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AI World Conference & Expo · Boston, MA · December 11-13, 2017

Archive for 2015

2016 Predictions

The year 2015 is almost in the books. That means it’s time to say, “I can’t believe the year is almost over,” and time for many of us in the industry to make some bold predictions as to what we think the future holds. I had intended to write a post with some standalone thoughts on what the coming year will bring, but then I read the recent piece by David Hughes filled with 2016 networking predictions and thought I would weigh in on his prognostications instead.

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Here’s my take on the hottest news of the outgoing year.

Unified communications made a bunch of headlines in many ways in 2015. Here are the trends and events that I consider to be the most newsworthy.

1. The battle for No. 3 heats up. Cisco and Microsoft have the top two spots locked up in UC (see related post, Cisco-Microsoft Collaboration Market Tug-of-War Continues). The question is, which vendor will secure the third position? In 2014 we saw many of the other UC vendors go through some kind of major event — Alcatel-Lucent spun off its enterprise business to China Huaxin, Siemens Enterprise rebranded itself Unify, Avaya went through a major financial restructure, ShoreTel created a unified back end for its cloud and premises solution, and Mitel went on a bit of a shopping spree. This year, these companies stopped talking about transformation and started executing on their plans. From a share perspective, Avaya has the inside track but plenty of other vendors are nipping at its heels. In 2016, we should see this battle heat up in a big way as the non-Cisco/Microsoft vendors look to one-up each other.

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Examining the different approaches to çybersecurity
in the age of the Internet of Things.

Internet of Things IoT security

Earlier this month I attended Cisco’s Internet of Things World Forum in Dubai (disclosure: Cisco is a client of ZK Research). One of the things I liked about the event is that it showcased a wide variety of uses cases across a number of different vertical industries. Some were in the ideation phase, some were early stage, and some fully deployed. While many of the use cases were quite different, there was one point of commonality, and that’s the need for security.

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A new VOSS product incorporates big data to
maximize the value of unified communications.

VOSS Big data unified communications

Historically, the topics of big data and analytics have been considered “IT” topics, whereas unified communications (UC) has fallen under the purview of the networking teams. Earlier this month, VOSS Solutions made an interesting announcement with a solution that brings these two previously disconnected worlds together.

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How one of the first companies to embrace Cisco’s
new Spark APIs is making use of the new features.

Earlier this week I wrote this post describing the new Spark offerings that Cisco announced at its Collaboration Summit event (disclosure: Cisco is a client of ZK Research). One of the more interesting elements of the announcement was “Spark for developers.” This enables application providers to build integrated solutions with Cisco’s workstream communications and collaboration (WCC) product.

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On a mission to become the smartest of all cities,
Dubai employs state-of-the-art Internet of Things
technology, real-time UC&C, and wireless networks.

In the UC&C industry, this week all eyes have been on San Francisco, where Cisco is wrapping up its eighth-annual Collaboration Summit. I, however, am writing from rather different corner of the world (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), where I’d been immersing myself in a complementary technology (IoT), at another Cisco event — its third-annual Internet of Things World Forum. And there I learned how organizations are using IoT to transform their businesses.

Dubai was a great host city for the three-day event, given its plans not just to become one of many smart cities, but the smartest of them all. This is fitting for a city that made a landmark statement by building the tallest building in the world and that has become a hot spot for tourism over the past several years.

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