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‘From: No Jitter’

The combined “MiPolyTel” is a now a
formidable player in the collaboration industry.

Rich McBee took over as the CEO of Mitel in January of 2011. I never had the opportunity to chat with Rich when he took the helm so I didn’t have a clear vision of what he was trying to accomplish with Mitel. Over the past 5+ years, his strategy has become abundantly clear, and it revolves around two focal points that are both intertwined.

The first is to create some unique differentiation for Mitel. The UC space is crowded and has too many vendors that all look like each other. Mitel’s vision is to build a unified communications solution provider that is uniquely mobile and cloud centric. As I pointed out in this post from last year, there is a big difference between having mobile applications and being uniquely mobile, and Mitel seems to have a clear understanding of what this means.

The second piece of Rich’s vision is to roll up a number of the smaller vendors to create a bigger, stronger company that can compete better with the likes of Cisco, Microsoft and, to a lesser extent, Avaya.

Whether from UCaaS providers or premised-based UC management
vendors, good analytics tools can fuel a well-informed UC strategy.

In the past few years, the world has gone crazy over analytics — so much so that it’s become part of popular culture.

If you watched the Masters golf tournament this weekend, then you know what I mean. Every third commercial featured IBM Watson telling different icons — author Stephen King, tennis great Serena Williams, and golfer Tom Watson, for example — something about themselves it figured out from analyzing historical data. And let’s not forget the 2011 movie “Moneyball,” which was almost entirely dedicated to the topic of analytics… with an occasional baseball thrown in to interest the sports fans.

In IT, analytics is part of the Internet of Things (IoT), WiFi deployments, software-defined networks, call centers — and is rapidly becoming part of unified communications. By capturing and analyzing data, organizations can make more informed decisions faster than ever, which is key to competing in the digital business era.

A big financial services win, a new cloud suite, and one
partnership agreement after another… Vidyo is on a roll.

Vidyo has always been good at creating buzz around its video collaboration technology, but exceptionally so these past few months and continuing into this week.

In January, Vidyo announced that Bloomberg had selected Vidyo video technology for Nexi, the next-generation global communications platform that visually connects its 17,000 employees with the rest of the world (for No Jitter coverage, see “Bloomberg Trades on Ease of Video Calling and Bloomberg IT Exec Shares Lessons Learned on Video Project“).

In February at Mobile World Congress, Vidyo and Xiaomi, a global smartphone manufacturer, announced a partnership through which Vidyo will power Xiaomi’s Mi Video Call app for Android and Apple iOS phones.

Here are the seven trends that jumped
out at me during my week in Orlando.

Enterprise Connect 2016 is now in the books. As always, a number of trends and themes stood out from the noise of the show. Here are the ones I thought were most interesting.

Video on Display

portable

This year at Enterprise Connect we saw video use cases that demonstrated more than what traditional room-based systems can offer. As an example, Vidyo demonstrated video integration into ATMs with its partner NCR. Another example came from Polycom, which showed its slick RealPresence Centro unit that creates a new, very natural way of collaborating (see a related post, “Polycom Looks to Change Physical Meeting Space Dynamics“). In addition, a number of other vendors, including Smart Technologies, Crestron, InFocus and, of course, Microsoft (with the highly anticipated, late, Surface Hub) showed their multipurpose room displays.

The idea of the software-defined WAN is trending, which means lots
of hype and confusion to work through on the way to deployment.

Historically, the communications and networking industries have only had a loose association with each other. However, as more communications functions move to the cloud, the network, particularly the WAN, plays a more important role in how these applications perform.

This is one of the reasons why Vonage, one of the largest unified communications as a service (UCaaS) providers, has introduced a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) service. The service, called SmartWAN, is intended to deliver enhanced quality of service to UCaaS customers.

However, as I pointed out in my Enterprise Connect SD-WAN session preview post, “Software-Defined WAN: Realit or Just More Hype,” SD-WAN is a somewhat confusing topic. I tackled this topic on Tuesday, leading a discussion among panelists from Level 3 Communications, Talari Networks, VeloCloud, and Cisco with the aim of defining this nebulous topic and coming up with a few best practices for deployment.

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