ZK Research: Home
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook
RSS Feed

ZK Research - a proud sponsor of AI World 2017. See you there!

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

Posts Tagged ‘unified communications’

Enterprise Connect, the industry’s largest and best show dedicated to Unified Communications and all things collaboration, kicks off next week in Orlando, Florida. I’m expecting to see the typical themes: interoperability, cloud, video and Cisco versus Microsoft. Another theme I’m expecting to see become a bigger topic is “Big Data” for Unified Communications.

Big data has been a hot topic across IT for a number of years now as business leaders look to better use the massive amounts of data collected. Now, the data itself doesn’t solve problems; rather it’s the analytics and processing to actually understand what the data means that has the value. I believe the communications industry can benefit from the “big data” trend, particularly when it comes to accelerating the deployment of UC.

After all these years, the complexity of migrating to IP-based systems sill plagues many businesses, slowing down the rate of deployment. This is why my research shows that although more than 80% of businesses have started a UC deployment, less than 15% have actually completed the deployment.

[keep reading…]

This week, Facebook opened its wallet and shelled out a whopping $19 billion for WhatsApp. Most people think of WhatsApp as an over-the-top messaging application, but I think the company is much more than that.

The old BlackBerry messenger app or even the Facebook messaging service are really examples of messaging services. While it’s true that WhatsApp provides that functionality, it also enables group chat and picture and video sharing. Through the app, users can share almost anything – short messages, pictures, YouTube videos, location information – and should be thought of as a rapid mobile social media platform. Share your life, even when mobile, through WhatsApp.

Facebook today is enormously popular and boasts a user population of more than a billion users, which raises the question – why did they need to shell out this kind of money for WhatsApp? I believe there’s a growing trend for the younger generation (teens and below) to bypass Facebook in favor of some of the other applications, like Vine, WeChat, SnapChat, Line and, of course, WhatsApp. I’ve heard of this group of users being referred to as “Facebook Nevers.” These types of applications have taken off like a rocket as mobile social networking continues to take off, and Facebook has been on the outside looking in. Facebook was once considered cool and edgy, and now many consider it the “establishment.” There’s a growing group of the younger population that consider it cool to NOT use Facebook.

[keep reading…]

Saying that multi-vendor UC is hard to deploy is as gross an understatement as saying the Yankees overpaid for Jacoby Ellsbury. In both cases it makes sense on paper and may work out OK in the short term, but over the long haul, both may not provide the original value that was sought out.

Unlike the Yankees, telecom managers now have some help with their problem, as this week Oracle announced the Oracle Enterprise Communications Broker, a product of the acquisition of Acme Packet made earlier this year. The Communications Broker is designed to act almost as a “Rosetta Stone” for the various UC vendors who claim to interoperate with one another, but only do so to a limited extent.

In its press release, Oracle cited a Frost & Sullivan data point that 69% of enterprises use multiple UC vendors. This may be true in the aggregate, but ZK Research shows that once you get into large enterprises, the number using multiple vendors is over 90%. Even organizations that try and standardize on a single vendor eventually wind up bringing in others.

[keep reading…]

While much of the technology news this week has been dominated by data center announcements, there is more to IT than software-defined networks. This week, session border controller vendor Sonus announced the version 4.0 release of its flagship SBC 5000 product line.

The 4.0 release gives the SBC a more significant role than it has had in the past. Historically, as the name might imply, an SBC is used at the border of networks to manage and secure IP sessions. Sonus is now positioning the SBC as an internal device that controls traffic moving across network boundaries, as well as traffic moving within the enterprise network. This means being the control element for LAN, WAN, off-net and mobile traffic.

Additionally, most engineers consider the SBC to be a device that manages voice traffic only. Sonus now wants the SBC to handle all types of multimedia traffic, particularly video. The emphasis on video certainly doesn’t imply that video is more important than voice, chat or other collaborative applications. It’s just that video is a beast to manage because of the amount of bandwidth it generates. The Buggles wrote a song in the 80s called “Video Killed the Radio Star,” but in IT video kills the corporate network, if not managed correctly.

[keep reading…]

Juniper Networks made a splash in enterprise networking when it announced its QFabric architecture about two years ago. QFabric was designed to be the foundation for the next-generation data center and offered a single-tier switching fabric. The solution was very innovative and the company was the first mainstream switching vendor to aggressively market the concept of a network fabric.

This week, Juniper unveiled its new MetaFabric architecture, which is a more holistic solution that includes not only switching but also routing, security and the company’s Contrail SDN Controller. The new MetaFabric architecture combines QFabric and the EX family, giving it a single architecture for both switch lines.

The most notable difference between MetaFabric and QFabric, though, is the fact that MetaFabric addresses a much bigger deployment than QFabric. When Juniper rolled out QFabric, the company was addressing the challenges in building a next-generation data center network. MetaFabric is designed to address the challenges of deploying a network within and across multiple data centers.

[keep reading…]

Cisco held its annual Collaboration Summit this week in Boca Raton, Florida. This year’s event was, in many ways, the coming-out party for the newly appointed GM and SVP for the Collaboration Business Unit, Rowan Trollope. In his opening remarks, Trollope was refreshingly frank about the challenges in the UC industry today and how complexity and a lack of user-friendly solutions have held the industry back from mass adoption. Solving these challenges was the underlying theme of the conference, as the majority of product releases and announcements were focused on extending UC past the traditional corporate walls and making them easier to use.

One of the more interesting products announced was Cisco Expressway, which can be thought of as an edge gateway that makes it possible to extend Cisco UC outside the company boundary securely without the need for VPN concentrators, device level registration, passwords, etc.

Typically, UC is deployed to internal workers, but if someone outside the company network wanted to use Cisco UC applications, they would need to create a VPN tunnel between the remote location and a company location. With Expressway, a Cisco device or application, such as a Jabber client or IP phone, would point to Expressway and handle the secure connection between the outside world and inside network. This is ideal for home workers, small branch offices and B2B connections. No VPNs, no passwords, no device registration – just deploy it and use it.

[keep reading…]

ZK Research is proudly powered by WordPress | Entries (RSS) | Comments (RSS) | Custom Theme by The Website Taylor