator 2500 product and Cisco Network Building Mediator NBM-2400 and NBM-4800 models. All Mediator Framework software releases prior to 3.1.1 are also affected.

The vulnerabilities exist in the areas of default credentials, privilege escalation, unauthorized information interception and unauthorized information access. Details can be found here. Successful exploitation of any of these vulnerabilities could result in a malicious user taking complete control over an affected device, the Cisco advisory states.

Cisco says it has released free software updates that address these vulnerabilities. Workarounds are also available that mitigate some of the vulnerabilities.

Cisco says the vulnerabilities were discovered during internal testing. The company is not aware of any public announcements or malicious use of the vulnerabilities described in the advisory.

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Hospitality IP Phones 5 Years Later


26 May 2010 | Author: Paris Pitts

Last month, I was fortunate to be in Las Vegas to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the opening of Wynn Las Vegas. Congratulations to the property, which has become one of the premier properties worldwide.

In 2005, we were on the bleeding edge of technology in implementing one of the first IP deployments for hospitality. We implemented a hospitality-specific IP phone, and for the first time, hotel guests could take advantage of up-to-date information on their phones. The solution allowed for personalization and dynamic content delivered directly to the guest room.

Five years later, new hotel properties are looking almost exclusively at SIP in the guest room. Its no longer bleeding (or even cutting) from a technology perspective. It's the first choice for a new build. Hotels no longer need to cable for each extension, nor implement analog gateways and licensing to enable more than one phone in the room. All of this is adding up to CapEx and OpEx cost reductions in a tough economy.

Even more important than the economics of deploying a new system is the behavior of hotel guests. Iphones and Blackberry devices are now ubiquitous with frequent travelers, allowing almost immediate access to information. This has made implementing a relevant device in the guest room even more important.

Avaya has met this challenge with the Guest Media Hub. Our second generation hospitality device provides for a truly unique guest experience, with full motion video, high definition audio, and even more abilities to provide for a differentiated guest experience, as well as revenue generating and cost reduction capabilities.

Many things have changed in five years; the iPhone was not around; Facebook had just started, and Foursquare was called Dodgeball. The transformation of how people connect and gather information has changed dramatically, but we have also changed.

I look forward to your comments.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cisco looking at two acquisitions?

Mobile policy management companies in its sights, analyst reports

By Cisco Subnet on Wed, 05/26/10 - 4:27pm.

Cisco is sizing up two possible acquisitions in the mobile Internet space, according to an analyst's report. The company may be looking to buy mobile policy management companies Bridgewater Systems and/or Openet as augmentations to its recent Starent Networks 4G enhanced packet core purchase, according to Avian Securities analyst Catharine Trebnick.

Bridgewater has partnered with Cisco/Starent in the past, Trebnick reports. The company makes policy control and subscriber management systems that are currently deployed in Verizon's 3G network. Metro PCS is another customer, as are over 45 mobile WiMax operators, including Clarwire, Trebnick states.

Openet has a long standing relationship with Cisco, Trebnick reports. Openet's Policy Manager product enables operators to dynamically control network resources through policies based on real-time subscriber, session and service usage information. Orange France recently selected Openet and Cisco for a system that allows parents to manage children's wireless usage based on accessed content, time-of-day and type of service, according to Trebnick.

Why is policy-based management in 3G/4G mobile networks key? According to Trebnick:

It gives the operator's better control over network usage at the session level setting the stage for the billing of data services and traffic rerouting and metering based on policies set by the operator. The net, policy control enables more sophisticated service options and provides a path for Cisco to provide operators a vehicle to better manage existing network resources while providing new opportunities to monetize data traffic.

Citing data from Infonetics, she says that worldwide revenue for policy servers in mobile networks is expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2014, a 47% compounded annual growth rate from the $167 million market in 2009.

Cisco gaining back switching share lost in 2009


Big Q1 sees company increase share by 4%

By Cisco Subnet on Tue, 05/25/10 - 9:35pm.

The Layer 2/3 switching market is on track to approach $17 billion this year, having grown almost 11% sequentially in Q1 to over $4.8 billion. Cisco gained share across all segments in the market having taken share from every other vendor while adding 4% to its leadership position, according to Oppenheimer & Co.

Citing data from IDC, company reports and its own analysis, Oppenheimer says momentum in the quarter was driven by improved spending and upgrade demand for 1G and 10G Ethernet. In what is perhaps an indication of the demand for 10G, Extreme Networks says shipments of its fixed 10G Ethernet ports almost doubled in Q1 over Q4, '09. This outpaced its competitors, Extreme said, citing data from Dell'Oro Group.

An easing of supply chain constraints, which impacted Cisco the past few quarters, also drove the market, Oppenheimer notes. Reducing product lead times allowed Cisco to regain market share lost in 2009, Oppenheimer states - which was a focal point of the company this year.

Cisco's share of the Ethernet switch market now stands at 74.5%, up from 70.6% in Q4 '09, Oppenheimer states. The firm expects Cisco's business to "normalize" in Q2 but still expects the company to gain share in 2010 over 2009.

Rival Juniper, meanwhile, saw its business pause in Q1 after gaining share every quarter since entering the market in early 2008. It posted only $2 million in switching revenue sequentially -- $74 million vs. $72 million in Q4 - but Oppenheimer nonetheless expects Juniper to gain share in 2010.

HP and 3Com both saw share slip in Q1. HP, which dropped to 6% from 6.8% sequentially, was impacted by Cisco's gains and by softness in its blade switching business, according to Oppenheimer. 3Com was hit by softness in its China business which was offset somewhat by strength in Europe. Its share stood at 3.5% in Q1.

Despite a rebound in its Ethernet/IP business in its fiscal second quarter - up 34% sequentially to $128 million - Brocade is still challenged. Year-over-year the business was essentially flat while the rest of the market grew 40% from calendar Q1 09 to 2010. Brocade lost .5% share from Q4 and now stands at 1.6%, according to Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer believes Brocade's weakness is indicative of poor execution and increased competition.

The firm expects the switching market to grow 10% in 2010 and 7.5% in 2011, to $16.7 billion and $18 billion, respectively. This is up from its prior forecasts of 4% and 5.5%:

Our upward revision reflects the strong 1Q10 performance, catch-up spending and strong upgrade activity. If macro conditions remain healthy, we see potential upside to our estimates. We note that our 2011 estimate still remains below the $18.2B achieved in 2008.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cisco Rolls Out Switch, Router for Smart Grid Efforts



The new offerings, announced May 25, are the first products in Cisco's Connected Grid portfolio, the latest effort resulting from the networking giant's energy management strategy.

The Cisco CRG (Connected Grid Router) 2010 and CGS (Connected Grid Switch) 2520 will enable utilities to grab and analyze data from multiple intelligent electronic devices in a substation. The data can then be used to improve the monitoring and maintenance of power transmission and distribution systems, to find, diagnose and fix failures, and to more easily integrate renewable sources of power into the overall energy offerings, according to Cisco officials.

"Cisco's vision is to help utilities transform energy production, distribution and consumption using an end-to-end, IP-based communications infrastructure to more sustainably meet the world's future energy needs," Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Smart Grid business, said in a statement.

Cisco is one of a number of IT vendors looking for ways to embed IP capabilities and greater intelligence into infrastructures around the world to help them operate more efficiently. IBM is pushing a similar agenda through its Smarter Planet initiative.

Cisco's Connected Grid portfolio joins other power management offerings, including the company's EnergyWise and Network Building Mediator technologies.

The new products are based on Cisco's IOS Software operating system.

Along with the substation monitoring and managing capabilities, the two new products also include network security features—such as Cisco's intrusion protection, access control, label switching and VPN technologies—and support IP-based physical security solutions, such as video surveillance.

Officials with Cisco, IBM and other IT vendors say smart grid efforts can not only help utilities, business and consumers save money, but also help the economy and environment.

The Gridwise Alliance, of which Cisco is a member, says smart grid projects will generate about 280,000 jobs, according to Cisco. In addition, the vendor quoted a report from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a Department of Energy research lab, in which the lab estimates that global energy and CO2 emissions can be cut by 12 percent if smart grid technologies are put into use.



Polycom's Ron Emerson Receives American Telemedicine Association Industry Council Award

By Rajani Baburajan TMCnet Contributor

Ron Emerson (News - Alert), global director of healthcare at Polycom, received the Fifth Annual American Telemedicine Association Industry Council Award at the 15th Annual ATA Meeting & Exposition which took place in San Antonio.

The ATA Industry Council Award is given yearly to an individual or a company in credit of the prominent leadership in the advancement of telemedicine.

ATA selected Emerson for his leadership and championship at local, national and international level in encouraging and advocating for telemedicine/telehealth and e-health.

This award is sponsored by Vesalius Ventures, which is a venture capital vehicle purely dedicated to financing the development of new technologies to advance the world of telemedicine, according to ATA officials.

Ron Emerson is a long-time champion of telemedicine. He also served as the Chair of the American Telemedicine Association (News - Alert) Industry Advisory Council from 2007-2008. Emerson has about 20 years of experience in this industry.

Emerson is distinguished as an expert in telemedicine. He has developed a variety of advanced video-based clinical, medical education and social service applications and consulted on telehealth deployments worldwide. He also worked in the biomedical field and in nursing; there he practiced in the Acute Cardio Pulmonary, Emergency Room and ICU environments.

“The healthcare industry is a key focus for Polycom (News - Alert), and Ron has played an instrumental role in developing our telemedicine strategy,” Andy Miller, Polycom president and CEO said. “We're honored to have Ron on our team and delighted that the ATA is recognizing Ron's tireless commitment to telemedicine and dedication to delivering truly connected healthcare solutions.”

The American Telemedicine Association promotes access to medical care for consumers and health professionals via telecommunications technology. It is established in 1993 as a non-profit organization and has its headquarters in Washington. This association is open to individuals, companies and other organizations with an interest in encouraging the deployment of telemedicine throughout the world.

Polycom, which offers telepresence, video, and voice solution, also announced it has made an in-kind telemedicine solution donation to the National Intrepid Center of Excellence or “NICoE,” a TMCnet report said.

The equipment, valued at approximately $500,000, will give military medical professionals a powerful new tool for promoting the resilience, recovery and reintegration of warriors suffering from psychological health issues and traumatic brain injuries, company officials said.


How Presence is Changing the Way We Communicate

by Teh Cheng at 10:38AM PST http://blogs.cisco.com/

Presence information is changing how we communicate with each other at Cisco. Presence makes it readily apparent when people are available. A simple change that means alot less time playing the phone tag game. Time… which is a precious resource in today’s fast paced business environment

You probably know how Presence works from using instant messaging. When other people have their IM client turned on, you can see that they’re available for chat. At Cisco, the Presence status tells me whether the person is logged on, or on the phone, or in a meeting—and people can carve out time to concentrate on a task by setting their Presence to “Do not Disturb”. All of the information that we choose to share is made possible by communications between our Cisco Unified Presence server and the Cisco Unified Communications Manager, WebEx Connect in the cloud, and our Exchange servers.

Presence data becomes even more powerful when we can combine it with additional information about people, like where they’re working from (Location) or what team they’re on (Business Network) or what topics they are passionate about (Expertise tagging). A lot of times, you just want your questions answered by anyone who is knowledgeable and available. Combining an expert database with Presence information not only lets me find the person(s) with the answer needed, but more importantly which person is available to provide that person soonest. This is one way a company improves it’s agility when the entire workforce has this capability.

I can see presence information when I’m using Cisco Unified Personal Communicator or Cisco WebEx Connect; these solutions integrate IM and telephony services. This provides a single communications tool where based on Presence information I can intuitively decide how best to reach my co-workers and easily do so. I have a unified interface which offers a rich set of options that let’s me easilyeasy connections with other employees.

What I like the most about seeing presence information is that it helps me to work more effectively. I know when people are available, and when they aren’t. Conversely, others have the same awareness about my availability. I can more quickly identify and involve the right people to help me with my tasks. And as I review how my daily interactions has changed, I see those same changes apparent in others I work with. Rich presence information has fundamentally improved how individuals and teams coordinate and organize our activities. Bottom line: I spend less time dealing with the frustration of how to get hold of others and use that time in more meaningful activities. That not only benefits my blood pressure, it also improves my productivity and value to the company.

And, I have found that the richer the information I have about what I’m doing and what others around me are doing, the better we are able to make decisions about how to bring the right people and resources together for the team to perform at a higher level.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Polycom Joins Global Communications Leaders to Form Industry UC Interoperability Forum

Joe Sigrist, Polycom senior vice president and general manager for the Video Solutions division, discusses Polycoms status as a founding member of the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum, announced May 19, 2010. Polycom has reinforced our commitment to open standards and interoperability by joining together with Microsoft, HP, Juniper Networks, and Logitech/LifeSize to form the UCIF, a non-profit alliance of worldwide technology leaders who are working together to realize the potential of Unified Communications by increasing efficiency, decreasing implementation costs, and improving the interoperability experience for UC customers. A growing roster of companies have signed up as members of the UCIF, including Acme Packet, Aspect, AudioCodes, Broadcom, BroadSoft, Brocade, ClearOne, Jabra, Plantronics, RADVISION, Siemens Enterprise Communications, and Teliris.



How Videoconferencing Improves Decision Making

By Kim S. Nash, CIO
May 18, 2010 12:02 PM EThttp://www.networkworld.com

Decreasing expenses isn't Genworth Financial CIO Scott McKay's top priority when he evaluates new IT. Rather, he says, it's how the new technology can improve Genworth's competitive position. When, in 2008, the company spent about $500,000 on videoconferencing systems to cut down on travel, it wasn't just trying to save money. Executives wanted to make business decisions faster.

The $9 billion financial services company installed Polycom's CMA 5000/4000 high-definition videoconferencing system in 38 offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, India and Canada-the major regions where Genworth does business. Such ubiquity is the key to getting the most out of videoconferencing, telepresence and other networked collaboration technologies, says Don Lewis, president of consultancy Strategic Intersect. "If you skimp on it, it won't get widely used."

Within the first year, Genworth saved more than $1 million on travel, which means the videoÃ'­conferencing investment more than paid for itself. But it has also let employees collaborate across oceans on key projects more easily and quickly, McKay says, without the hassle of Ã'­booking flights and waiting in airports. "Taking knowledge workers off airplanes results in faster decision making," he says.

Executives at Genworth headquarters in Richmond, Va., often collaborate with counterparts in London about new ventures, McKay says. Instead of waiting several weeks while executives and their assistants coordinate travel arrangements, many of those meetings can be scheduled to occur via video within a week. "We can get ahead of the market by not having to wait for logistics," McKay says.

Together Across the GlobeInside the IT department, McKay communicates with his 300 staff members via a live global broadcast for three or four yearly all-hands meetings to set IT objectives.

Before videoconferencing was available, McKay would meet with his direct reports who, in turn, would meet with theirs, and so on, until the message, captured in a PowerPoint presentation, was disseminated. The process took three or four weeks. "There was slower trickledown and multiple interpretations," he says. Today, the IT staff recoups hours that used to be lost to repeat meetings and everyone gets the same message at the same time.

Genworth tracks usage of its videoconferencing rooms, asking meeting organizers to report whether they and attendees would have traveled had the technology not been there. Usage last year increased 50 percent compared to 2008 and is expected to increase 30 percent this year, McKay estimates.

Having a simple user interface helps. Upon log-in, users see an instant messaging-style menu of colleagues and can connect by clicking their names. Participants can share applications on screen, including a whiteboard for drawing and writing. The high-definition video is more natural-looking than the choppy, flat visuals on older conferencing systems, McKay says.

"When you can see each other clearly and work with common tools, it makes you come up with better ideas."

Read more about office applications in CIO's Office Applications Drilldown.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Polycom Co-Founds UCIF to Advance Unified Communications Interoperability

Forum leverages open standards for UC interoperability and multi-vendor collaboration

PLEASANTON, Calif. - May 19, 2010 : Polycom, Inc. [Nasdaq: PLCM], along with HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, and Logitech / LifeSize, today announced the co-founding of the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF), a non-profit alliance of worldwide technology leaders working together to deliver open unified communications (UC) solutions. The UCIF is dedicated to providing customers with standards-based, cross-vendor interoperability of UC hardware and software solutions that span enterprises and the service provider cloud to enable organizations and consumers to seamlessly communicate and collaborate.

Recognizing that interoperability based on open standards is a key requirement to drive UC further into today's enterprises, UCIF members will collaborate to facilitate the widespread UC adoption and deliver a reliable and rich UC experience from mobile, to desktop, to immersive telepresence solutions.

"Polycom's heritage is providing customers with the ability to communicate without boundaries through standards-based, open collaboration solutions," said Andy Miller, Polycom president and CEO. "As the cornerstone of our Polycom Open Collaboration Network strategy, we deliver an innovative portfolio of high-quality, platform-agnostic voice and video solutions that interoperate with the leading UC platforms, providing flexibility and protecting the investments of our customers. The UCIF sole purpose is to drive open, standards-based solutions, and to squelch any efforts to promote proprietary solutions against the interests of our customers. We're delighted to be a founder of UCIF and its noble mission to promote interoperability throughout the UC industry."

"Interoperability is not only critical to customer success for deploying unified communications but intrinsic to the delivery of legacy, current and next-generation UC tools, services and infrastructure from multiple vendors. Until now, efforts to achieve interoperability have appeared ad-hoc, which has given customers little assurance that their existing and planned investments are protected and will deliver the value promised," said Jonathan Edwards, research analyst, Unified Communications, IDC. "I'm delighted to see Polycom take a leading role by joining the UCIF. Together, these companies will help drive industrywide adoption of open standards and develop programs that put accountability on the vendors and provide peace of mind and investment protection for end customers – something that will surely accelerate adoption of UC technologies."

The UCIF will utilize existing industry standards and define new standards to eliminate the gaps between current protocols and broad-based interoperability. UCIF membership is open to hardware and software solution providers, service providers and network operators. For more information or to join the UCIF, visit www.ucif.org.

About the UCI Forum
The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF) is a non-profit alliance of worldwide communications technology leaders working together to realize the potential of unified communications (UC) by increasing efficiency, decreasing implementation costs and improving the interoperability experience for UC customers. The UCIF's vision is to enable interoperability of open, standards-based UC hardware and software across enterprises, service providers, and consumer clouds, as a means of generating incremental business opportunity for all stakeholders in the ecosystem and of increasing the business use of UC technologies and services. The UCIF creates and tests interoperability profiles, implementation guidelines and best practices for interoperability between UC products and existing communications and business applications. Visit www.ucif.org to learn more.

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit http://www.polycom.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.

© 2010 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom "Triangles" logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom's products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

New! Avaya/Cisco Company and product comparisons on the Competitive Portal

Use these new company-level comparisons to learn how Avaya stacks up against the competition, including a high-level comparison on key factors such as market share, financials, channel, solutions and services, as well as hot competitive news. The Product Comparisons focus on a specific Avaya product or solution with detailed comparisons against a competitor – its key advantages and related customer benefits, along with potential objections from customers with appropriate responses.

Avaya wins three global TSIA awards and enters Hall of Fame

Avaya wins three global TSIA awards and enters Hall of Fame

Avaya recently won three Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) STAR Awards for Best Practices in support/maintenance services, more than any other company, at Technology Services World on 5 May! On top of that, we earned a spot in TSIA's STAR Awards Hall of Fame, which honors companies that have achieved five or more STAR Awards. These global awards, along with our recent TSIA Excellence in Service Operations (2009 and 2010) and J.D. Power and Associates awards in North America (2009 and 2010), demonstrate our commitment to services investment, innovation, and partner and customer satisfaction.

This recognition is great for Avaya, but even better for our partners and customers. It truly provides us with a differentiated story in the quality of our support. Use these accolades to talk to your customers about how partners + award-winning services + innovative products from Avaya are a powerful value proposition.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The National Intrepid Center of Excellence and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Choose Polycom Telemedicine Solutions to Care for Military Service Members


Telepresence Equipment to Be Used In World-Class Telemedicine Program for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries and Psychological Health Issues

NEW YORK, BETHESDA, Md., and PLEASANTON, Calif. - May 17, 2010 : Polycom, Inc. [NASDAQ: PLCM], the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communication solutions, has made an in-kind telemedicine solution donation to the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE). The equipment, valued at approximately $500,000, will give military medical professionals a powerful new tool for promoting the resilience, recovery and reintegration of warriors suffering from psychological health issues and traumatic brain injuries.

The 72,000-square-foot NICoE facility, which opens this year, will be dedicated to research, assessment and treatment of military service members and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues. Polycom is equipping the NICoE with industry-leading solutions capable of supporting a collaborative, telemedicine network. The solution will enhance NICoE's capabilities to deliver the highest quality of care for patients by supporting a wide variety of telemedicine services including consultation and coordination, comprehensive evaluations, and coordinated research as well as caregiver training and education.

"Thanks to Polycom, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence will bring the very best care and support to the men and women who have made enormous sacrifices for their country," said Arnold Fisher, Honorary Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a not-for-profit organization that has provided more than $150 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to the nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans.

Fisher added, "Traumatic brain injuries and psychological health issues represent a significant issue for returning soldiers, so the need for a center like NICoE has never been more vital. With this support from Polycom, medical specialists and researchers from around the world will be able to come together to better understand what is needed to provide the best care to soldiers and their families."

The Center will consist of a Data Immersive Visualization Environment (DIVE), an auditorium, a classroom and three intake and evaluation suites. Polycom's video conferencing infrastructure will be at the heart of the NICoE network. Enabling NICoE to be the hub to a world-class network of researchers and providers seeking and sharing vital information to be used for training and educating clinical providers, first responders, other Warriors, and family members, as well as for bringing together decision makers to recommend policy changes based on insights derived from clinical, educational and research activities.

The NICoE telemedicine network consists of:

* The Polycom® HDX® 9000 Series will be integrated in the DIVE and Auditorium. The DIVE system will be used enable medical professionals to conduct telehealth consultations, while interdisciplinary clinical teams can coordinate and develop the best courses of care for patients. The system in the Auditorium will support focused workshops, training seminars, symposia and other events throughout the year with a variety of audience sizes.
* The Polycom® HDX® Media Center 8000 Series systems will be used in the In-take and Evaluation Suites where incoming patients are interviewed and evaluated by medical professionals.
* Polycom® SoundStation® IP 7000 conference phones will be used in conference calling suites.
* The Polycom® RMX® 2000 multipoint conferencing platform will facilitate up to 160 video and 800 audio participants on a single platform for multiparty conferencing.
* The Polycom Converged Management Application™ (CMA™) 5000/4000/Polycom CMA Desktop will ensure seamless operation of the voice, video and content collaboration network using centralized scheduling, management, device provisioning, reporting and gatekeeper functionality.
* The Polycom Video Border Proxy™ (VBP™) 5300-ST Series will remove communication network barriers and allow teams to collaborate more effectively over video.
* The Polycom Video Recording and Streaming Server (RSS™) 2000 will allow for centralized recording, streaming, and archiving of multimedia conferences.
* The Polycom Video Media Center™ (VMC™) 1000, which will be used to develop on-demand distance learning programs, to extend the reach of live lectures and/or seminars via Webcasts for professionals and other audiences, and to fulfill mandates for education or training.

"Polycom is honored to be a part of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a facility that represents hope and an opportunity for healing to soldiers and their families," said Roseanne M. Cohen, Polycom federal market director. "Our entire company has rallied together to lend support to this project. We are proud to give back to the soldiers and their families who have served and sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy every day. I cannot think of a more deserving community."

The NICoE donation was made possible through a partnership between the Polycom Global Citizenship Program and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Polycom's Global Citizenship Program is designed to leverage the strength of Polycom's products, resources, and people to improve access to and the quality of education and healthcare worldwide, as well as provide support to communities in need. In addition, Avaya's government solutions team provided an in-kind contribution of the voice and data infrastructure that serves as the foundation of NICoE's communications architecture. Together, as part of the Polycom Open Collaboration Network, Polycom and Avaya deliver a powerful suite of unified communication capabilities that maximize the capabilities at NICoE's state-of-the art facility.

"The fact is these soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have given so much to protect our way of life," said Joel Hackney, president, Avaya Government Solutions. "Their contributions are nothing short of making the world a better place. They have paid a very steep price for everything this country stands for and we owe them a debt that cannot be repaid. Together, Avaya and Polycom are contributing to a center of excellence that will help our Veterans have the best quality of life possible. We are very proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to continuing our work with those who protect freedom and democracy."

About the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) concept features a holistic approach led by a skilled interdisciplinary team to harness the latest advances in science, therapy, telemedicine, education, research technology while providing compassionate family-centered care for Warriors and their loved ones throughout the recovery process. Ideally situated on the Navy Bethesda campus, this facility will be adjacent to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, with close access to the Uniformed Services University, the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Health Administration and the Metro transportation system. The NICoE is part of the centers of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) which serves as a hub for federal, national and international efforts to identify, prevent, mitigate, treat and rehabilitate those affected by psychological and cognitive injuries.

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit www.polycom.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.

Hands free/eyes free mobile communications from Avaya

A three-minute video that shows how people who use a mobile phone or PDA while on the road can use voice control, elminating the need for dialing or "texting," to call a central number and instantly get access to and manage their calendars, email, and contact information.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cisco can't buy a break


Stock drops 4.5% after stellar quarter

By Cisco Subnet on Fri, 05/14/10 - 12:28am.

Cisco's solid third quarter of fiscal 2010 was tempered somewhat by the company's outlook for the fourth quarter. Investors were a bit disappointed that Cisco did not forecast a July quarter that, in their eyes, would show a significant uptick in sequential sales.

But what a quarter the third one was: Cisco's revenue grew 27% from 2009's Q3 while EPS, excluding expenses, charges and other items, was up 41%. Revenues beat Wall Street estimates by $200 million, and EPS exceeded expectations by $.03 - though investment firm Canaccord Genuity cautions that $0.02 of the upside came from a lower than expected taxes and higher than expected interest and other income.

Others analysts were downright exuberant on Cisco's quarter: "Cisco is a marketing and execution machine," wrote Avian Securities analyst Catharine Trebnick in her bulletin on the results.

The company realized double digit growth across all of its major product categories, and each segment saw sequential growth - the first time that's happened in six quarters, Trebnick notes. Cisco saw double digit order growth across all major regions.

Taken together, these are indications that IT spending is rebounding dramatically from the Great Recession of that past few years. Indeed, in addition to strength in traditional routers and switches, Cisco now has over 900 customers for its Unified Computing System data center consolidation platform (up from 400 a quarter ago), and the Nexus 7000 data center switch is on track to achieve its expected $1 billion annual revenue run rate.

UCS is on a $200 million annual run rate, analysts note.

An extra week in the April quarter didn't hurt things, according to Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Ittai Kidron. Cisco logged another $300 million to $400 million in revenue because of it, he notes.

But that extra week in Q3 may be behind the company's guidance for Q4, which knocked the stock back after hours on Wednesday -- the day Cisco announced its results - and 4.5% on Thursday. The company set revenue expectations at 25% to 28% above 2009's Q4, and up 3% to 5% sequentially, with recently-acquired videoconferencing leader Tandberg contributing about $200 million.

But sequential comparisons are "negatively impacted" by that extra week of $300 million to $400 million in additional revenue in Q3, Kidron notes. Investors certainly reacted that way.

So if the outlook for Q4 disappoints, it's not because business is softening, Kidron notes:

Cisco's demand trends remain favorable. We estimate FY4Q EPS will decline sequentially but attribute this to the extra week in FY3Q, Tandberg integration and investments necessary to support growth rather than a slowdown.

Paul Mansky of Canaccord Genuity concurs:

Cisco is on the front side of one of the more comprehensive product refreshes in its recent history heading into what promises to be a multi-year re-architecting of the data center and communications network... the company is unrivaled in its product portfolio, partnership suite and distribution network.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Video: Polycom Open Collaboration Network

Polycom is partnering with the leading unified communications platform providers to deliver applications that span different environments. Our strategic Polycom Open Collaboration Network partners include Avaya, BroadSoft, HP, IBM, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, and Siemens. We also have a larger network of ARENA partners who enhance the range and variety of unified communications solutions we offer customers.

Skype Has No Plans for Windows Phone 7 Client for This Year.

Skype Will Not Be Available on Windows Phone 7 in 2010

[05/13/2010 10:09 AM]
by
Anton Shilov - xbitlabs.com
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mobile/display/20100513100950_Skype_Has_No_Plans_for_Windows_Phone_7_Client_for_This_Year.html

Skype, one of the first VoIP clients for Windows Mobile operating system, will not be available on Microsoft Corp.’s next-generation Windows Phone 7-based phones, the developer said. Instead, Skype will concentrate on improvements of clients for Android-, iPhone- and Symbian-based smartphones.

“[We] are not developing software for the new Windows [Phone 7] software due later this year,” said Dan Neary, vice president of Skype in Asia-Pacific region, at an event in Sydney, reports Smarthouse web-site.

Mr. Neary reportedly was hesitant to explain why no development was taking place for the new Windows Phone 7 operating system (OS). He also did not say whether the company might develop a version of Skype for Windows Phone 7 in 2011.

Skype scrapped versions of its voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) client for Windows Mobile platforms several months ago and said that it “felt that Skype Lite and Skype for Windows phones were not offering the best possible Skype experience”. The company stressed that it would continue to provide Skype for Apple iPhone and Symbian-based smartphones as before.

The actual motives behind Skype’s moves are not clear. Cell phones based on Windows Mobile operating system are available from many renowned smartphone manufacturers and market share of Windows Mobile operating system globally was nearly 9% in 2009, according to Gartner market tracking firm. Although in 2009 the share of Windows Mobile dropped, those devices still have large install base and the incoming Windows Phone 7 may reverse the trend for Microsoft.

The two best performers in 2009 in terms of smartphone OSs were Android and Apple. Android increased its market share by 3.5% points in 2009, while Apple's share grew by 6.2% points from 2008. Symbian continued its lead, but its share dropped 5.4% points in 2009. Competitive pressure from its competitors, such as RIM and Apple, and the continued weakness of Nokia's high-end device sales have negatively impacted Symbian's share.



At Mobile World Congress 2010, Symbian Foundation announced its first release since Symbian became fully open source. Symbian3 should be made available by the end of the first quarter of 2010 and may reach the first devices by the third quarter of 2010, while Symbian4 should be released by the end of 2010. With Android 2.2 and iPhone OS 4.0 incoming, Windows Phone 7 will definitely have a lot of competition.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cisco Networkers Solution Forum 2010

Date: May 13, 2010

Location: Toronto, Ontario (Toronto Congress Centre)
Nexient/Global Knowledge Participation: Standard Sponsor

About the Forum:

The Cisco Networkers Solution Forum 2010 is the single largest educational and training event of the year, attracting more than 2,000 IT and communications professionals. This Forum is part of a very successful series of Cisco technical events that have been held in Toronto and Montreal over the past several years. It was the 10th Anniversary of the event and was a exclusive chance to get inside the minds of those sculpting the future of IT, networking, and communications. We looked at the "impact, innovation, imagination" and they forged a path for tomorrow's IT and networking world. It was a chance to hear about the inspiration behind the imaginations and innovations tomorrow will hold and how it will impact your business. It was a great event and we are all looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Interop: Avaya CEO touts lasting impact of SIP

Interop keynote address stresses SIP innovation is just beginning

By Tim Greene, Network World
April 27, 2010 02:46 PM ET

Session Initiation Protocol will remain the driver of innovation in unified communications for the next decade, putting it on par with TCP/IP as a networking game changer, Avaya's CEO told an overflow crowd at his Interop keynote address Tuesday.

The signaling technology will enable applications and endpoints to control the delivery of content via voice, video, data, instant messaging and even context, says Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy.

Kennedy also used his speech to announce a new core switch (from Avaya's Nortel acquisition), a wireless LAN switch, an SIP gateway and new configuration software. He urged listeners to stay tuned for more announcements later this year.

During a video demonstrating some of what he was talking about, a phone call was set up with voice-activated dialing using only the recipient's first name Kevin. Using a combination of data gathered from directories, e-mail, calendaring and Facebook, Avaya software concluded which Kevin the caller meant, injecting context into the communications equation.

The video also showed dragging and dropping participants out of a conference call so they could continue a side conversation separately from the rest of the group. It also showed dragging and dropping a PowerPoint presentation onto one participant's smartphone during the conference call.

Kennedy says the four goals of his company are to support seven times the resiliency of its competitors, 20 times better performance, cut total cost of ownership in half and lower energy consumption by 40%.

Read more about voip & convergence in Network World's VoIP & Convergence section.


Avaya Energy Saver: High efficiency workspace

by Wilson Korol at 12:03 on May 11, 2010


Today, I am please to the highlight a recently released white paper from Avaya that focuses on efficiency within our solutions, both in operations and through a new dynamic power management system, called the Avaya Energy Saver. This power management tool and dashboard allow IT managers to drill down to specific ports within the network, thereby adjusting the IT power load appropriately to right-size the network as demand dictates. These managers can also monitor and manage the health of the network, with real-time and dynamic data flowing to the power management software. This paper, titled Avaya Energy Saver: High efficiency workspace, outlines some impressive results, with modeled projections of at least 40 % savings, and up to 60 %, depending on the switch.

Avaya Energy Saver
Basically, this power management tool powers down the network equipment during off-peak periods of traffic. Think of it as a dimmer switch for the network. But it is much more than a simple switch; think the application really is a set of intelligent controls which allow customers to tune energy savings appropriate to their business needs.

The reality is that most networks run at far from peak demand for most of their operational life, for example during the night when people are sleeping or hanging out with their family/friends. This variability in network demand is juxtaposed with the necessity of an always on-always ready network for today’s global business environment.

What to do? This is where Energy Saver comes in. What happens with Avaya Energy Saver is that the ports of the system, such as VoIP telephones, wireless access points, PoE card readers and IP video surveillance cameras, are powered down dramatically. It is pretty simple from there as this powering down reduces the energy draw of the device and hence the network. Then, once traffic increases, the system dynamically powers up, with no loss of power or functionality, such an emergency response or any or myriad of critical business functions.

Avaya’s solution is a bit different than other offerings on the energy savings front, as it keeps the network on, but in much lower operating power/capacity. We understand that the network is essential to customers’ operations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and hence this approach. The savings that Avaya has modeled and realized during testing is significant, at least 40 %, and this savings builds on top of the IP hardware itself. Avaya LAN Switches, call servers, gateways, unified messaging servers and gigabit IP phones have been independently tested and it has been proven that Avaya solutions are much more energy-efficient than comparable equipment

Check out the white paper
I encourage you to give it a full read, here is an excerpt;

Avaya is pleased to now extend our broad-based energy-saving value proposition to its energy management systems. Avaya not only provides energy-efficient equipment and solutions, but also tools for our customers to monitor and manage the energy consumption of their Avaya network via the Avaya Energy Saver. Avaya Energy Saver is a part of the Avaya Unified Communications Management (UCM) solution that enables centralized quality of service, IP filter and Avaya Energy Saver policy-based provisioning for Avaya equipment. At its core, Avaya Energy Saver introduces new energy service architecture for customers to monitor, report and enforce Energy Saver and PoE policies.


Nortel Introduces Centralized SIP Engine Capability

By Anuradha Shukla TMCnet Contributor

Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert) “SIP” plays a key role in 3G VoIP networks based on IPv6.

As an application-layer control or, “signaling,” protocol for creating, modifying, and terminating sessions with one or more participants. These sessions include Internet telephone calls, multimedia distribution, and multimedia conferences.

At this weeks Cable Show 2010, Nortel Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions will explain how the company continues to innovate and improve service provider competitive advantage through its industry-leading carrier voice and multimedia product offerings.

Nortel (News - Alert) CVAS recently unveiled a new centralized SIP engine capability to its state-of-the art Communication Server 2000 carrier VoIP and multimedia softswitch and Adaptive Application Engine that has been embraced by service providers across the globe.

This new centralized SIP engine capability allows service providers to quickly and cost-effectively deliver advanced SIP services and applications to subscribers, including services such as unified communications, Web-based UC collaboration, video and multimedia conferencing, hosted call center and other services that improve the way people communicate and conduct business.

In addition, it allows service providers to deliver SIP and non SIP communication capabilities across the entire network using one Adaptive Application Engine.

Competitive stand alone application servers can only serve SIP subscribers without support for legacy lines/trunks or services interworking, resulting in isolated service islands with reduced capabilities and requiring significant network integration costs.

In addition, the new capability can be deployed at a single CS 2000 node to extend SIP services to additional CS 2000 nodes in a service provider's network and helps to lower total operational costs for the carrier.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Polycom Names Andrew Miller President and CEO


PLEASANTON, Calif. - May 10, 2010 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communications solutions, today announced its Board of Directors has named Andrew Miller president and chief executive officer, effective today.

Mr. Miller succeeds Robert Hagerty, who will step down as CEO, president, and chairman and is resigning from the Board. To facilitate a smooth transition, Mr. Hagerty will serve as an advisor to Mr. Miller and the Board. Concurrent with the CEO succession, David DeWalt, currently Polycom's lead independent director, will assume the role of chairman of the Board of Directors. The Board plans to appoint Mr. Miller to the Board of Directors shortly following this year's Annual Stockholders Meeting.

Mr. Miller, who joined Polycom in 2009 as executive vice president of Global Field Operations, has been successfully leading the Company's strategic initiatives to transform Polycom's go-to-market, build core strategic and service provider alliances, and launch the Polycom Open Collaboration Network.

"Andy Miller has been transformative in leading Polycom's shift to a more customer-centric execution model, which has already resulted in significant growth for the Company," said David DeWalt, Polycom chairman of the Board of Directors. "Andy's industry track record, proven leadership, and customer skills make him the ideal CEO to take Polycom to the next level. I also want to thank Bob Hagerty for growing Polycom from $37M to $1.1B over his 13 year tenure and for recruiting Andy to the Company, enabling this seamless succession."

"As the leading independent company in the fast-growing unified collaboration space, I believe Polycom is uniquely positioned to capture this significant market opportunity," said Mr. Miller. "Polycom has unbelievable employee talent at all levels of the organization, an amazing customer base, and a strong array of strategic and channel partnerships. With the same passion, intensity, and efficiency that has already produced better than planned results, I look forward to leading Polycom to greater customer intimacy and a stronger profit model. I want to thank Bob for his many years of excellent leadership."

"It has been an honor to have led such a talented group of directors, management members, and employees during my time at Polycom," said Mr. Hagerty. "Andy is a perfect successor to lead Polycom through its next phase of growth. I am truly proud of what we have achieved thus far, and I believe Polycom has a tremendous opportunity in the exciting collaboration market."

Mr. Miller has a 28-year proven track record in the video and networking industries. During his 11 years at Cisco, he held several senior leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Services. As CEO of Tandberg, another leading video solutions provider, he led the Company through a period of significant revenue and profit growth. Immediately prior to joining Polycom, he was global president of IPC Information Systems, a leading trading technology and network connectivity provider. Mr. Miller received his BS in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. He is on the Board of Directors for BroadSoft, former chairperson for the Stanford Executive Education Program, and a former fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Mr. DeWalt joined the Polycom board of directors in November 2005 and is a technology industry veteran who currently serves as CEO and president of McAfee, Inc. Previously, Mr. DeWalt held various management positions at EMC, Oracle, and other leading software and technology companies.

Polycom will file a supplement to its proxy statement for its 2010 Annual Stockholders Meeting to reflect the above changes and that Mr. Hagerty is no longer a nominee for Polycom's Board of Directors.

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Please visit www.polycom.com for more information.

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding future events and the future performance of the Company, including statements regarding the Company as being uniquely positioned to capture future market opportunity and growth, and our objectives of greater customer intimacy and a stronger profit model in the future. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. Many of these risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, and in other reports filed by Polycom with the SEC. Polycom disclaims any intent or obligations to update these forward-looking statements.

© 2010 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom "Triangles" logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom's products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Announcement on the Business Communications Mananager (BCM) Version 6.0 Release

Recently Anthony Bartolo, the Vice President, General Manager at SME Communications Business Unit announced The Business Communications Mananager (BCM) version 6.0, will be released at the the end of this year.

Also the next level of detail for the BCM on IP Office convergence roadmap is ready. They are currently conducting Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) discussions and will roll that plan out more broadly in the coming months. Keep checking or blog and TRC Networks for more information.

Avaya announces the End-of-Sale (EoS) for NEW systems of Norstar 3x8, CICS, MICS, and Call Pilot 100/150 products

Due to higher than expected demand and earlier than anticipated component obsolescence, Avaya must announce the End-of-Sale (EoS) for NEW systems of Norstar 3x8, CICS, MICS, and Call Pilot 100/150 products, effective October 4, 2010. Please keep in mind that there is no impact to Avaya Business Communications Manager (BCM) or any other heritage Nortel products. Products required to upgrade or expand systems by adding terminals, line cards, modules and authorization codes will continue to be offered for another three (3) years to October 4, 2013. However, TRC Networks will continue to sell these products (subject to availability). Support will also be offered for these products well beyond 2013. For more info and other options, such as the BCM and Avaya IP Office visit http://www.trcnetworks.com

Friday, May 7, 2010

Information and videos in Avaya IP Office


Check out http://www.avaya-ipoffice.net for the latest information and videos on Avaya IP Office

Polycom and Internet2 Foster Video Collaboration Between Higher Education and Business Markets

E2Bconnect enables colleges, universities and businesses to extend their reach and cooperate on business challenges and educational opportunities through visual communication

PLEASANTON, Calif. - May 06, 2010 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), a global leader in telepresence, video, and voice communications solutions, and Internet2, the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium, today introduced E2Bconnect, a free, online professional networking program designed to facilitate collaboration between higher education institutions and businesses using visual communications to address business challenges such as corporate training, and to improve educational opportunities. This new initiative builds on a longstanding partnership between Internet2 and Polycom, who has been an active member and collaborator in the Internet2 community since 2001.

"The rapid adoption of visual communications is expanding the opportunities for colleges, universities and businesses to collaborate in new ways for mutual benefit," said Mike LaHaye, director of technical services of Internet2, a not-for-profit advanced networking consortium comprising more than 200 U.S. universities in cooperation with 70 leading corporations, 45 government agencies, laboratories and other institutions of higher learning as well as over 50 international partner organizations. "Our partnership with Polycom on the E2Bconnect program combined with the capabilities of Internet2's high performance national network will serve as a catalyst to bring these opportunities to life."

"We are excited about the possibilities of the E2Bconnect program to accelerate the video collaboration opportunities already taking place among the Internet2 membership and expand those with new institutions and organizations," said Bob Dixon, chief research engineer, Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) and Internet2 member. "Telepresence and video conferencing are growing in use and this program will help create a larger, connected community and drive new applications."

E2Bconnect provides an easy way for colleges, universities and businesses with visual communication capabilities to work together around common needs and interests. Application examples include:

  • Education to Education – In an era of constrained budgets and rising costs, visual communication creates opportunities for educational institutions to collaborate and share resources regardless of distance. Examples include distance learning programs to expand course offerings, expansion into new markets through the ability to leverage resources and expertise across distances, greater participation and interaction between academic research centers, and shared faculty training and continuing education programs.
  • Education to Business – Colleges and universities can benefit through closer collaboration with businesses by gaining greater access to subject matter experts to enhance curriculum and by offering video-enabled corporate training, continuing education and executive education and mentoring programs that can expand revenue opportunities. Business can also benefit through access to academic subject-matter experts, and through availability of cost-effective and convenient training, continuing education and organizational programs for employees that can be delivered to any location via live interactive visual communication or dynamic, on-demand video content.
  • Business to Business – E2Bconnect also creates opportunities for businesses to collaborate together around corporate training and education programs by sharing resources and best practices, which can expand opportunities for employees while reducing costs.

"In the next 36 months video will play an enormous role in linking institutions of higher education and corporate employers," said Elliott Masie, chair, The Learning CONSORTIUM, a coalition of 240 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies. "On a daily basis, students in classrooms, career centers and labs will be connected with experts in our nation's business. Likewise, the knowledge and expertise of faculty located around the world will be "video" ready to be leveraged by corporations. We are excited to see portals such as E2Bconnect that will provide the bridge between our nation's universities and employers."

As an example of collaboration between businesses and universities, Polycom recently piloted a virtual recruiting program with the University of Colorado, Boulder using Polycom video conferencing to interview students for annual internship positions within Polycom.

"As a human resource specialist, I am excited about the possibilities to expand our video recruitment programs through E2Bconnect," said Jessica O'Quin, senior human resources generalist at Polycom. "In this case, UC Boulder is a current Polycom customer and already has our video technology available on campus. We were able to leverage that relationship during the hiring process for our annual internship program and offer students the flexibility to interview onsite or via video if they were under time constraints. This allowed us to interview several candidates in a short period of time while also exposing these future hires to part of what Polycom is all about."

"We expect programs like video recruiting to be popular programs within E2Bconnect," said Marci Powell, global director for Higher Education & Training of Polycom. "It provides a cost-effective way for colleges to create valuable job placement opportunities for graduates and helps organizations attract the best and brightest talent from potentially anywhere in the world."

E2Bconnect is available today and free membership is open to users of visual communications systems from colleges and universities and businesses around the world.

About Polycom Programs for Education
In addition to E2Bconnect, Polycom offers a range of programs to help educators leverage visual communications. Additional programs include an online networking tool for primary and secondary school educators and administrators, a searchable database containing nearly 250 video-enabled content providers and more than 2,100 active programs such as zoos, museums, authors, experts in a given field, etc.; an assistance program to help new users arrange virtual field trips; free special events; and a grant assistance and E-rate information program to help schools find funding for new equipment.

About Internet2
Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today—and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. Activating the same partnerships that produced today's Internet, our community is forging the Internet of the future. For more information, see http://www.internet2.edu.

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit www.polycom.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.

© 2010 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom "Triangles" logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom's products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.