Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cisco announces business tablet

Cisco's Cius business tablet will run on an Intel Atom processor
By Agam Shah, IDG News Service
June 29, 2010 03:28 PM ET

Cisco on Tuesday announced the Cius tablet, a handheld device designed to help users run business applications and communicate in real time.

The tablet comes with a 7-inch touch screen and is powered by an Intel Atom processor running at 1.6GHz. It weighs just over 1.5 pounds (0.52 kilograms) and provides about 8 hours of battery life, according to Cisco.

The lightweight device comes with a front-facing high-definition video camera that can record 720p video at 30 frames per second and a 5-megapixel camera at the back that can capture high-quality video and still images. Users can engage in live video calls when the tablet is docked or being held, the company said.

The device will also come with Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth wireless networking capabilities. It will be able to connect to 3G mobile broadband networks, and support for 4G will be available at a later date, Cisco said. The device will include a Micro-USB port. It will also include 32GB of flash storage, and it will be able to provide expanded storage through Secure Digital cards.

Cisco calls the device a "business tablet," and also a virtual desktop designed to access cloud computing services. The device runs on the Android OS and will provide access to applications in the Android marketplace.

The device also comes with advanced communication capabilities that work with Cisco's unified communications and collaboration tools. It can quickly establish instant-message sessions, voice calls and videoconferencing sessions. The device is interoperable with Cisco's TelePresence videoconferencing system and works with Cisco applications including Cisco Quad, Cisco Show and WebEx tools.

On campuses, the tablet can be docked into the HD Soundstation, which provides wired networking connectivity for a full desktop experience, according to Cisco's Web site. The docking station will also be able to display high-definition content from the tablet on a connected monitor. Users will also be able to connect USB or Bluetooth keyboards and mice to the docking station for a traditional desktop experience.

The company hasn't finalized the pricing of the Cius tablet, but is targeting a price of less than US$1,000, a company spokeswoman said. The device will start shipping in the third quarter this year, and will become generally available in the first quarter of next year.

The burgeoning tablet market is growing at a fast rate, mostly driven by Apple's iPad. Apple earlier this month said it had sold 3 million iPads in the first 80 days. IDC has said tablet shipments could top 7 million by the end of this year and top 46 million by 2014.

The Cius could be one of the early tablets in the market targeted at businesses. Most tablets till now have been targeted at consumers. Apple's iPad, for example, allows users to view movies, surf the Internet, read e-books and play games.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cisco announces collaboration solutions

Cisco Quad is a platform designed for enterprise collaboration to integrates voice, video and social networking into one workspace

Convergence & VoIP Alert By Larry Hettick, Network World
June 22, 2010 10:31 AM ET

Cisco recently unveiled collaboration solutions designed to more easily connect people and give them access and content irrespective of location. Included in the announcement: plans for the Cisco Quad to be available later this year with native iPad and iPhone applications; a new video solution that integrates Cisco FocalPoint with a business-class Cisco Flip MinoPRO camcorder; and support for Cisco WebEx Connect IM on multiple browsers.

Cisco Quad is a platform designed for enterprise collaboration to integrates voice, video and social networking into one workspace. Cisco Quad can be used to more quickly search for content within organizations, as well as locate people and expertise. Quad also integrates with content management systems such as Microsoft SharePoint and Documentum, along with voice and video communications solutions like the Cisco Unified Communications. Mobile Quad applications have been optimized for the Apple iPad and iPhone so employees to remain connected and engaged in interactions with their colleagues around the globe. Cisco plans call for the Quad to be available in early 2011.

Cisco's latest video solution offers a new online video workspace called "FocalPoint" with a new business-class Flip MinoPRO camcorder. FocalPoint offers cloud-based management, sharing and editing capabilities so organizations can interact with their video content. FocalPoint uses SSL to secure Web sessions and for data protection.

Commenting on the developments on a prepared statement, Tony Bates, Cisco senior vice president and general manager, enterprise, commercial and small business said, "Cisco's vision for a new workspace is about empowering organizations with a broader range of collaborative experiences. Not only is it seamless and integrated, but it also gives people and teams the power to choose what combination of content, media, and devices will make them most productive."

Cisco's latest WebEx Connect IM lets users access contact lists and send instant messages via a browser-based IM client without the need for a client download. The Windows client for Cisco WebEx Connect IM has also now been localized for French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.

VoIP Softphone Shootout for iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch

We interrupt our Incredible PBX coverage this week to bring you a summer roundup of the best and worst VoIP softphones for use with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch in conjunction with Asterisk. We’ve tested all of these products with Asterisk sitting behind a NAT-based firewall/router which introduces some additional wrinkles unless your softphone and server are connected through a virtual private network. We’ll leave the VPN discussion for another day. None of these products has native support for the iPad although all will work with any iPad as will any standard iPhone app in either 1X or 2X mode.

The three four products we’ll be evaluating are Acrobits SIP Softphone, the WiFone from Ltd., the Media5-fone, and CounterPath’s just-released Bria softphone. All support SIP dialing, and the WiFone provides IAX connectivity as well. We were a bit surprised that, despite their reliance on SIP to connect calls, SIP URI support was minimal to non-existent in all but the Bria product. Before diving into the individual products, we should note that, in conjunction with our product evaluations, we received no compensation or discounted/free software from any source. We are a beta site for CounterPath’s next Bria release.

Read full article on Nerd Vittles >>>

IBM Systems No Longer Support Nortel/Avaya SCS 500

We have just found out that IBM has made the decision to no longer support Avaya/Nortel SCS 500 (Software Communication System 500) Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)-based Unified Communications (UC) solution. The SCS 500 product will no longer have any configuration information to run on IBM Power Systems. To stay updated with news about what Avaya SCS is planning to support visit

Monday, June 21, 2010

Unified communications saves Canadian school district $200k/year

Installation includes Adtran NetVanta software, Windows-based Dell servers and Polycom and Grandstream IP phones

By Jim Duffy, Network World
June 18, 2010 09:54 AM ET

The Pembina Trails School Division in the Canadian province of Manitoba is saving $200,000 a year in telecom costs thanks to its unified communications deployment.

Indeed, the installation, which includes Adtran NetVanta software on Windows-based Dell servers quarterbacking 1,825 Polycom and Grandstream IP phones, has already paid for itself. It cost $500,000 to implement five years ago, says Don Reece, director of IT at the school district. (See related story, "UC pays off for Fluor, NHL hockey team".)

"We wanted to be as hardware-agnostic as we could be," Reece says. "Nortel, Mitel, Cisco -- none of those would fit the bill" for maintaining a low total cost of ownership. "They were proprietary, and had unsustainable licensing fees."

Pembina's network connects 34 schools and five administrative offices over its own 47 kilometer dark fiber at 1Gbps. It will be running at 10Gbps by the end of July, Reece says.

The school district is actually the amalgamation of two former school divisions, one of which had different PBX phone systems, the other with a telco-based service.

"The whole thing did not work well," Reece says. "We saw it as an opportunity to consolidate and move into a UC environment rather than duplicate it."

So the school purchased IP phones, installed the NetVanta software on the Dell servers, employed Microsoft's Active Directory to keep track of who was where, and is now reaping the benefits. The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-compliant network consolidates and load balances ISDN Primary Rate Interfaces (PRI) so that any open PRI is available to any caller at any time. The school also reduced the number of lines from 143 to 48, Reece says.

SIP also delivers the school's paging and public address system, and a district-wide video system in six to eight months, Reece says. With that, messages from the superintendant will be seen in every classroom in real-time, he says.

The superintendant can also upload messages to the Pembina Web site through a cellphone to share information on such things as weather or road conditions, and how it impacts the school day.

Pembina is also saving money on features like call forwarding and voice mail, which were charged separately by the telco. Those are included in the NetVanta UC software, Reece says.

The school would like to expand on its implementation by enabling SIP-based phone capabilities on its wireless LAN. This would enable teachers and administrators to use smartphones within the Pembina districts buildings instead of "hard phones," Reece says.

The school is also looking to integrate presence into its SIP paging/video and Microsoft Office Communications Server applications. That could enable individual or group-specific click-to-dial/videoconferencing capabilities.

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

Telepresence Can Reduce Corporate CO2 Emissions

Wednesday, June 16, 2010: According to a new study of large companies using telepresence technology, U.S. and U.K. By

businesses that substitute some business travel with telepresence can cut CO2 emissions by nearly 5.5 million metric tons in total – the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing more than one million passenger vehicles from the road for one year – and achieve total economy-wide financial benefits of almost $19 billion, by 2020.

Telepresence is a rapidly growing and increasingly popular technology that enables groups of people to meet and collaborate in multiple locations worldwide while feeling as if they were all in the same room together.

The study, "The Telepresence Revolution," was commissioned by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and sponsored by AT&T*.

Other conclusions of the study determined a business with $1 billion or more in annual revenue implementing four telepresence rooms could:

1.Achieve a financial return on investment in as little as 15 months;
2.Save nearly 900 business trips in the first year of using telepresence; and
3.Reduce emissions by 2,271 metric tons over five years—the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing 434 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.

The study also revealed that telepresence technology can help speed decision-making, improve employee productivity, and provide workers with a better work-life balance.

The study was produced by Verdantix, an independent analyst research firm. Verdantix conducted in-depth interviews with executives of 15 Global 500 firms that are early adopters of telepresence – including Accenture, Aviva, EMC and Microsoft – and used the findings of those interviews to develop a new, detailed model to calculate the financial return on investment (ROI) and carbon reductions of telepresence. The model looks at projected telepresence adoption among companies with $1 billion or more in annual revenue and forecasts how the financial and carbon reduction benefits achieved by early adopters of telepresence would translate into economy-wide financial and environmental benefits in the U.S. and U.K. by 2020.

Carbon emission reductions among U.S. companies with annual revenues over $1 billion were forecast at approximately 4.6 million metric tons by 2020, the equivalent of removing more than 875,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year. Among large U.K. companies, carbon emission reductions by 2020 were forecast at approximately 940,000 metric tons, the equivalent of removing more than 179,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year. Total economy wide financial benefits that could be generated by 2020 as a result of large companies using telepresence in place of some business travel were forecast at over $15 billion for the U.S. and almost $4 billion in the U.K.

"Companies that invest in carbon cutting technologies and re-engineer the way they do business will not only be better placed to succeed as we transition to a low-carbon economy but can experience considerable business benefits during this transition," said CDP chief executive officer Paul Dickinson. "Telepresence is a good example of a low-carbon solution that can bring financial savings and increase productivity while reducing emissions."

Daniel T. Walsh, senior vice president of marketing services, AT&T Business Solutions said, "Business customers have spoken and their feedback is very powerful: Telepresence helps companies run their businesses better while allowing them to reduce their carbon emissions.

"This, plus the dramatic and speedy return on investment suggested in the findings are prompting companies to embrace this game-changing technology," he added. "Over the last year, AT&T has helped customers deploy hundreds of rooms globally, a trend that we expect will continue as companies start to reap the many benefits of telepresence usage."

In addition to the industry forecasts, the report cited benefits of telepresence already achieved by companies participating in the survey:

•Sak Nayagam, head of climate change solutions, Sustainability Services EALA at Accenture, said, “Since adopting telepresence, Accenture has expanded its network to include more than 50 telepresence rooms across the globe. The travel saved through their use would have accounted for 6,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions globally from November 2007 through August 2009. For us, it is not so much about eliminating travel but travelling smarter and maximising the time and value of our workforce.”
•Zelda Bentham, senior environment manager of global insurance company Aviva, said, "We compared executives travelling from the nine months prior to telepresence with the nine months following implementation. From an air travel perspective, we observed a 25 percent carbon footprint reduction."

The study picks up where the "SMART 2020" report, a separate initiative authored by the Climate Group in 2008, left off. "SMART 2020" identified four key areas, including travel substitution, where greater use of the products and services from the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% by 2020. To read more about the study, please visit:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How to Untangle: Contact Center Call Compliance

Posted by ShoreTel on Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Authored by: Bernard Gutnick, Senior Director, Product Marketing

This is the sixth blog in our ‘How to Untangle’ series that highlights how eliminating complexity from unified communications solutions can help your business.

Optimizing the customer and prospective customer experience is a powerful way to reduce churn and increase sales, but many organizations are under constant pressure to lower costs. This often means reducing the amount of human interaction—the very foundation of a positive customer experience!

Is it possible to increase attentiveness while lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) at the same time?

It is if you have the right contact center.

Unfortunately, many organizations still rely on separate communication and messaging systems to support customer service. These systems can be painfully difficult to integrate, leading to lost calls, forgotten emails and misdirected enquiries.

And as everyone knows, missed opportunity after missed opportunity quickly affects customer loyalty, brand reputation and the bottom line.

If you’re thinking about how to improve your contact center, make sure you consider the following capabilities:

* The power to balance automation and attentiveness. It must be easy for the customer to quickly reach the right agent or resource.
* A rich tool set so your support and sales team can communicate using the tools preferred by the customer or prospect—phone, email, chat, and so on.
* Instant access to relevant information so agents have the information they need at their fingertips to answer questions quickly and accurately and to take advantage of up-sell opportunities.

Communication with customers is the life blood of the organization, with the contact center as the heart. To keep up a healthy beat, consider the following questions when looking at new solutions:

* Is the solution a single, integrated system that can be fully distributed across the entire enterprise?
* Is it based on IP telephony technologies that support a virtual call center using home-based agents or groups of agents who can be located anywhere?
* Can the system integrate into existing CRM solutions, trouble ticketing solutions and other back-end databases?
* Does it include universal queuing of all incoming requests and ensure the call goes to the right agent no matter where that agent is located? Does it include optimized call routing by service level, skill matching, priority, customer identity, schedules and caller location?
* Does it include a unified desktop client that lets agents see the presence status of experts outside the call center to dramatically improve service and shorten the time to resolution?
* Will the system adapt to your organization’s workflow, or will it force your organization to adapt to it?
* Is the system easy to deploy and manage, and once deployed, are all the different capabilities of the system easy to learn and access?

If you’d like to learn more about how ShoreTel in particular can help untangle the challenge of your shrinking IT team and growing IT complexity, please contact TRC Networks.

ShoreTel Keeps Communications Healthy at Busy Clinic

Authored by: Gina Jacobs, Senior Director, Marketing Communications, ShoreTel

A highly connected world requires highly efficient communication connections. ShoreTel’s brilliantly simple solutions are not only eliminating IT complexity, but they’re helping to keep people connected and communicating, regardless of industry, market segment or geographical location.

An excellent example of this is in the healthcare industry. A recent article in Health Management Technology, highlighted the case of Urban Health Plan, a community health center in the South Bronx faced with an outdated and failing phone system.

Working with Lou Person from ShoreTel reseller, Brightstack, the health center discovered first hand the brilliant simplicity of ShoreTel when a power failure brought the old system down and Brightstack helped deploy ShoreTel from scratch over a weekend and under emergency conditions.

Delighted with both the product and the service, the health center now has implemented ShoreTel’s highly cost-effective yet state-of-the-art contact center, added video conferencing and is improving communications across all sites so that patients receive the best possible care when they need it.

For more information on how ShoreTel can help your organization stay constantly connected, contact your local ShoreTel reseller today.

1400 Series Digital Deskphones now available on Avaya Aura

You can now use the 1400 Series Digital Deskphones with Avaya Aura™. These digital endpoints are standard across Avaya platforms, including Integral Enterprise and IP Office. These new sets deliver a robust suite of features and functionality for customers requiring digital functionality.

More On Avaya 1400 Series Digital Telephones

Designed to serve the needs of a wide range of business users, the 1400 Series Digital Deskphones offer a contemporary design with advanced audio technology and productivity enhancing features. These phones work with Avaya AuraT and Avaya IP Office.

1403 Digital Deskphone

Designed for visitors and other occasional users, this phone provides a simple, familiar interface that is ideal for common locations in offices, stockrooms, lobbies, or drop-in desks. The 1403 is compatible with Avaya IP Office only.

1408 Digital Deskphone

Designed for cubicle workers, sales staff, and other users with relatively simple telephone needs, the 1408 delivers a straightforward, productivity enhancing interface.

1416 Digital Deskphone

This deskphone is designed for receptionists, assistants, managers and other navigator users-people who answer incoming calls, transfer customers, and monitor several lines throughout a typical day. This phone provides the most one-touch line/feature/speed-dial buttons, improving productivity and eliminating the need to scroll through on-screen lists.

Features & Benefits

Give users a familiar interface
The 1400 Series combines the best of past and present. Fixed keys-familiar to any phone user-provide easy access to the most common features, while flexible softkeys provide contextual guidance and prompts for ease of use and efficiency.

Deliver crystal-clear conversations
Integrated speakerphones and other advanced technology deliver clear, clean audio that will satisfy even discerning users.

Enhance the look of your office
The phones' streamlined industrial design gives the office a sleek businesslike look.

Protect your investment
1400 Series Digital Deskphones have been engineered to adapt to a company's growing needs. Easily attach headsets to the 1408 and 1416 models, and the 32-button expansion module for the 1416 can be programmed to deliver a wide range of features.

Launch Update and Integration Roadmap 2.0

Avaya is moving the public announcement of our new solutions to 20 July in order to include our Integration Roadmap 2.0. We must have all aspects — new offer packages, marketing, supporting operational systems, and sales readiness programs — fully in place in order to maximize our impact.

Integration Roadmap 2.0 is the next stop on the Integration Roadmap journey. We started with the general Integration Roadmap 1.0 announcement in January, phase 2.0 was built specifically with Avaya and partner sales teams in mind.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Avaya announces the End-of-Sale (EoS) for PARTNER Advanced Communications System

End of Sale Notice
Notification Date: June 14, 2010
Effective Dates: August 9, 2010 (Phase 2)
November 8, 2010 (Phase 3)
Subject: End of Sale Avaya PARTNER® Advanced
Communications System
Region: North America, Canada, CALA


With the recent launch of Avaya IP Office 6.0 solution (Feb. 2010) and its new “PARTNER® Version” software option, very small businesses and the resellers who serve them now have all of what you liked about PARTNER® in an IP Office solution. With the simplified management, quick install capability and the ability to leverage PARTNER ETR and 1400 series digital desk phones in an IP Office environment, as well as the parity or better price points, all of your requests have been made a reality. This now puts us in a position to further simplify our overall product portfolio for you. With that, Avaya is announcing the EndofSale (EoS) of the PARTNER® Advanced Communications System (ACS) product line.

Read more about it here

Survey Says: 66% of Businesses Plan to Increase Their Use of Telepresence

Posted by James Martin at 10:19AM PST

Cisco TelePresence technology is showing up in a lot of places these days: hotel suites, TV programs, and this June, on ESPN during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

And if you work for an organization that has TelePresence, chances are good you’ll be seeing the high-definition virtual meeting technology in use a lot more throughout the company, too, according to a new survey.

In its biannual networking survey, independent research firm TheInfoPro found that 77 percent of businesses that have tried TelePresence say it has met their objectives, such as the need to reduce travel and other costs. What’s more, 66 percent of respondents say they plan to expand TelePresence to additional sites within their organization.

TheInfoPro conducted the survey of key decision makers at midsize companies and Fortune 1000 enterprises in February. For the study, respondents were asked what they believed were the most important trends currently occurring throughout information networking, which included security infrastructure, voice and network infrastructure, and wireless networking services.

The survey also found that 25 percent of decision makers at midsize and large enterprises say they plan to increase their use of unified communications technologies, such as unified messaging and audio conferencing, this year.

“The key trend of 2010 among enterprises is striking a balance between cost-efficiency and effectiveness,” said Bill Trussell, managing director of networking research, TheInfoPro. “For companies that have been forced to either eliminate or reduce travel budgets due to the downturn and rising fuel prices, TelePresence and UC have offered solutions that are both highly productive and low-cost to the network budget.”

Of course, with Cisco TelePresence and Cisco Unified Communications, we’re all about helping organizations be more productive and collaborative while reducing costs.

But sometimes, playing can be as important as working, especially when it comes to the World Cup soccer tournament. This year, Cisco TelePresence will play an important role in ESPN’s coverage of that event. Read Chris Barker’s personal account of his brush with soccer legend John Harkes back in 1994 and again on May 20, when Harkes was on hand for the ESPN/Cisco TelePresence announcement.

Video: Cisco Quad Demo at Enterprise 2.0 Boston

Watch Cisco Product Manager, Harold Pulhug, demonstrate Cisco Quad at Enterprise 2.0 Boston. During the product tour, Harold shows how this enterprise collaboration platform integrates with Cisco Unified Communications, Microsoft Exchange, and more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cisco Quad set to ship before November

Company takes social networking to the enterprise, promises iPhone, iPad apps

By Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld
June 11, 2010 09:21 AM ET

Cisco Systems said today that its social collaboration platform aimed at the enterprise will be released in the next four to five months.

Cisco Quad , which is designed to take popular social networking tools and tricks and meld them into a platform for business use, is due out in a limited release in the first quarter of Cisco's financial year 2011, which begins at the end of July. Quad initially will be available in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Doron Aronson, a spokesman for Cisco, said Quad will be generally available in about another year.

Quad pricing was not immediately available.

Murali Sitaram, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Enterprise Collaboration Platform, told Computerworld in a recent interview that the Web-based collaboration platform pulls together Facebook -like update posts, instant messaging, document sharing, video communication, microblogging and communities.

"We've borrowed from the Web 2.0 world," Sitaram said, noting that Cisco has been working on Quad for about three years. "It's a manifestation of social capabilities."

Social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter , have been hot commodities in the online world, where people are eager to share pictures of their kids and updates about their vacations and weekend parties. Enterprises, however, have been slow to see Web 2.0 tools as a resource that could help companies improve business and not just a way for employees to waste time.

Cisco hopes to appeal to companies that want their employees being social in a business atmosphere -- sharing documents, joining work communities and having video chats about work projects.

Cisco Quad, which went into a beta test with about 100 users last fall, is slated to also be available via native iPad and iPhone applications later this year.

Dan Olds, an analyst at The Gabriel Consulting Group, noted that Cisco is pushing out Quad just as major enterprises begin to wrap their heads around the idea of using Web 2.0 tools for business . Executives, he added, want to use Web 2.0 tools -- but they want to make sure they're for business use -- and that's what Cisco is aiming for the new platform.

Cisco Quad is designed to let users microblog inside the platform, with posts going out to colleagues who follow them. However, Sitaram pointed out that with a click, the in-house microblogs also can be posted on Twitter, the site that popularized microblogging.

And companies that don't want employees posting updates about certain topics outside of corporate confines can set up rules that will limit users' ability to make public posts, Sitaram added.

Quad includes a calendaring application, integration of voice-mail messages, a Facebook-like feed of updates from colleagues that users have "befriended," workgroup communities, document storage for collaborative work, live video and recorded video storage.

As Cisco tries to get a leg up in the fairly new enterprise collaboration arena, it'll have some competition from the likes of Microsoft's Sharepoint business collaboration platform and Google 's collaboration and communications tool, Wave .

Cisco plans to continue adding to the Quad platform.

The company also announced that it's taking the wraps off its WebEx Connect IM, which is Cisco's first cloud-based instant messaging application. It will be available in several countries, including the U.S., Canada, Spain and Japan, by the end of June. Aronson noted that WebEx Connect IM will become part of the Quad platform at some future point. Pricing wasn't available.

Cisco also unveiled the Prosumer Video solution, which integrates FocalPoint, an online video workspace with the business-class, four-hour Cisco Flip MinoPRO camcorder. Aimed at enterprise users, it's designed to enable users to store and share video in the cloud.

Aronson said it's not yet clear whether Prosumer Video will become part of the Quad platform, but it is being billed as being part of Cisco's collaboration portfolio. It is slated to go on sale as a stand-alone product in August with a pricetag of $499 for the camcorder and $299 per seat for FocalPoint.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is .

Read more about enterprise web 2.0/collaboration in Computerworld's Enterprise Web 2.0/Collaboration Topic Center.

Customer Success Story - The Food Group Using Cisco WebEx

Friday, June 11, 2010

The View from the Virtual Office: making life better

Today, I am very pleased to bring you a very interesting post, the first in a two part series. This very touching post, authored by full time Avaya teleworker Jeff Blatt, shares a number of the benefits he has experienced over the years through his work arrangement, including the touching role it played in dealing with a family health crisis.

As a reminder, Jeff is a Manager with our Global Support Services Operations and ably serves our global customers from the comfy confines of his house in the beautiful Oregon woods near the Willamette River (doesn’t that sound idyllic). Thanks a ton to Jeff for his work putting these posts together and sharing his experiences. Keep up the good work.

The View from the Virtual Office
By: Jeff Blatt

I am not political, nor an activist, but I want to share my personal experiences as a long-time, full-time, telecommuter. As you'll see, it is not about a day, month, or even a year, but a lifestyle.

"Virtual" Reality: Life's Challenges
Sometimes the Avaya UC story has significant personal impact. I have telecommuted full-time for over twelve years, servicing Avaya's global customers and employees. Working virtual office has obvious environmental benefits and the flexibility has been mutually rewarding. Within the last 18 months, the impact has been more profound. My father, an avid volunteer minister, bicyclist, hiker, and kayaker, was diagnosed with a rare and advanced cancer. Thus began 600 mile journeys to be with him for doctor's visits, hospital stays, and home care. During the 12-hour drives, I worked 'passenger VO', equipped with my laptop, wireless broadband, email, chat, and Avaya tools (VPNremote, IP Agent, one-X Mobile, EC500, ASA, CMS). My portable 'office' went with me wherever needed, whether a waiting room or the living room, enabling me to assist him and yet perform my job. With extended care situations, such flexibility is unmatched, reducing time-off and yet allowing me to continue to quickly assist my family on short-notice. I truly appreciate this aspect of work-family balance that Avaya technology and support from my management has enabled.

"Virtual" Reality: Environmental Impact
When I joined Avaya (Quintus Corporation at that time), I commuted about 80 miles round trip in the San Francisco, California, area. I have tried carpooling, light rail, commuter rail, and transit bus. The office moved several times, so the worse-case commute would have been 100 miles a day. However, I enjoy a zero-commute since I began telecommuting from Oregon. Living near an airport has allowed occasional travel to customer and Avaya sites. Yet, using Avaya's 'Green Calculator' I estimate a savings of 61428 kwh of energy, 72 tons of CO2 emissions, and 4416 gallons of gas. I've reallocated 3960 commute hours to more important tasks and explored solar power for my laptop; my property's small forest helps clean the air. …Enabled by Avaya technology.

Posted by Wilson Korol at 11:31 on June 10, 2010

Industry Experts Anoint Polycom as Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Video Conferencing Vendor of the Year

Frost & Sullivan annual market studies separately reaffirm Polycom's position as dominant leader in Asia Pacific VC endpoints and infrastructure market

11 Jun 2010 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communication solutions, has been named as Video Conferencing Vendor of the Year at the 2010 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards. Polycom was chosen by a panel of esteemed Asia Pacific industry leaders, based on a selection of criteria including revenue growth and performance, market share, product innovation and portfolio diversity.

Now in its seventh consecutive year, the Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards recognise companies that demonstrate best practices in their industry, commending the diligence, commitment and innovative business strategies required to advance in the global marketplace.

Separately, Polycom has once again been recognised as the dominant vendor in the fast-growing Asia Pacific video conferencing endpoints market, as well as the video conferencing infrastructure market. Frost & Sullivan's recently released research study, entitled ‘Asia Pacific Video Conferencing Endpoints Markets', has found that Polycom captured a staggering 29.5 per cent market share of Asia Pacific VC endpoint revenues during 2009 – almost double that of its nearest competitor. In addition, Polycom's market leading share in video conferencing infrastructure was 24 per cent, according to the research study entitled ‘Asia Pacific Video Conferencing Infrastructure Markets' by Frost & Sullivan.

"Polycom has demonstrated strong and consistent leadership in the Asia Pacific video conferencing market," said Pranabesh Nath, industry manager, collaboration and unified communications, at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. "Polycom's recent broad partnerships with industry giants such as Microsoft, HP and Broadsoft, and networking majors such as Juniper, bode very well for its status as the only remaining independent video conferencing vendor."

Commenting on the award, Hansjoerg Wagner, vice-president and managing director of Polycom Asia Pacific said: "We are delighted to receive the Frost & Sullivan Video Conferencing Vendor of the Year Award, which reinforces that Polycom is the number one video partner of choice for Asia Pacific customers. By enabling teams and individuals to communication anywhere, anytime, Polycom's HD video and telepresence solutions maximise organisational productivity, and accelerate decision-making – helping Polycom customers across all industry sectors to achieve a significant competitive advantage."

Mr Wagner added: "Through the Polycom Open Collaboration Network, Polycom partners with the leaders in network infrastructure and unified communications – such as HP, IBM, Microsoft, NEC, Avaya, Juniper and Siemens – to provide customers open and interoperable collaboration solutions that integrate natively with their Unified Communications environments. This means customers don't need to rip-and-replace existing IT investments to realise the productivity and efficiency benefits of video conferencing."

According to the Frost & Sullivan research studies, the Asia Pacific VC endpoints market is expected to achieve a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.6 per cent by revenue through to 2016, while the VC infrastructure market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.5 per cent by revenue till 2016.

"The market awareness for video conferencing has increased dramatically since 2008," said Nath. "Video collaboration is expected to be a key growth area in enterprise communications and the market is expected to see additional activity in the coming years."

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit

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 for more information and follow us on Twitter @PolycomAlert.

© 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.

Avaya recognized as the Enterprise Telephony Vendor of the Year by Frost & Sullivan

Thursday, 10 June 2010 21:47 Written by Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan today hosted the annual Asia Pacific ICT Awards ( banquet at the Shangri-la Singapore. Into its seventh year, the Awards program has since grown in size and stature and has become the hallmark event for the information & communication technologies (ICT) sector in this region.

While a few notable companies have maintained their position consistently year after year showcasing their leadership and best practices, the awards have also demonstrated a dynamic honour roll that includes emerging players along with the ‘big daddies' of the industry.

Among the consistent champions was IBM Daksh that has maintained its title as the Contact Center Outsourcing Service provider of the year, for the fifth year in a row and Huawei Technologies for the Fixed Broadband Equipment Vendor of the year, retaining the title for four consequent years.

Other notable recipients who have maintained their 2009 positions were Microsoft for the Unified Communications Vendor of the year, Intercall for the Conferencing and Collaboration Service Provider of the year, Alcatel-Lucent for Optical Vendor of the year, and Axiata Group for the Best Telecom Group.

The Award program represents the entire spectrum of enterprise solution vendors, telecom equipment vendors and service providers in Asia Pacific. There is also a best-ofthe-best category that recognises the best vendor, service provider, telecom group, innovative application and CEO of the year. The Awards are held annually and seek to recognize companies and individuals who have pushed the boundaries of excellence, rising above the competition and demonstrating outstanding performance in the ICT industry across the region for base year 2009.

"Despite the difficult economic climate in 2009, the award recipients demonstrated great success. They attained key wins with strategies including product and service innovation, customer focus and robust business models. Vendors excelled by offering tailored solutions focusing on individual markets rather than just offering products. Successful service providers used bundling and blending of services and effective market segmentation to monetize their networks and maximum their return on network investments. The award recipients are industry leaders in Asia Pacific and are shaping the ICT landscape of this region," said, Manoj Menon, Partner and Asia Pacific Managing
Director at Frost & Sullivan.

Historically, Japanese, Korean, South Asian as well as Greater China players have dominated the take-up of these coveted titles. This year rising stars, from emerging markets such as Telkomsel from Indonesia, Metfone from Cambodia and Axiata from Bangladesh have ousted competition and claimed prestigious titles for themselves.

The selection process for Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards is a rigorous one. From a short-list of 85 top ICT players operating across Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan's team of Press release: 2010 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards 2 analysts research and evaluate the contenders in each of the three categories. The analysis of the evaluation is then presented to an independent panel of judges,
comprising of influential personalities, decision-makers and thought leaders from the ICT sector across Asia pacific. To view the complete list of 2010 ICT Awards judging panel, please visit,

All contenders were evaluated based on a variety of actual market performance indicators which include revenue growth, market share and growth in market share, leadership in product innovation, breadth of products and solutions, major customer acquisitions, and business and market strategy, amongst other category-specific criteria.

Frost & Sullivan congratulates all the outstanding recipients of the 2010 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards

RP International is the category sponsor for the ‘service provider' category, Tech Mahindra is the silver sponsor, GN Netcom is the bronze sponsor while IXIA is the supporting sponsor for the 2010 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards.

The Wall Street Journal Asia is the official newspaper partner while PR Newswire is the official newswire for the banquet. Official online TV partner is Telecom TV, official business newspaper partner is the Malaysia Reserve, official business magazine is Business Today
and the official online media partner is ZDNet Asia.

About the Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards
The Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards is held annually to recognize outstanding performance by companies and individuals in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in Asia Pacific. The awards are presented to companies that demonstrate best practices in their industry, commending the diligence, commitment, and innovative business strategies required to advance in the global marketplace. It has attracted some of the leading names in technology on a single platform to compete for the most coveted titles in ICT. Now in its seventh consecutive year, the 2010 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards will once again recognize companies and individuals that have pushed the boundaries of excellence - rising above the competition and demonstrating outstanding performance across the region. Benchmarked against the highest standards of measurement criteria, the recipients of these awards indeed represent the best-inclass in Asia Pacific. For more information on the awards, research and judging process, and past recipients, please visit

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit

Cisco gains an edge

Share up five percentage points in Q1; Juniper regains No. 2 ranking

By Jim Duffy on Thu, 06/10/10 - 5:11pm.

The first quarter saw some shifting in the service provider edge router market. Cisco extended its lead in the market to 47% by gaining five percentage points in the quarter, according to Dell'Oro Group.

And Juniper leapfrogged Alcatel-Lucent to regain the No. 2 position in the market. Juniper relinquished it to Alcatel-Lucent in Q2 2009 after holding the position the previous nine years, according to Dell'Oro.

The total service provider edge router market was $1.26 billion in Q1, down 10% from Q4 2009 but up 20% from Q1 of last year.

Tellabs jumped two spots from sixth to fourth as sales of its edge routers surged to record levels, Dell'Oro reports. Tellabs benefited from demand for mobile backhaul applications, Dell'Oro reports, while Cisco saw its large customer base upgrade to the new ASR 9000.

But Tellabs may have lost a coveted position at AT&T to Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent as AT&T winnows down its number of suppliers under its "domain" procurement plan. Under that plan, AT&T is looking to deal with two vendors per network domain - core, access, edge and optical, etc.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Avaya IP Office Maintenance Software Updates Available For Download

IP Office 4.2(32) User CD and User Components

This file contains the IP Office 4.2 User CD Maintenance Release and also the separate components for a faster download.

Please click on the following links to access the IP Office 4.2 User Maintenance Release CD. You may need to right-click on the file name and select "Save Target As" to download the software.

The size of the Complete User CD download is approximately 130 MB.

USER 4.2.32 Complete CD (130Mb)

USER CD Component – Devlink install 4.2 MB

USER CD Component – PMPro install 38.1 MB

USER CD Component – Soft Console Install 39.2 MB

USER CD Component – TAPI install 12 MB

NOTE: Please be aware that due to the size of this download, you may experience some connection problems. Please make sure you have adequate bandwidth to download the file.

USER4_2_32.exe | File size : KB

User CD 4.2(32) Complete download

pmpQ2Maint2010_4_2_32.exe | File size : KB

User 4.2 CD Component - PhoneManager Install

scQ2Maint2010_4_2_19.exe | File size : KB

User 4.2 CD Component - SoftConsole Install

devlinkQ2Maint2010.exe | File size : KB

User 4.2 CD Component - Devlink Install

tapiQ2Maint2010.exe | File size : KB

User 4.2 CD Component - TAPI Install

IP Office 5.0(26) VoiceMail Pro Software

This file contains the IP Office 5.0(26) VoiceMail Pro Q2 2010 Maintenance Release Software.

Please click on the following link to access the IP Office 5.0 VoiceMail Pro CD. You may need to right-click on the file name and select "Save Target As" to download the file.

The size of the download is approximately 482 MB.

NOTE: Please be aware that due to the size of this download, you may experience some connection problems. Please make sure you have adequate bandwidth to download the file.

VMPRO5_0_26.exe | File size : KB

IP Office VoiceMail Pro 5.0(26) Software

IP Office Customer Call Reporter (CCR) Q2 2010 Maintenance Release Software

Avaya is delighted to announce the availability of the IP Office Customer Call Reporter Software

Please click on the following link to access the IP Office CCR Software. You may need to right-click on the file name and select "Save Target As" to download the file.

NOTE: Please be aware that due to the size of this download, you may experience some connection problems. Please make sure you have adequate bandwidth to download the file.

CCR1_2_4_6.exe | File size : KB

IP Office CCR Software download

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cisco vs. HP in the networking market

Wide Area Networking Alert By Jim Metzler and Steve Taylor, Network World
June 09, 2010 12:06 AM ET

In our last newsletter we pointed out that Cisco has been the dominant vendor of enterprise switches and routers for the last 20 years and that that situation is not likely to change anytime soon. We also pointed out that there is some indication that Cisco is vulnerable to losing some market share. We will use this newsletter to discuss how we see HP positioned in the enterprise networking market and whether or not we think that HP will take significant market share away from Cisco.

Cisco defectors

HP has a long and sometimes strange history relative to networking. It has been in the networking business for decades. However, the importance of the networking business inside of HP has varied widely over that time. HP currently gives the appearance that they are serious about networking. While we thought that HP was going to acquire Force10, their recent acquisition of 3Com is an example of that seriousness. There was a time, however, not that long ago when HP's networking business reported into the HP printer business. At that point in time the HP networking business was not getting the resources and attention it needed inside of HP to become a major player in the networking market.

At the recent Interop conference in Las Vegas Jim had HP on a panel entitled "Why Networking Must Fundamentally Change". On the panel HP stated that one of the factors driving change in the network is that there is currently a lack of equitable competition and that lack of competition keeps prices unnecessarily high. We know of many Cisco shops that will negotiate with multiple networking vendors in part to get better pricing from Cisco. However, we don't know of many Cisco shops that will buy networking equipment from another vendor just to change the dynamics in the overall networking marketplace. So if HP is truly looking at this factor to drive change, we believe that it will be disappointed.

Another reason that HP gave for why networking must change was the massive growth in the number of end points and the growing pervasiveness of mobility. It is hard to argue that those factors are driving change. In fact, most of the other members of that panel also suggested that massive growth and mobility are driving change. HP stated that what IT organizations need to do to respond to these challenges is to carefully provision modern architectures. For reasons that we will discuss in future newsletters, we agree with that recommendation completely. However, Cisco has a long history of producing architecture documents to help IT organizations think about how they should plan their infrastructure. We doubt if Cisco will change that approach.

To date, HP does not have much of a history in producing architecture documents, particularly ones that cut across the HP business units. Unless HP really starts to help its customers and potential customers think a bit more strategically about the evolution of complex technologies it will not take much, if any, market share away from Cisco.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Apple iPad targeted by Avaya device

While Apple ( is set to rev up the hype machine at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) today, Avaya seems about ready to introduce an iPad-like device for business users that might steal a little of Steve Jobs thunder. The Avaya device acts like a phone, has support for video and all manner of wireless technology.

The concept of such a chameleon appliance was revealed by Avaya during VoiceCon last fall when the company said it would blend the device with versions of Skype, Google and Yahoo applications hardened for business use.

Beyond Apple's WWDC: Five not so crazy iPhone predictions for 2011

The company said then that the hardware would be coming out this spring, so the company has about two weeks left to make good on that promise.Avaya has been hinting around for weeks that it has a big announcement in July, and this could be it. A report to the FCC from a company called Atheros Communications, Inc., indicates it performed radio-frequency tests on an Avaya device.

Avaya wouldn't say whether this is the chameleon device or not. Sorry, but we have no comments on any filings made by other vendors that may appear to depict Avaya products, a spokeswoman wrote in response to an e-mail seeking more detail.

According to a report on the radio capabilities of the device submitted to the Federal Communications Commission, the test looked at wireless emissions and the function of the devices antenna. It was tested for frequencies 30-200MHz, 200-1,000MHz, 1-18GHz and 18-40GHz, so it covers the radio spectrum for all flavors of Wi-Fi, WiMax as well as Bluetooth.

A photo of the device features a Harmon Kardon logo, which suggests speakers as well.The device - referred to as a tablet PC model 2010-70DO1A-003 - reported on to the FCC may be a second-generation of the appliance. When Avaya senior vice president for global communications solutions Alan Baratz spoke about it last fall, he said the initial offering would be wired as for deployment in corporate networks.

A diagram of the test configuration shows the device connected to a docking station equipped with an LCD monitor, phone handset and earphone, indicating it is meant for office use and to be undocked and used as a mobile device.

In addition to calling it a tablet PC, the report describes it as a kind of computer peripheral, because the connection to computer is necessary for typical use. The device was tested with a docking station, wireless switch hook and handset from Avaya; a monitor and notebook from Dell; USB flash drives from Transcend; earphones from Phillips; external hard drives from Terasys; and a telephone from Wonder.

Baratz said last fall that the device he described was primarily meant to support high-definition audio and low-bandwidth video, but he also implied that it would try to fulfill businesses needs for desktops, laptops and other portable wireless devices. The uniting factor among these devices will be client software with a common feel so users can be comfortable with the client regardless of the device they use to communicate.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

Original story -

Cisco's Quad takes social networking to the enterprise

By Sharon Gaudin
June 7, 2010 02:40 PM ET

Computerworld - Cisco Systems is looking to take popular social networking tools and tricks and meld them into a platform that's focused on business.

It's a social way of dealing with everyday business, according to Murali Sitaram, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Enterprise Collaboration Platform. Sitaram is overseeing the development of Cisco Quad, a Web-based collaboration platform for the enterprise that's designed to pull together Facebook-like update posts, instant messaging, document sharing, video communication, microblogging and communities.

"We've borrowed from the Web 2.0 world," Sitaram said, noting that Cisco has been working on Quad for about three years. "It's a manifestation of social capabilities."

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been hot commodities in the online world, where people are eager to share pictures of their kids and updates about their vacations and weekend parties. Enterprises, however, have been slow to see Web 2.0 tools as as resource that could help companies improve their businesses, and not just a way for employees to waste time.

As Cisco tries to get a leg up in the fairly new enterprise collaboration space, it'll have some competition from the likes of Microsoft's Sharepoint business collaboration platform and Google's upcoming collaboration and communications tool, Wave.

Cisco Quad went into an initial beta test last fall.

"The Cisco approach to bringing social networking into the enterprise is interesting and different in that it's more than just having an internal Facebook-like mechanism," said Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group. "Cisco is talking about integrating enterprise applications into the mix to give social networking more business functionality. This could be an attractive selling point to customers."

Quad could be coming out just as businesses get their heads around enterprise 2.0 applications -- that is, using social networking tools for the enterprise, Olds said.

"Companies are fascinated with the potential benefits associated with social networking," he said. "They want to get their employees engaged on a deeper level and interacting with a wider range of others. Social networking can certainly do this, but most companies are worried about it being too social and not enough business. ... This is along the lines of something Google is pitching with their Wave platform, but, to me at least, Wave seems to be quite a bit more social than business. Cisco's product, on the other hand, looks to be geared to support business tasks and make it easier for employees to do their jobs."

Cisco Quad is set up to meld various tools into one platform. For instance, Quad is designed to let users microblog inside the platform, with posts going out to colleagues who follow them. However, Sitaram pointed out that with a click, the in-house microblogs also can be posted on Twitter, the site that popularized microblogging.

And for companies that don't want employees posting updates about certain topics outside of company "confines," they can set up rules in Quad that will limit users' ability to make outside posts about certain topics or even on certain days, Sitaram added.

Quad also includes a calendaring application, along with integration of voice-mail messages, a Facebook-like feed of updates from colleagues that users have "befriended," workgroup communities, and a place where documents can be stored and made available for collaborative work. The platform also includes live video, recorded video storage, instant messaging and e-mail.

So colleagues can see Sitaram's updated Facebook-like postings, microbloggings and shared documents, and the communities of employees with whom he is working, to get a better sense of who he is and his role within the company. "You have a sense of who I am," Sitaram said. "You have a sense of my blogs, what I've been doing and even my reporting structure. You have a sense here of me."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hackney Appointed to Lead Global Sales, Marketing and Field Operations in Addition to Avaya Government Solutions

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications systems, software and services, today announced that Joel Hackney has been appointed Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing and President of Field Operations. In this role, Hackney replaces Todd Abbott. Abbott, who has led the work of transforming Avaya's go-to-market strategy over the last two years, has decided to step down to pursue other interests and will remain with Avaya during an appropriate transitional period.
"In the past six months, Avaya has undergone some significant and exciting changes, including the rollout of several innovative products and solutions. Today's leadership changes will allow us to build on that momentum and stay on track to deliver even more solutions that create customer value and respond to the evolution in real-time business communications and customer service," said Kevin Kennedy, Avaya President and CEO.

Hackney, who is currently leading the Avaya Data and Government Solutions business units, will continue to drive the federal government business. The data solutions organization will now report to Steve Bandrowczak, who becomes Vice President and General Manager, Avaya Data Solutions. Bandrowczak will serve as a member of the Avaya Executive Committee, reporting directly to Avaya President and CEO Kevin Kennedy. Previously, Bandrowczak served as Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Avaya Data Solutions. Prior to joining Avaya, Bandrowczak led the North American Enterprise Sales and Marketing team for Nortel and has also served as the CIO for leading companies such as Lenovo, DHL and Avnet.

The company also announced today that Jim Chirico has been appointed Executive Vice President, Business Operations. Chirico will retain his current responsibilities and assume the added accountability of driving cross-functional alignment of key workstreams, including Avaya growth, transition, integration and restructuring activities.
These leadership changes are effective June 14th.

Clearing the Air for Partners Around CleanAir Technologies

It’s been a common source of frustration ever since wireless networking was invented: interference, dropped downloads, choppy video. But what if your customers could have the same reliability as a wired connection on their wireless network?

Enter, Cisco’s new series of wireless access points with CleanAir technology. CleanAir clears the air by cutting down sources of interference that “share the air” with wireless routers.

I sat down with Channel Account Manager and CleanAir expert Mike Glew via TelePresence to find out what this technology means for partners and how it benefits customers.

More highlights from our interview:

During our interview, Glew also discussed the importance of partners taking advantage of network assessments. (Talk to your CAM to get nominated between now and July 31, 2010. Visit the Cisco-Funded Network Assessments page to learn more.)

Assessments help customers identify gaps, offer guidance on upgrading the customer’s infrastructure, and explain why additional infrastructure may be needed to run specific applications (such as medical records, point of presence, or retail displays).

CleanAir is just one piece of Cisco’s Borderless Network architecture, allowing employees the flexibility to connect anywhere, anytime, and using any device -– even personal devices like Blackberries, iPhones, and iPads.

If you want to learn more, catch a replay of Cisco’s live, interactive Talk2Cisco CleanAir chat with an indepth discussion, interview, and questions from the customer and partner communities.

Virtual Worlds for Business. Its not Playing. Its Work.

I was recently invited to join a Virtual Spaces discussion through the Thinkbalm™ Innovation Community on LinkedIn™. They arranged a conference via SecondLife®. It sounded fun – we’d each choose an avatar and participate as if attending a real life conference.

Admittedly, this wasn’t an entirely new idea for me. I started playing with Avaya’s inherited web.alive service ( almost as soon as it joined Avaya via the Nortel Acquisition. Yep, “playing”. After all, it isn’t often you can legitimately play PC games while at the office. And this thing is undeniably fun.

Disclaimer: Marketing cautioned me not to over-emphasize the word “play” as it might give readers the impression that this isn’t a serious business tool. So if you have that impression, wherever you see the word “play”, please substitute: “engaging in an intuitive environment that encourages exploration and interaction with people both within and outside of my company”.

Sure, there’s truth to that. Nic Sauriol who leads this project observes that there are real benefits to using virtual spaces vs just a regular audio conference call. For example, sidebar conversations and virtual eye contact drive people to stay engaged rather than multitask. For this habitual multitasker, after joining several meetings in web.alive, I’d have to agree. Yet it’s still fun.

Anyway, back to the LinkedIn virtual conference. I downloaded the 23Mb SecondLife file and tried to use it only then discovering that I would need to work with our corporate IT to assure access. While in many cases it can be straightforward to unblock a specific URL and port for firewall traversal, SecondLife is a bit tougher on firewalls than typical enterprise applications. This is a known problem, and SecondLife provides engineering guidelines online (the SecondLife’s configuration guide).

Since I was new to the Immersive Internet, I assumed that the complexity was inherent in Virtual Spaces. But then it dawned on me that I had joined lots of meetings in web.alive without encountering the traversal problem – even with folks outside of the firewall. So I asked the experts.

The folks on LinkedIn offered a variety of answers (you can find the discussion by joining the Thinkbalm community here) that salved the firewall challenges of SecondLife. Darius Lahoutifard CEO at Altydyn™, observed that SecondLife and other virtual spaces started out as consumer games, and proxies/firewalls weren’t as much of an issue. Several folks suggested system integrators that will design and realize a virtual world solution – including firewall traversal. Another approach for vendors is to build a custom SecondLife client based on an open source platform, such as Snowglobe, that will point to a cloud-based proxy which incorporates simplified port management and would have an easier time traversing corporate firewalls. Another vendor, nTeams, partnered with the ALCUS virtual world design firm to provide a corporate customized collaboration platform based on SecondLife and will engineer traversal approaches.

New solutions such as Avaya’s web.alive have been designed from the bottom up for corporate use. In addition to ours, I was pointed to Altydyn™’s, for example. And David Gardner, CEO of Venuegen observes that it’s VoIP that typically has a problem with firewalls (e.g., observe in the table above that most of those listed are VoIP related ports) so his company permits telephony dial-in as a fallback.

While that LinkedIn conversation confirmed that there is a common issue around NAT/firewalls for virtual spaces, it only fueled my curiosity. Why didn’t I run across this problem with web.alive? It turns out that this is an inherently complicated problem and was the focus of considerable investment in designing web.alive 2.0 released last fall.

Coming from a vendor familiar with VoIP as well as data networking, they engineered the solution to reduce the number of ports required to just a few, (the exact number changes based on the enterprise environment). Part of their answer was the acquisition of DiamondWare who lent this program 3D spatial audio: a client is fed the audio stream via RTP, and 3DVoice properties controlling spatial presentation are sent via a second port consolidating the audio requirement to just a couple of ports. Additionally, using their data networking experience the web.alive solution automatically analyzes typical port configurations – for example http and/or https tunneling through port 80 when they can, or automatically testing connections as administered within corporate-approved browser settings. If there was just one browser, proxy method, operating system, and firewall in the world this would be simple. But the myriad of combinations, incompatibilities, and even browser software bugs made this difficult. I have to hand it to the web.alive team in tracking down and mitigating the problems so the program is friendly for corporate IT use.

So while enterprise firewalls can inhibit adoption for some legacy virtual worlds, vendors mitigate this via integration services for IT departments. Meanwhile, more recent Virtual Collaboration solutions such as our web.alive were developed specifically for businesses and can ease adoption. They’re designed to be firewall/NAT friendly, and more-and-more people should be able to join these conferences without first consulting with their IT org. So the odds are improving that one day we’ll meet while playing with these new serious business tools.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Annual Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast Projects Global IP Traffic to Increase More Than Fourfold by 2014

Video to Surpass Peer-to-Peer as Top Internet Traffic Contributor by End of 2010, Global Online Video Community to Exceed 1 Billion Users by 2014

SAN JOSE, Calif. - June 2, 2010 - Today Cisco announced the results of the annual Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, 2009-2014, which projects that global Internet traffic will increase more than fourfold to 767 exabytes, or more than 3/4 of a Zettabyte, by 2014. This amount is 100 exabytes higher than the projected level in 2013, or an increase the equivalent of 10 times all the traffic traversing Internet Protocol networks in 2008.

The growth in traffic will continue to be dominated by video, exceeding 91 percent of global consumer IP traffic by 2014. Improvements in network bandwidth capacity and Internet speeds, along with the increasing popularity of HDTV and 3DTV are key factors expecting to quadruple IP traffic from 2009 to 2014.


  • The Cisco VNI Forecast, which focuses on two primary user groups—consumers and businesses—was developed as an annual study to estimate global IP traffic growth and trends. Projections are based on Cisco analysis and modeling of traffic, usage, and device data from independent analyst sources. Cisco validates its forecast, inputs, and methodology with data provided by service providers worldwide.
  • To help network users better understand global IP traffic growth drivers and trends, Cisco updated several of its unique resources:
    • The VNI Forecast widget provides customized views of the growth of various network traffic types around the globe (revised for this 2009 - 2014 forecast period).
    • The VNI PC Pulse application for desktop and laptop computers helps consumers learn more about their individual impact on IP networks and compare their network usage with that of others around the world.

Research Highlights:

Total Global IP Traffic in "Bytes"

  • Global IP traffic is expected to increase more than fourfold (4.3 times) from 2009 to 2014, reaching 63.9 exabytes per month in 2014, up from approximately 56 exabytes per month in 2013. This is equivalent to 766.8 exabytes per year - almost three-quarters of a zettabyte, by 2014.
  • The nearly 64 exabytes of global IP traffic per month projected for 2014 is equivalent to 16 billion DVDs; 21 trillion MP3's; or 399 quadrillion text messages.

Regional IP Traffic Trends

  • By 2014, the highest IP-traffic generating regions will be North America (19.0 exabytes per month), Asia Pacific (17.4 exabytes per month), Western Europe (16.2 exabytes per month) and Japan (4.3 exabytes per month).
  • The fastest growing IP-traffic regions for the forecast period (2009-2014) are Latin America (51 percent compound annual growth rate [CAGR], 7.9-fold growth), the Middle East and Africa (45 percent CAGR, 6.5-fold growth), and Central Europe (38 percent CAGR, 5.1-fold growth).

Primary Growth Driver: Video

  • By 2014, the sum of all forms of video (TV, VoD, Internet video, and peer-to-peer) will continue to exceed 91 percent of global consumer traffic.
  • Global Internet video traffic will surpass global peer-to-peer traffic by the end of 2010. For the first time in the last 10 years, peer-to-peer traffic will not be the largest Internet traffic type.
  • The global online video community will include more than 1 billion users by the end of 2010.
  • By 2014, it would take more than two years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks every second; to watch all the video crossing the network that year would take 72 million years.

3DTV and HD (Advanced Video)

  • Globally, advanced video traffic, including three-dimensional (3-D) and high-definition TV (HDTV), is projected to increase 13 times between 2009 and 2014.
  • By 2014, 3-D is expected to account for 4 percent of total Internet video traffic.
  • By 2014, 3-D and HD video is forecast to comprise 42 percent of total consumer Internet video traffic.

Global File Sharing

  • Global file sharing traffic is projected to reach 11 exabytes per month in 2014, 22 percent CAGR from 2009-2014.
  • P2P will grow at a CAGR of 16 percent, while web-based and other file sharing will grow at CAGR of 47 percent from 2009-2014.
  • By 2014, global P2P traffic will be 17 percent of global consumer Internet traffic, down from 36 percent in 2009.

Global Business IP Traffic

  • Global business IP Traffic is forecast to reach 7.7 exabytes per month in 2014, more than tripling from 2009-2014.
  • Business video conferencing is projected grow ten-fold over the forecast period, growing almost three times as fast as overall business IP traffic, at a CAGR of 57 percent from 2009-2014.
  • Web-based video conferencing is the fastest growing sub-category, growing 180-fold from 2009-2014 (183 percent CAGR from 2009-2014).

Mobile Broadband

  • Global mobile data traffic will increase 39 times from 2009 to 2014.
  • By 2014, annual global mobile data traffic will reach 3.5 exabytes per month (or a run rate of more than 42 exabytes annually).

Consumer vs. Business

  • Consumer IP traffic is projected to grow faster than business:
    • For 2009, consumer IP traffic represented 79 percent of monthly total global IP traffic and business IP traffic was 21 percent of monthly total global IP traffic.
    • By 2014, consumer IP traffic (web surfing, instant messaging, user-generated videos, etc.) will represent 87 percent of monthly total global IP traffic; while business IP traffic (email, voice, Internet, HD and web-based video conferencing, etc.) will represent 13 percent of monthly total global IP traffic.

Network Speed Enables IP Traffic Growth: 2000 vs. 2010 Comparison

  • In just a decade, the average global residential Internet connection download speed has increased 35 times, which has helped to dramatically increase Internet usage.
  • In 2000, the average global residential Internet connection download speed was 127 kilobits per second (Kbps). The current (2010) average global residential Internet connection download speed is 4.4 megabits per second (Mbps.)

Network Download Evolution:

Online Activity

2000 Download Time

2010 Download Time

Download a DVD-quality movie (4 GB)

3 days

2 hours

Download a MP3 audio file (3 MB)

3 minutes

5 seconds

Download an email attachment (1 MB)

1 minute

2 seconds

Cisco VNI Forecast Widget:

Media/Analysts/Bloggers: Use Cisco's interactive VNI Forecast widget to create custom forecast charts and views by region, application and end-user segment. Get the VNI Forecast Widget.

Enhanced Consumer Application:

Cisco VNI PC Pulse Application:
The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) PC Pulse application measures the amount and types of traffic that you generate from your PC (for example, Web browsing, video, e-mail, etc.). The application also provides a new "IP DNA" abstract image that represents your personal usage preferences. You can compare your individual data against aggregate global statistics from other Cisco VNI PC Pulse users around the world to see how you rate.
Get Cisco PC Pulse

Supporting Quote:

  • Pankaj Patel, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Group, Cisco
  • "Service providers are faced with evolving bandwidth and scalability requirements as residential, business and mobile consumers continue to demonstrate a healthy appetite for advanced video services across a variety of networks and devices. IP networks must be intelligent and flexible enough to support this tremendous variety of traffic growth. The Cisco VNI Forecast offers a global snapshot of video's significance in our daily lives and signals the need for further network preparations to support the quadrupling of the Internet and the more than 1 billion online video users by 2014."

Supporting Resources: