Tuesday, February 22, 2011

State of Green Business in 2011

One of the best things about living in san fran, beside the access to Tahoe, great culture and everything else that draws millions of visitors a year and sky high housing prices, is its role as a fulcrum for my area of business, sustainability and green. There are so many people and companies working in this space in the City and in Silicon Valley, and as an innovation nexus it is much easier to make connections across organizations and sense emerging trends in corporate sustainability.

One annual event that takes place in the area and has served as a great marker is the State of Green Business forum hosted by GreenBiz. At this event, which took place 2 weeks ago in San Fran, and now with companion events in Chicago and Washington, greenbiz introduces their annual report on green in the corporate sector and host a number of leaders and executives in the corporate sustainability space.

I like to use this event to report out to the Avaya community both the substance of the conference and my impressions as we look to continue to grow the sustainability program here at Avaya, which we hope is a forward and growing journey.

My 2 takeaway thoughts
- Corporate sustainability is ascendant: the results from numerous studies show investment in sustainability/green programs and innovation has risen through the economy challenges of the last 2+ years. This is in contrast to past economic slowdowns, where this investment was often one of the first things on the chopping block at corporations looking to get leaner.

- Co-mingling of transformation and disruption: these two concepts seemed to permeate so many of the presentations and side conversations throughout the event. This subset of professionals, including me, have a vision around the needed, and I would argue ongoing, evolution of the global economy. This vision is one of disruptive and radical new ways of connecting, collaborating and living. For example, there is a marked difference between incremental efficiency gains, such as the Avaya 9600 series phones that are more efficient and technology that migrates business to the digital realm, such as Avaya's web.alive solution. The green core team @Avaya has done some back of the envelope calculations around the energy footprint of web.alive versus energy requirements of standard office buildings on a square footage basis and found that web.alvie square footage a staggering 150x more efficient. That is the kind of transformation that is needed throughout all sectors or

More State of Green Business Forum Impressions

Joel Makower introduced the 2011 report: 5 big themes from the Report
1) Rescission hasn't deterred companies from continuing investment
2) More companies are engaging across sustainability
3) Commitment made by companies are trending deeper and more aggressive
4) Progress still incremental, not transformational
5) Communication is still hard and noisy

Sampling of key takeaway points from speakers
- Gavin Newsome, Lieutenant Governor of CA: 'States are the labs of democracy, cities are labs of innovation', which makes me think of the new book by Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, which is getting a ton of positive buzz. I have lived in dense urban areas and true rural and most places in between and it is interesting to think of cities as greener and the fountain of human innovation.
- Mike LaRocco, CEO of Fireman's Fund Insurance: Green buildings pay less in insurance premiums, due to modeling done by the company that shows higher occupancy rates and lower failure rates. For the insurance industry, green build offers lower risk for negative events.
- Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director at VC fund Draper Fischer Jurvetson disruptive innovation often occurs outside of the 'core functions' of any specific company, as that disruption is often not just for the market. ByY definition, disruptive is outside of normal growth.
- Clay Nesler, Johnson Control: Empire State Building undertook a massive retrofit of the building, starting with increased efficiency on the tenant side, where a full 50% of the savings from the work is realized, prevented owner from buying a new chiller. Costs saving from that alone paid for everything else in the retrofit.
- Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist at Microsoft: key to leveraging tech in sustainability ways is 'making it invisible' at the user/consumer level. Make it easy and automatic on the front end and utilize the power and possibility of technology on the back end.
- I think about this in the context of product development and user interface at Avaya. We strive to have products that are intuitive and simple for each person using them, with an excellent example in the Avaya Flare™ interface, which is simple and fun, which leads to people using it and reaping the many benefits of the transformation to digital coloration.
- Paul Anastas, Asst Administrator at the EPA: 'beyond incremental', rethinking what is possible as the need is for transformation innovation that happens through collaboration, between companies, governments and other stakeholders.

A glance in the rear view - Changes in the last 8 years

The familiar technology world we live in becomes less familiar day-by-day, and so we need to constantly reacquaint ourselves each day with today's reality. For example, MySpace domination is ancient history, Kodak no longer makes film, the biggest international telephony carrier in the world is Skype, Apple designers drive expectations for music players and phones, and Avaya has become a software company. :-) Oh, yeah, and emoticons are no longer cool. :-(

This article glances back at how our techno-world looked earlier this decade and compares it to today's numbers. I had posted some market numbers on my wall in the winter of 2002, and it's time for an update. (By "wall", I mean a real wall. In my office. Back in 2002 Facebook didn't exist, and I believe Mr. Zuckerberg was still in High School.)


Don't worry, I'm not going to walk through a deep analysis of these numbers. I have a couple of observations, but I'd invite your thoughts on what this data means.

One thing that leaps out is that there are many more cellphones than PC's or email accounts, and the number of cellphones grew faster than anything else this decade. Some technofiles may assert that this growth is because of increased functionality provided in the evolution from Circuit Switched mobile telephony to Packet Switched and the extra services that offers. A global perspective, though, reveals that it's more likely just that the growth may be more attributed to giving telephone access to more people. The greatest growth in usage, for example, was in the continent of Africa where usage grew from about 2% in the year 2000 to about 28% in 2009. In The Gambia, for example, there were about 800k Mobile subscribers out of about a million telephone users.

Also notice that IT spending has tripled in this decade. That's interesting because the worldwide population hasn't tripled, and manufacturing industrial growth has been less than stellar during the past couple of years. Yet companies have seen the need to invest significantly in information technologies, hinting at a perceived return on investment. At this point I'll give you the choice to figure out if this ROI is real. There are some analysts that argue that this increase in IT investment directly correlates with productivity (e.g., this article from the NY Federal Reserve in 2001), while others argue that improvements in computing efficiency has not mapped into productivity (explained in this Wikipedia article on the Productivity Paradox).

Since I have a background in Statistics, I have an urge to begin a treatise on the validity of the data and things like correlation across the data sources. But, that would be oh so boring. So I'll stop here and invite your thoughts and comments on the road we've taken.....


Disclaimers and sources:

Jabra CC&O appoints new president for EMEA and Latin America

21st February 2011 - Jabra, a world leader in innovative hands-free audio solutions, has appointed Joël Hamon as President for EMEA and Central and South America for its CC&O business. Hamon will focus on developing the company’s partner model and strengthening Jabra’s leadership position in hands-free audio solutions for call centres and businesses.

Hamon’s strategy will focus on working with Jabra CC&O’s established distributors and partners across EMEA and Central and South America to drive sales and increase market share. Key to his approach will be targeting the growing Unified Communications market and supporting partners in their efforts to take advantage of this increasing opportunity.

Hamon’s appointment follows his success as managing director for Southern Europe and Latin America for Jabra CC&O, where he reorganised the entire region and created a highly successful distribution network. Hamon also increased the results achieved by the Southern Europe subsidiary significantly, by working hand in hand with local partners to win audio projects for very large companies.

Prior to joining Jabra in 2007, Hamon held various management positions with Cisco, 3Com and Polycom.

About GN Netcom

GN Netcom is a leading specialist in hands-free solutions that help people communicate freely in any location and across any voice communication platform. The Jabra CC&O division develops and sells UC-ready headsets for contact centres and offices and the Mobile division provides headsets for mobile phones and speakerphones for the car. GN Netcom markets the headsets globally under the Jabra brand. By the end of 2009, GN Netcom had about 850 employees and is a subsidiary of GN Store Nord A/S.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cloud Computing and VoIP Will See Major Growth This Year

By Laura Stotler, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Cloud computing, virtualization and VoIP are going to realize major growth in 2011, according to a recent survey from Gartner (News - Alert). The company predicts 43 percent of organizations will embrace cloud computing and virtualization in some form this year, up from just three percent now.

The driving forces behind the push to the cloud will be limited growth opportunities, pressure to bear a low level of risk and rising costs. IT infrastructure will face increased levels of scrutiny from stakeholders as well as internal management. Gartner believes this increasing scrutiny will impact outcomes, operations, users and reporting.

PlanetMagpie, a San Francisco-area IT consulting agency, is increasing its footprint to gear up for an expected explosion in cloud services. The company built a larger building last year, and has introduced private cloud services to meet growing IT demand. The company provides custom IT consulting, web development, network support and managed IT services for small to mid-sized enterprises.

"Companies have to move forward now. I moved us up here so we'd have more server space to meet the demand, and a better location to reach customers all throughout the Bay Area," said Robert Douglas, founder and president of PlanetMagpie.

PlanetMagpie believes cloud computing, software-as-a-service (SaaS (News - Alert)) and VoIP appeal to organizations because of cost savings and flexibility. Other benefits include social media engagement and easy communications throughout an office.

Gartner forecasts SaaS and social CRM will undergo major growth over the next few years, causing a shakeup in the CRM market as new technologies and implementations take over.

“Over the next three years, social CRM will continue its exponential rise, software as a service (SaaS) will become routine, salesforce.com will reshuffle the market order, and consultants and system integrators will sell their own CRM software,” said Ed Thompson, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

How to Get Started With Cloud Computing

By Beth Schultz, NetworkWorld

1. Get smart

Before making a move into the cloud, get educated on the principles and definitions of cloud computing, advises Johan Goossens, head of NATO's Allied Command Transformation's (ACT) Technology & Human Factors Branch in Norfolk, Va.

"We started in the summer of 2010 with educational efforts. We got ourselves smart on the terminology, sitting down with vendor partners," he says.

2. Know your apps

"Before we got started with the cloud, we made sure that we had a good grasp of our application inventory," says Pedro Villalba, CTO at EmblemHealth, a health insurance provider in New York.

"We identified which applications are driving the business, and then determined which ones need standalone environments. We found a lot of applications, because of the way they've been built, don't lend themselves to be used in a cloud strategy unless they're completely reengineered," he adds.

Once he had wrapped up the application inventory, Villalba says he had a clear understanding of what applications would work well in a virtualized cloud environment.

3. Put together a sample business case

"Cloud is not magic. It's not a silver bullet or a panacea. It's an implementation of technology with certain advantages and characteristics," says Mark White, CTO for Deloitte Consulting's technology practice. "Like in any implementation, particularly when you're trialing activities, we recommend CIOs do a business case as a first experience."

The good news is, the public cloud lends itself to "sticking a toe in the water and doing a first department, geography or use case, as in a first workload to move to the cloud," White adds.

Take into account factors such as the characteristics of cost, the expected return on investment categories and hurdle levels, SLA and performance expectations, service characteristics - what is this doing for me and how - and measure those after the fact.

David Linthicum, CTO at Blue Mountain Labs, a cloud consulting firm, and cloud computing blogger at InfoWorld, a Network World sister publication, agrees. "Most of my clients have prototypes going on and that's what I recommend they do," he says.

"If someone comes to me and says, 'We want to look at infrastructure as a service to solve our storage needs,' I say, 'Well that's great, but let's first understand what that is from an academic perspective and then let's look at the business case,'" he says.

"That's the best way to understand the capabilities of the cloud and how it works in context of your system," Linthicum adds. "You might spend maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars in time and effort in doing this, but you'll get something that can end up saving you millions of dollars if you pick the right solution."

4. Keep expectations in check

If you're going to set up a private cloud, you want to make it as simple to use as Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). "Go ahead and empower users with self-service and the ability to deploy an application in 15 minutes, but do those things while setting the right expectations," says James Staten, vice president and principal analyst with Forrester Research.

For example, IT must make four caveats crystal clear to application developers: Some workloads will be restricted from running in the private cloud; the SLAs for the cloud are more similar to what a user would get from Amazon than the corporate data center - meaning, they shouldn't expect to call IT at two in the morning if a private cloud app falls over; they must commit to an expiration date for the workload; and running that workload in the private cloud will cost your department, and here's how much.

"Once all that is clear, then at a lot of companies it becomes a matter of, 'You can deploy in 15 minutes once your request is approved,' but that doesn't mean by IT, because you want to get out of the way. That approval might come from an enterprise architect, the application development manager or the like," he says.

If your private cloud looks and feels too much like EC2, developers will play there and in a big way, Staten cautions. "That could exacerbate virtual machine sprawl - if you don't create an appropriate cost model, for example, that's like giving them EC2 without a bill and in that case they'll never have any reason to leave. You'll have virtual machines coming in but never going away."

5. Chose a fast path to private cloud

In other words, buy a cloud-in-a-box product, Staten says. "This makes so much sense because of the urgency and priority around the cloud right now."

Cloud-in-a-box products come in two variants, he explains. You can get a software cloud in a box, and then provide the specified hardware and infrastructure below that. That'll cost IT in the $10,000 to $50,000 range, depending on cloud size. "We recommend IT starts with as small a cloud as possible so it can get its feet wet and learn on a smaller dime," Staten says.

Getting started with a complete cloud in a physical box will run IT roughly $150,000, Staten says. "With a complete cloud in a box, you should be able to support most of what the developers would want to put in a cloud anyways."

Cisco Announces Gloucestershire Constabulary as 500th Unified Computing System Customer in Europe

Police Force Selects Cisco's Next-Generation Data Centre Platform to Raise Efficiency and Lower Costs

BEDFONT, UK - 9 February 2011 - Cisco announced at Cisco Live in London last week that Gloucestershire Constabulary, a police force covering six districts across southwest England, has become the 500th customer of the Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM in Europe. This implementation represents the latest milestone in the rapid adoption of Cisco's next-generation data centre platform.

Key highlights:

  • The Cisco Unified Computing System allows organisations to adapt to rapidly changing business conditions by significantly increasing the ability of information technology professionals to scale service delivery while reducing total cost of ownership through a more efficient use of data centre resources.
  • Like many other public sector organisations, the Gloucestershire Constabulary is currently facing tight budget constraints. In order to increase efficiency and reduce costs, the organisation is undergoing a restructuring process. An emphasis on efficiency was a key driver behind the decision to adopt a cloud approach, which will enable higher levels of automation and integration across all of the constabulary's operations.
  • The Gloucestershire Constabulary chose the Cisco Unified Computing System, which will be deployed by Cisco Gold Certified Partner Computacenter, following a competitive tender process. The deployment will see the Cisco solution installed in the Gloucestershire Constabulary's primary data centre at Quedgeley and linked with a disaster recovery centre at Cheltenham. The implementation includes two server chassis, eight Cisco B200 blade servers and four Cisco UCS 6120XP 20-Port Fabric Interconnects. The implementation will also include Cisco UCS Startup Accelerator Services: a package of consultancy, training and knowledge-transfer support services.
  • Previously, the constabulary ran a traditional data centre, with approximately 200 physical servers hosting mission-critical 'command and control centre' systems, as well as business-critical applications such as Microsoft Server and Hyper V applications. This approach, which meant that the IT team was running specific services and operating systems on dedicated servers rather than side-by-side on virtual machines, was difficult to manage and led to frequent hardware purchases and inevitable server sprawl. This environment was also expensive in terms of space, cooling and power.
  • The Cisco Unified Computing System will enable the Gloucestershire Constabulary to significantly reduce costs by consolidating the number of servers required from 200 physical servers to two chassis as well as reducing the organisation's power requirements through the implantation of smart meter technology. Finally, the Cisco Unified Computing System will allow the constabulary to reduce file server requirements by centralising storage and domain access to a small number of sites.

Supporting quotes:

  • Wendy Mars, European director for Data Centres & Virtualisation, Cisco:
  • "Since the launch of the Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco has worked closely with its partners to tackle our customers' toughest data centre challenges. We are delighted to have signed Gloucestershire Constabulary as the 500th Cisco Unified Computing System customer in Europe. To reach this milestone so quickly is a fantastic testament to the platform and the value that our customers are realising from this fresh approach to streamline their data centre operations while increasing efficiency and scalability."

  • Mike Crompton, technical services manager, Gloucestershire Constabulary:
  • "The Gloucestershire Constabulary is currently undergoing a significant restructuring process. As part of this process, we saw a real opportunity to improve the efficiency of our IT infrastructure and were looking beyond legacy approaches for a next-generation data centre platform. The Cisco Unified Computing System will allow us to increase our server utilisation and reduce our energy, space and hardware costs while improving our ability to deliver the mission-critical services that the organisation needs in order to serve the public."

  • Ade Foxall, Director of UCS, Computacenter:
  • "As organisations are coming under greater pressure to streamline their IT operations, particularly with regard to the data centre, we are seeing a growing demand for Cisco Unified Computing System, and the kind of tangible business benefits that it uniquely delivers. As a Cisco UCS Authorized Technology Provider Partner, Computacenter looks forward to working with Gloucestershire Constabulary to achieve their datacentre optimisation objectives."

About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

For more information on Cisco Unified Computing System:

Mobile Videoconferencing: Take Your Meetings on the Road

By Kalpana Ettenson | February 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm PST

When The Who sang about going mobile, they were talking about taking a vacation with no particular destination in mind, not smartphones. But that song could be an anthem for the times: These days, just about every one of us uses a smartphone or mobile device, whether to check email, update our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and to attend teleconferences. But using your phone to attend to a videoconference? That’s the new trend.

Wait, what, mobile videoconferencing? Yes, thanks to a slew of different devices, videoconferencing on mobile devices is the next big thing—a trend that’s predicted to hit “critical mass” in 2011. Here at Cisco we recognize that mobility is a key trend—and one that unites our Collaboration, Borderless Networks, and video strategies. Essentially, we should be able to connect anytime, from anywhere, to any device.

So what’s influencing the rise in mobile videoconferencing? Here’s the rundown, as well as a list of Cisco solutions that help with videoconferencing, and an example of one the ways that one of our partners is responding to the trend.

The fact of the matter is that consumer behavior is influencing practices in the enterprise. Case in point: The iPhone 4 and Facetime. If you’ve ever used Facetime, then you know that it enables you to make video calls using an iPhone 4, iPod touch, or a Mac over Wi-Fi. While Facetime initially rolled out geared for consumer use, more and more enterprises are beginning to rely on it for videoconferencing.

The iPad is also an increasingly popular product in the enterprise, and Cisco has just the solution to use along with an iPad—the WebEx iPad app. Using the app, you can swipe your finger or tap the screen to instantly see the video of all meeting participants. You can also zoom into full screen mode to see video of the active speaker, and you can toggle between video and the content being shared. The app also includes host capabilities.

Cisco also offers the Android-based Cius, an ultra-portable, mobile collaboration business tablet. The Cius includes 720p HD video TelePresence solution interoperability, enabling easy video communication. The Cius also comes with collaboration applications, such as Cisco Quad, and integrated, one-click access to WebEx Meeting Center.

So how are partners responding? Well, for example, Orange Business Services recognizes that collaboration via video is a growing trend. They also have seen that more and more of those working in the enterprise use smartphones to keep up-to-date on their work, whether they’re travelling or working remotely. And to respond to that need, Orange Business Services is working on IT services to support mobile devices.

That’s just one way, of course, that a Cisco partner is responding to changes in the marketplace. Is your company using mobile devices for videoconferences? Are you expanding your IT services offerings to respond to the mobility trend? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

And don’t forget—you can qualify to win an iPad if you “like” our Cisco Channels Facebook page. Here are the full details on the contest. Be sure to enter, so maybe you, too, can get in on the mobile videoconferencing trend!

Polycom UC Platform Shatters Barriers to Interoperability

By Charles West, TMCnet Web Editor

Unified communications (UC) company Polycom Inc., today announced that the Polycom UC Intelligent Coresolution is transforming the UC experience by enabling interoperability with other vendors’ solutions, including the closed Cisco telepresence systems based on the Telepresence (News - Alert) Interoperability Protocol (TIP).

Significant innovations in the Polycom UC Intelligent Core platform will soon enable customers to deploy multi-vendor UC solutions and protect their investments in legacy third-party systems.

In a comment addressing Cisco (News - Alert) telepresence systems, TMCnet’s CTO Tom Keating said, “The interoperability solution will help enable multi-screen, high-definition video collaboration between all major telepresence vendors.”

In discussing the customers and their expectations Andrew Miller CEO of Polycom said, “Cisco customers have told us for years that they’ve been imprisoned by a closed telepresence platform that builds a wall around their UC environment and keeps out non-Cisco users. Today all that changes.”

“With its unparalleled support of open standards, the Polycom UC Intelligent Core solution liberates these customers and gives them more options for collaborating and expanding their UC environments than ever before, without having to sacrifice their existing systems. Breakthroughs like this are fundamental to our vision of UC everywhere,” he added.

The influence of Polycom solutions is impressive; to prove it, Motorola Mobility has Polycom telepresence systems deployed to this day.

Toshiba Expands Line of IP Phones, Bringing More Choices to Strata CIX IP System Users

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 8, 2011 ― Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division (Toshiba — www.telecom.toshiba.com), today announced the addition of three new models to its popular line of Toshiba IP 5000-series business telephones, bringing more choices to users of Toshiba Strata CIX™ IP business communication systems. The new IP 5000-series telephone models are now available nationwide from Authorized Toshiba Dealers.

“We at Toshiba have listened to our customers and our valuable Authorized Toshiba Dealers in designing the new Toshiba IP 5000-series telephones. We have redesigned the new IP 5000-series telephones to be even more cost effective while retaining the same feature-rich capabilities,” said Eric Abing, product manager, Toshiba America Information Systems, Telecommunication Systems Division.

The new IP 5000-series telephone models have a similar look and feel to other Toshiba IP 5000-series telephones and are capable of performing all the same IP station features and functions. These new models are available at an affordable price for SMB and enterprise customers.

The three new models are:
o IP5522-SD ― Includes a four-line (144×48 pixels) LCD display without backlight, 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 10 flexible buttons, and full duplex speakerphone.
o IP5622-SD ― Includes a four-line (144×48 pixels) LCD display with backlight, 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 10 flexible buttons, and full duplex speakerphone.
o IP5631-SDL ― Includes a nine-line (150×168 pixels) LCD display with backlight, 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 20 flexible buttons, and full duplex speakerphone.

With these new models, Toshiba customers now have eight different IP 5000-series telephones from which to choose. Models range from four- to nine-line telephones, with 10 to 20 flexible buttons, and most have backlit LCD screens. Models are available with either Gigabit Ethernet or 10/100Mbps Ethernet connection. All models come standard with a PC interface, headset interface, and Ethernet cable.

System Compatibility
Compatible with the entire family of Toshiba Strata CIX IP business telephone systems, Toshiba IP 5000-series telephones are also compatible with the Toshiba IP User Mobility feature and can function as supported IP stations for the Toshiba Video Communication Solution (VCS).

Pricing & Availability
Prices vary by model selected. The new Toshiba IP 5000-series telephones are available through Authorized Toshiba Dealers. To find an Authorized Toshiba Dealer in your area, visit the Toshiba Web site at www.telecom.toshiba.com.

Friday, February 4, 2011

ITEXPO kicks off in Miami, Florida

By Stefanie Mosca, TMCnet Web Editor

In preparation for Ingate’s SIP Trunk Unified Communication Summit this week at ITEXPO, the SIP provider held a Pre-Conference Service Provider Workshop on Feb. 1 from 1PM to 6:30PM at the Miami Beach Conference Center in Miami, Florida.

Steve Johnson, president of Ingate, USA, opened the workshop with “The Case for SIP Trunking,” explaining the importance of SIP Trunking and how to obtain SIP Trunk service at a low cost.

The workshop was intended to be an education opportunity for service providers, operators, and subscribers to SIP services. Companies like Broadvox, Earthlink Business, Bandwidth.com andMitel ( News - Alert) explained how their companies offer SIP solutions and shared experiences through case studies based on what attempts are successful and which ones aren’t.

Additional speakers at the workshop included moderator Joel Maloff (News - Alert) of Maloff Net Results, Karl Stahl from Intertex Data AB, Chad Krantz, Broadvox and Scott Yelto of EarthLink Business.

According to Johnson, 75 percent of all PBX (News - Alert) solutions that are deployed today are IP based and deliver SIP trunking capabilities. “We believe SIP is the future of unified communications,” Johnson said.

The workshop explains how SIP services can bring telecommunication services together providing the best possible experience for customers and the best return for service providers.

Chad Krantz of Broadvox covered the next part of the workshop, “Delivering SIP to the Enterprise.” Krantz’s main focus was on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of deploying enterprise SIP services, in an acronym he referred to as SWOT. Krantz touched on different elements of SWOT such as diversified digital/analog SWOT, blended IP SWOT and consolidated UC SWOT.

“SIP is a true revolution within the industry and has so many advantages over traditional VoIP. SIP is here to stay,” Krantz said.

Next up, Karl Stahl from Intertex Data AB took the stage. Johnson introduced Stahl as one of the early visionaries regarding SIP. In the late 90’s, Stahl went to a SIP conference and came away convinced that SIP was going to change the way of telecommunications. At the workshop, Stahl explained the different types of PBX’s to consider as well as why NAT and firewalls create such obstacles when trying to deploy SIP services.

Scott Yelton, director of IP services for Earthlink Business, spoke on “The Value of a Service Provider Demarcation Point.” Yelton touched on IP-PBX testing and interoperability offered from Earthlink Business and how SIP has changed the way IP-PBX’s are used today.

Ingate’s Pre-Conference Service Provider Workshop will continue to run until 6:30PM. Additional parts of the workshop include “Ensuring Interoperability- The Key to Service Revenue Growth,” by Bandwidth.com (News - Alert), “Addressing Security Issues,” a Mitel case study and “Generating Revenue from HD Video,” from the Unified Communications Interoperability forum. A complimentary wine reception will follow the workshop.

If you are in Miami this week for ITEXPO (News - Alert), make sure to stop by Ingate’s UC Summit from Feb. 2-4 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Telepresence - Cisco to Acquire Digital Media Company, Inlet Technologies, for $95 Million

By Carrie Schmelkin, TMCnet Web Editor

Cisco, which touts itself as the worldwide leader in networking transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate, just got a little bit bigger.

The California-based company announced today that it will be acquiring the privately-held Inlet Technologies (News - Alert) for $95 million. Inlet Technologies, which is a leading provider of Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) digital media processing platforms, was acquired to strengthen the capabilities ofCisco’s ( News - Alert) Videoscape TV platform, allowing service and content providers to deliver compelling video experiences to any device over any Internet Protocol (IP) network, according to Cisco.

"Service and content providers have a tremendous opportunity to deliver exciting video experiences as media consumption increases across mobile, desktop, and smart devices," said Enrique Rodriguez, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group, in a statement. "Cisco's Videoscape platform will play a key role in reinventing the TV experience, and the acquisition of Inlet will enable our customers to leverage the network as a platform to deliver innovative video experiences to consumers on any device."

The deal is expected to go into effect by the middle of 2011. Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay about $95 million in cash and retention-based incentives in exchange for all shares of Inlet.

Inlet, based in Raleigh, N.C., is constantly “redefining the video experience,” according to its site.

“Through innovative solutions for media preparation that combine striking video quality with surprising simplicity and reliability, Inlet Technologies is enabling you to expand your audience and realize greater value from your content,” company officials state.

Those innovative solutions will be vital in Cisco’s Videoscape platform playing a role in “reinventing the TV experience.” Cisco Videoscape is an all-encompassing service provider solution that allows customers to bring together content from pay TV, online and on-demand sources. That can be combined with content from social media, communications and mobility to create a “truly immersive TV experience,” the company states. Inlet's advanced ABR technology, which is used in streaming multimedia over managed and unmanaged networks, adapts the quality of the video stream based on real-time network conditions.

Cisco was attracted to Inlet’s “strong team” and the fact that it understands the “complexities of delivering ABR video over IP networks to any device,” Cisco said. When the acquisition is finalized, Inlet employees will be integrated into Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group.

Inlet Technologies has been popping up in the news all over, even before the announcement of the acquisition, as last January the company was named one of Red Herring’s (News - Alert) 2010 Global 100 winners. The annual award recognizes the 100 most innovative and promising private technology companies across North America, Europe and Asia.

The award comes off a promising year for Inlet in which 2010 marked the company's seventh successive year of growth, with 2010 revenue twice the record revenue achieved in 2009.

Introducing the Cisco UC320W

by ttrentler, http://uc-300.com/

Think of this as the Cisco UC500's little brother. It supports up to 24 phones and should you expand past the capabilities of the system you can move up to the the 500 without replacing your phones.

Learn more abou the cisco UC 320W

Connectivity Options

  • 4 FXO Ports
  • 1 FXS Port
  • 1 WAN 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet Port
  • 4 LAN 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet Ports
  • 802.11b/g/n WiFi with WiFi Protected Setup
  • Audio Line In
  • Audio Line Out
  • 2 USB Ports

Extra Connecitivity Options

  • Up to two Cisco SPA8800 IP Telephone Gateways with 4 FXO ports and 4 FXS ports each. All enabled FXS ports count towards the 24 user maximum.
  • One Mediatrix 4400 Series for 1, 2 or 4 Port Basic Rate ISDN (BRI) connectivity.

Supported Cisco Phones on the UC320W

  • Cisco SPA300 Series IP Phones
  • Cisco SPA500 Series IP Phones
  • Analog Phones

ICisco 7900 Series of IP phones are not supported. The UC320W is capable of operating in PBX, Key System and “Blended” mode.

Street price of the UC320W looks like it is under $700.00. We’ll post more information as it becomes available

For more info on the Cisco UC320W click here