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‘From: No Jitter’

With patience and perseverance, CEO Rich McBee
finally reels in ShoreTel, achieves size and scale
for cloud communications conversions.

Like so many technology markets, unified communications is rapidly moving to the cloud, and the on-premises vendors have had to develop a plan to capture this growing market opportunity. The on-premises market certainly isn’t dead, but my research shows that UC as a service (UCaaS) is growing (18%) at about six times the rate of premises-based solutions (3%).

Mitel is one of the on-premises vendors that has done a hard pivot to the cloud, aggressively pitching its MiCloud communication services. However, Mitel is relatively small, and its size (or lack thereof) has acted as a limiting factor — its channel and reach has had limits. This is why Mitel CEO Rich McBee has put in place an aggressive acquisition strategy, rolling up many small companies to create a larger, bigger vendor that has more customers and channel partners and is better positioned for overall growth and take share.

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Once primarily put in place for virtual desktop infrastructure,
HCI is now handling mission-critical workloads — UC included.

When two seemingly unrelated things come together, the combination often can have great results. For example, a Reese’s peanut butter cup is the “perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter and the perfect companion for movies sports and parties.”

Does such a thing exist in the tech world? Sure. When mobile devices first started sporting cameras, that combination seemed weird. But now it’s become a core requirement for every Snapchatting, Tweeting, Instagramming teen out there.

What about hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and unified communications (UC)? Seems like an odd combination, but bringing the two together actually makes a lot of sense — particularly in this communications era that has enterprises rethinking the architecture of their solutions.

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Like baseball fans in the classic story of Casey at the bat,
customers calling into contact centers can quickly swing
between high and low expectations.

In the baseball classic “Casey at the Bat,” the home team, Mudville, was behind by two runs. The crowd — 5,000 people strong — believed if Casey, the team’s star player, could make it up to bat, Mudville could win. However, expectations were low, with too many weak hitters in front of Casey.

But wait… after the first two batters fail, Flynn and Jimmy Blake somehow get on base, bringing the mighty Casey up to bat. Now expectations from the fans go from low to extremely high, but on the last pitch, the mighty Casey strikes out and the whole crowd goes home unhappy.

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Modernized CCaaS platform gives it the ability
to deploy features as needed, quickly expand its
reach, and scale for enterprise deployments.

“Disrupt or be disrupted” is perhaps the signature slogan for the digital transformation era. It means continually innovating even if that requires disruption because, if you don’t, some smart company will come along and put you out of business.

One of the most successful companies born in the cloud era is Five9, which caught the cloud wave in the contact center industry with its best-in-class platform, Virtual Contact Center. Five9 has steadily continued to meet or beat its forecast every quarter, and now has a market capitalization of slightly more than $1 billion. For a company that lives its life in the cloud, the future certainly seems sunny.

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Paradoxically, phone calls are becoming simultaneously less and more important.

In 1935, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger devised a thought experiment to highlight a paradox seen in quantum mechanics where something can live in two states at once. In Schrodinger’s test, we’re asked to think about the state of a cat in a sealed box with a vial of poison, a radioactive source, and a hammer triggered to break the vial when a Geiger counter detects radiation. While the radioactive substance will eventually break the flask, killing the cat, we cannot know when this occurs so we can think of the cat as being simultaneously dead and alive — hence the paradox.

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Cisco seems to have its mojo back.
Here’s a look at what’s working for the company.

When Chuck Robbins he took over as Cisco CEO in late July 2015, industry chatter was that the company’s best days were behind it — that it had become a fast follower instead of an innovator. Collaboration was sliding, security was nowhere, and software-defined networking was threatening to rip the heart out of Cisco’s core networking business. Two years later, we see a much different company, both from leadership and operational perspectives. And the results have been more than positive.

For example, Cisco’s stock price is at a 17-year high. (In fact, if you remove the period of time from October 1999 to December 2000 when every Internet stock exploded (, Cisco’s stock is at an all-time high.) In addition, the company has rolled out a number of potentially game-changing solutions, including:

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