Posts Tagged ‘No Jitter’

Cisco expands the benefits of the Apple device fast lane to macOS devices and developers.

In the mid ’70s, the fine band the Eagles wrote a song that goes, “Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind”, which peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100. About 40 years later (yikes, I’m old), Cisco and Apple formed a partnership aimed at giving iOS business users a network “fast lane,” providing an experience that would hopefully cause them to lose their minds (in a good way!) — at least when compared to a more traditional mobile experience that is often inconsistent and at times frustrating.

The initial joint Cisco-Apple “fast lane” prioritized Cisco Spark and WebEx application traffic running on iOS devices over other types of data on Cisco networks. Also, iPhones and iPads automatically select the best Wi-Fi access point so real-time apps like VoIP and video have superior quality. Without the partnership, users could have a diminished experience, given that Wi-Fi is a shared medium and people watching March Madness or the latest Dave Michels–Zeus Kerravala video on the office network are consuming all the bandwidth.

Administrators just need to attach the tags, log into the application, and configure the assets to start enjoying the benefits immediately.

Since its inception, Aruba, now a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has been a leader in Wi-Fi. Once of the defining characteristics of Aruba that has enabled it to avoid the commoditization curve is that it’s always found a way to add value to its solutions above and beyond connectivity. Much of the industry has been competing on price for years, but Aruba has used security, location services, and management as differentiators. I recall a conversation with a CIO a few years ago that told me that he considered Aruba to be a security vendor dressed up as Wi-Fi solution provider.

This week at the HPE Discover event in Las Vegas, Aruba added to its history of Wi-Fi innovation by announcing an asset tracking solution that is integrated into its wireless infrastructure. The solution is comprised of the following components:

Releases new IoT Operations Platform and partners with Microsoft with aim of simplifying deployments.

Cisco this week held its Internet of Things World Forum under the unusually sunny skies of London, a solid location choice for this fourth-annual event given the level of IoT activity going on in the city for years now.

I believe London still has the most cameras of any city, for example. These it uses to improve citizen safety as well as to generate revenue by taking pictures of license plates and charging car owners a “congestion” fee for entering Central London. Within a decade every major city will likely have almost every square inch covered with a camera, and London has been leading this initiative. Also, its subway system switched over to near-field touch-and-go entry/exit with its Oyster smartcards maybe 10 years ago now. The more digital and people-friendly the city is, the better the experience for citizens as well as the scores of tourists that hit London annually.

Toshiba will be one more step in the journey of the transformation of Mitel.

With Rich McBee as its CEO, Mitel has had a singular vision: Roll up many of the smaller UC vendors to create a supplier with enough size and scale to give Microsoft and Cisco a run for their money. While there are dozens, maybe hundreds of companies that fall into the broad category of “unified communications,” the dominant share held by the top two players effectively creates a duopoly. The coming together of a number of smaller vendors could eventually create a third vendor strong enough to go toe to toe with the big two on a global scale.

During McBee’s tenure Mitel has acquired Aastra, prarieFyre, and a couple of technology tuck-ins. The company also took a shot at both ShoreTel and Polycom, the latter of which was broken up at the 11th hour by Siris Capital. Yesterday, the next piece of the puzzle fell into place as Mitel announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to transfer the unified communications assets from Toshiba Corporation.

Earlier this year, in somewhat a surprising announcement, Toshiba stated it was exiting the unified communications market. While it’s true that Toshiba share had been sliding and it had lost its way as an innovator, it was still a shocker given it has about 3% market share in the U.S. and 4% in Canada, as well as a number of blue chip customers such as Whole Foods, Firestone, and Lowes.

Fast-forwards efforts to add artificial intelligence to collaborative environments

In Star Trek, when Spock wanted to get smarter about something, he could create a telepathic link between himself and another person. Called the Vulcan mind meld, the technique allowed for an exchange of data (thoughts) enabling the participants to act as one mind… which would hopefully lead to smarter and better decisions.

However, we’re still a few hundred years from forming an alliance with our future friends. For now, we’ll need to find a better way of doing things faster and smarter, and companies are looking to fill that gap through artificial intelligence (AI). Of all the unified communications vendors, Cisco has been among the most vocal regarding the use of AI for improving collaboration. Back in July 2016, Cisco previewed a speech interface, called Monica, and made it clear that AI was something it was pursuing.

Aiming for the “wow” factor, CRM company rolls out next- generation knowledge solution for improved customer experience.

Late last month I was a guest on the No Jitter On Air podcast for a conversation with No Jitter editor Beth Schultz on digital transformation. As I pointed out during the discussion, in the digital era organizations will compete on the basis of customer service. In support of this statement, here are some interesting factoids from my research:

  • By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the top brand differentiator
  • 67% of millennials changed brand loyalties in 2016 because of a poor experience
  • 90% of companies use customer experience as a differentiator today

An imperative for businesses today is to deliver not just a good experience, but a differentiated, fast experience. For example, a customer may sit on hold on a support line for a few minutes, and then spend 10 more minutes with a polite agent to solve a problem. This is a typical “good experience.” What if, through chat, the customer could ask the same question and get an immediate response? Or, should the customer prefer to call in, he or she would instantly receive a link leading to information that will help solve the problem? The fact is that people like things to be fast today, and fast responses are generally viewed as better than good ones that take time.

Given the massive size and scale of AWS, its contact center service certainly has some potential — over the long haul.

At Enterprise Connect last month, Amazon Web Services got all kinds of “oohs” and “ahhs” when it announced the Amazon Connect contact center service. But were they warranted?

The Amazon Connect announcement served as the catalyst for a number of news stories speculating about troubled times ahead for some of the most established contact center players. Below is a sampling of headlines and quotes I’ve seen in mainstream publications regarding Amazon Connect.

  • Amazon Connect Could Mean Big Trouble For Twilio
  • Amazon Strikes Contact Center Market
  • Companies including Five9 Inc, Broadsoft Inc and inContact are most at risk from Amazon’s new offering

I get it. AWS is cool, disruptive, and anything it touches will turn to gold at the expense of everyone else, correct? Well, to quote President Donald J. Trump, “Wrong.” Let me explain why.



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