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Mobile apps can be so much more predictive and responsive than their
desktop counterparts — if only developers design, not retrofit, for mobility.

If you’re a regular reader of No Jitter or really any tech site, surely you’ve noticed that mobile has been a red-hot theme over the past few years. Along with cloud, mobility dominated last month’s Enterprise Connect event, and I expect it to be at least as big a topic at the upcoming RSA and Interop shows. Mobile has definitely become the new black, and it seems every business is trying to figure out how to be more mobile.

From the conversations I’ve had with line-of-business managers, IT leaders, and application developers, I believe few really understand what being mobile really means. Most of what we call “mobile” today is actually just “mini.” What I mean by that is the majority of mobile applications are just small form factor versions of desktop applications.

How Arista is making it easier for customers to embrace the cloud.

Last week, Arista Networks announced a new way to purchase its network infrastructure that decoupled its hardware and its operating system, EOS. In a blog post on the announcement, Jim Duffy made the point that Arista hasn’t really disaggregated the operating system from the hardware, and he’s right. But the company is making the procurement of the product easier by separating the purchase of the hardware and software.

Jim also correctly notes that this doesn’t follow the same path that other vendors have, where they have truly disaggregated their hardware and software to take advantage of lower-cost hardware platforms. Dell and HP customers, for example, can run Cumulus’ operating system on their merchant silicon platforms.

Unified communications, including video collaboration, will never
become ubiquitous if vendors don’t commit to these key principles.

Interoperability and integration are hot topics in this industry, as UC will never become a ubiquitous resource until anyone can use any solution from any vendor to contact any other person easily. Imagine if you could only browse websites that are on the same ISP as you! But as much as these two terms get lumped together and used interchangeably, their roles are slightly different.

Interoperability, as defined on Wikipedia, is the “ability of making systems work together” and “the task of building coherent services for users when the individual components are technically different and managed by different organizations.” On the other hand, integration is “the ability to allow data from one device or software to be read or manipulated by another, resulting in ease of use.” The difference is subtle.

Here are the best products I saw at Enterprise Connect last week.

The 25th VoiceCon/Enterprise Connect was held last week under the bio-dome known as the Gaylord Palms in Orlando. The show provides an opportunity for buyers interested in the broad category known as Unified Communications to come and learn about the market, seek out new vendors, and boldly go where no UC deployment has gone before.

The show has also become a launching pad for startups and for existing vendors to announce new products. As an analyst, I attend the show every year looking for products that stand out. Here are the products that caught my eye and were worth calling out. Disclaimer: these products are listed in alphabetic order to avoid any kind of perceived ranking.

I spoke with a company that has embraced a new type of
solution for managing network performance and security.

I recently had a chance to talk to Michael Mason, head of new technologies at Phonoscope Lightwave, about how his company is using a new category of product called Network Performance Enforcement (NPE) to improve the quality of the services delivered to its customers. At its core, NPE acts as a superset of WAN optimization, quality of service, network policy control, and analytics.

Phonoscope provides data services for some of the most demanding and globally active customers in the Houston market. They deliver Internet and Ethernet circuits over a layer 2, switched optical fiber network. Their optical fiber ring provides sub-2ms latency within their network to satisfy even their most demanding customer application needs, servicing customers with bandwidth of 10 Mbps up to 100 GbE. Phonoscope’s customers span a variety of verticals, including energy, financial services, healthcare, government, and education. All are grappling with network congestion due to increased high-bandwidth applications, users, and devices – with the real potential for applications crashing and stalling during peak periods. The company is also dealing with increasing user complaints about the global risk the Internet poses from external sources and unwitting internal sources.

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