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Archive for October 2013

Yesterday morning in New York and Munich, the company formerly known as Siemens Enterprise Communications unveiled its new logo, tag line and new vision. The new name is “Unify,” and you can see the logo on the website. The tag line for the company is “Harmonize Your Enterprise.” The colors for the company have changed as well. The all-caps blue Siemens logo has been replaced with a much more current logo with the “I” rendered in almost a glowing green color. Siemens Enterprise made some news earlier this year when it sold the networking division, Enterasys, to Extreme networks, meaning Unify will focus exclusively on unified communications and collaboration.

The anchor product of Unfiy is something called “Ansible,” which the company announced earlier this year and goes into beta in early 2014 and general availability by mid-year. Ansible is designed to be a flexible communications “fabric” (or “canvas,” as it’s been called) where users can collaborate better. This may look like one of the many, almost too many, “unified communication” platforms out there, but Ansible is significantly different that most of them.

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The launch is done, the product is released, new colors and new attitude. Now we need to see product, vision, and customer wins.

On Sunday, Shelia McGee-Smith posted her last blog on Siemens Enterprise Communications. Today, of course, the company held its big media event in New York and unveiled thenew name–Unify. The name Siemens will live on and sell all the “other” stuff, like medical equipment, light rail, HVAC systems and other stuff we in the nojitter.com audience really don’t care about–but Siemens as a communications brand has run its course.

Frankly, it’s about time. Sheila went into a bit of history, so I will as well. I actually deployed some old Rolm stuff when I was consultant years ago. As an analyst, though, I started covering Siemens way back when George Nolan was running the North American business and Bernd Kuhlin was running the business unit then known as Siemens ICN. This was a period of hit and miss for Siemens–they had some hits but more misses.

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Oracle World 2013 finished up a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the event. On the Wednesday of the event I spoke at a luncheon hosted by the former Acme Packet Group, which was acquired by Oracle earlier this year. I hadn’t been to Oracle World in a number of years and I wasn’t sure what to expect given the fact that historically Oracle and communications went together about as well as Larry Ellison and Bill Gates.

However, things are changing and everyone is jockeying to move into other markets. That’s why Cisco sells servers and HP sells networking gear. Since Ellison chose to go watch his ship race rather than show up to his own keynote, I have no idea whether he was going to mention communications or not, but make no mistake, Oracle has moved into communications and is here to stay.

Much of the focus of the Acme Packet lunch was on SIP trunking, which was highlighted by a large customer of theirs that had recently migrated the company to all SIP trunks and talked about some of the best practices regarding the migration.

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Akamai is holding its Edge user conference this week in our nation’s capital. There may not be much going on in Washington these days, other than arguing over whether the Washington Redskins should change their name or not, but there appears to be a lot going on between Akamai and Cisco.

At the event, Akamai announced that it would be integrating its Unified Performance technology into Cisco’s ISR-AX branch routers to optimize WAN performance and hybrid cloud performance. The partnership extends Cisco’s Intelligent WAN or IWAN, solutions designed to deliver a wide area network that is cost-effective but still optimizes the performance of web- and business-critical applications.

Cisco’s IWAN offerings currently consist of WAN optimization, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), security and other optimization techniques. This partnership extends the Akamai caching and content delivery capabilities to the branch by effectively making every Cisco ISR-AX a mini Akamai point of presence.

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Akamai is holding its Edge user conference this week in our nation’s capital. There may not be much going on in Washington these days, other than arguing over whether the Washington Redskins should change their name or not, but there appears to be a lot going on between Akamai and Cisco.

At the event, Akamai announced that it would be integrating its Unified Performance technology into Cisco’s ISR-AX branch routers to optimize WAN performance and hybrid cloud performance. The partnership extends Cisco’s Intelligent WAN or IWAN, solutions designed to deliver a wide area network that is cost-effective but still optimizes the performance of web- and business-critical applications.

Cisco’s IWAN offerings currently consist of WAN optimization, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), security and other optimization techniques. This partnership extends the Akamai caching and content delivery capabilities to the branch by effectively making every Cisco ISR-AX a mini Akamai point of presence.

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The company announces a virtualized SBC that share the code base and full functionality of its appliances.

To say that software defined networks has been hot is as gross an understatement as saying Boston sports team are better than Chicago sports teams. The statement is so obvious, you’re almost embarrassed to say it. However, while nothing’s changed on the sports front (Theo, enjoying the Red Sox run?), I do believe things are changing in the world of SDNs. Initially, the market focused on the economics of networking and programmability, but it seems recently the market has shifted the focus of SDNs to network function virtualization (NFV).

For those not familiar with the concept of NFV, this technology allows for specific network services to be virtualized and then run on a hypervisor. The concept actually isn’t new. When I became an analyst way back in 2001, my first report was on a category of products called “IP Service Switches” that enabled things like network-based firewalls, routers, etc.

This market crashed and burned rapidly. Why? Well one of the big issues is that these products were very expensive–some starting at a few hundred thousand. Virtualization technology was something that geeks played with and was in no way mainstream. Today, the entire economic model of the server industry has been turned upside down, as virtualization technology is now robust enough to handle even the most demanding workloads, enabling cost-effective NFV.

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