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Before yesterdayNetwork World Unified Communications/VoIP

Avaya repositions itself as cloud provider for unified communications

Unified communications vendor Avaya is rebranding its entire communications portfolio under the Avaya OneCloud name, effectively positioning itself as a cloud services provider.

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(Insider Story)
  • August 18th 2020 at 00:10

As work-at-home increases, so do attacks on VoIP and unified communications

Businesses use on-prem and cloud-based unified communications (UC) to connect distributed workforces but often don’t realize the security threats hidden within popular UC services, but they should, and they should address them.

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(Insider Story)
  • June 18th 2020 at 23:38

IT needs to make mobile unified communications a priority

The need for safe, reliable, and easy-to-use communications tools has given rise to unified communications (UC), a strategy that integrates multiple communications modalities under a single management and security umbrella. The result is more effective communication, improved collaboration, and a boost to security and regulatory policies. Now that mobility is the primary networking vehicle for end users, it’s time for IT departments to make mobile unified communications (MUC) a priority.

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(Insider Story)
  • March 25th 2019 at 11:00

How to tame enterprise communications services

Communications capabilities are essential to the success of organizations everywhere. Voice, email, text messaging, multimedia messaging, file sharing, streaming video, conferencing, collaboration, and more – you can’t do business without them. But as traffic volumes and the number of communications services in use continue to grow, so do the IT and operational challenges.

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(Insider Story)
  • December 11th 2018 at 12:00

10 competitors Cisco just can't kill off

10 competitors Cisco just can't kill off
Network World / Cisco Survivors [Slide-00]

Image by IDG / jesadaphorn, Getty Images

Creating a short list of key Cisco competitors is no easy task as the company now competes in multiple markets.  In this case we tried to pick companies that have been around awhile or firms that have developed key technologies that directly impacted the networking giant. Cisco is now pushing heavily into software and security, a move that will open it up to myriad new competitors as well. Take a look.

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  • May 11th 2018 at 12:00

How do you troubleshoot UCaaS problems? Put a ThousandEyes on it

Cisco Live kicked off this week in Las Vegas. The annual event is where Cisco shows off its latest and greatest innovations, such as the intent-based networking system Cisco announced last week.

However, it’s also a forum for many of Cisco’s technology partners to show off their wares in the World of Solutions Expo Hall. One of the more interesting vendors there was ThousandEyes, which demonstrated their network monitoring solution, as well as their new Unified Communications monitoring and management capabilities that provide visibility into the performance and connectivity across Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), on premises and hybrid VoIP deployments. 

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  • June 28th 2017 at 17:28

Whose Zoomin who? Polycom is

Shortly after talking the helm as Polycom, CEO Mary McDowell discussed her strategy for the company moving forward. One of the focus areas for it is to broaden its technology partner ecosystem. The company has a great partnership with Microsoft and is the only vendor that has products that interoperate natively with Skype for Business/Office 365. 

As lucrative as this partnership has been to Polycom, McDowell recognizes that not everyone will be using Microsoft for their collaboration needs. 

+ Also on Network World: Polycom brings a wide variety of video solutions to Microsoft Unified Communications +

Also, Polycom will be directing more resources into endpoint innovation. The infrastructure business at Polycom has been in decline for years because customers are choosing to leverage the power and ubiquity of the cloud. Polycom has been a technology leader since its inception, but the transition of video from being on premises to the cloud has shrunk the companies addressable market. Hence the change in strategy.

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  • May 26th 2017 at 17:53

IDG Contributor Network: SD-WANs lost my voice

If there’s one application that brings chills to the hearts of SD-WAN implementers it’s providing a predictable real-time voice service. So let’s talk about how SD-WANs might help.

The problem with voice

We need to separate from the theory of voice and the reality of voice. The theory goes something like this. The Internet is fine for email and web browsing. It’s even pretty good for personal voice. But if I want to deliver a voice service, day-in-day out without a hiccup, then I run into a problem. Voice is a real-time protocol with strict tolerances around latency, loss and jitter. Exceed those tolerances and symptoms common to a poor voice service set in. Increased delays from traffic routing or lost packets disrupt voice calls. Outages and brownouts can cause calls to drop.

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  • May 23rd 2017 at 21:00

How to run your small business with free open source software

Editor's note: This article was originally published in November, 2013. It was last updated in April 2017.

Take a look at the next desktop PC or laptop you come across. Odds are good it won't be running an open-source operating system. Microsoft's closed-source Windows has by far the highest share of the PC client operating system market, followed in a distant second by Apple's macOS. Linux and other wholly open source operating systems have only a tiny market share.

It's not hard to see why. Despite the advances made by distributions such as Ubuntu, desktop Linux is still miles behind Windows and macOS in terms of the look, the feel and the slickness that most office workers have come to expect. The vast majority of companies simply aren't prepared to make office workers use an open source OS — and most office workers aren't prepared to use them, either.

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  • April 19th 2017 at 22:09

Cisco makes videoconference technology invisible

Last month Cisco announced two new room video systems called the Spark Room Kit and Spark Room Kit Plus. Behind these dull names are some impressive technologies never before seen in videoconferencing.

The room kits are nearly complete videoconferencing systems, but they don’t include the displays. Each system is a single all-in-one device with camera(s), microphones and speakers. The primary difference between the two models is that the Room Kit has a single fixed-camera and the Room Kit Plus has four fixed-cameras that can cover a larger room.

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  • April 19th 2017 at 19:36

Can Amazon be stopped?

Prime retail space is going vacant. The latest example of yet another retailer closing its doors is Payless Shoe Source. Payless has filed Chapter 11 and will be closing 400 stores. It’s ironic really, because their whole premise is Americans want to pay less for shoes, but the retailer can’t match the price or experience of online options. It’s one more example of the epidemic hitting brick-and-mortar retailers.

Last year (and again this year), it was Radio Shack that prompted the headlines. Sears has been in decline for decades. The Limited is even more limited now that it has filed for bankruptcy and has begun closing 250 of its stores.

Macy’s and Sears alone will be abandoning 28 million square feet of retail space. The loss of these anchor stores is what starts the dreaded domino effect at the mall. If the mall can’t back fill that space, reduced numbers of shoppers impact the demand for sunglasses, cinnamon rolls and all the other small businesses that survive on the other brands’ crowds. When they fall, so does the mall.

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  • April 12th 2017 at 20:13

IDG Contributor Network: When phone systems attack

A telephony denial of service (TDoS) attack is a specific type of DDoS attack that originates from or is directed towards a telephone system with the intent of bringing down the targeted system. These attacks commonly focus on commercial businesses and may often include ransomware requests. In reality, these attacks can affect anyone, including our nation’s 911 infrastructure, because even it is not isolated from or immune from these types of attacks. And based on its mission, in many ways, it is more fragile.

Unintentional TDoS attack

Just last year, 911 centers across the country, including a site in Phoenix, Arizona, were the targets of allegedly unintentional 911 TDoS attacks when some malicious JavaScript code was published on a web page. The code, once loaded on a smartphone browser, would cause some devices to automatically dial 911 repeatedly without user intervention and without the user’s knowledge. 

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  • April 11th 2017 at 12:30

Internet VPN or MPLS for branch office IP phone communication?

Many businesses with branch offices that have IP-enabled phones must decide what type of circuit medium to use for their communication to the corporate headquarters site.

Two of the most selected choices are a MPLS circuit or internet VPN. Both solutions have their pros and cons, and what is best can depend on your business requirements. Speed, quality of service (QoS), security and cost are the key factors you should consider when making this decision.

Pros and cons of an internet VPN

A significant advantage of using an internet VPN for communication is the cost. Most times, a branch site can use its existing internet connection for communication back to its headquarters. Usually, a 10 Mbps internet circuit costs much less than a 10 Mbps MPLS circuit. This can encourage a business to purchase more bandwidth for their branch site.

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  • April 10th 2017 at 17:28

University examines cloud phone service

Georgetown University is testing a cloud phone service intended to replace its 25-year-old system, which would cost millions of dollars to replace. The move, part of a broader telecommunications infrastructure overhaul, advances the private university's plan to migrate to consumer-friendly cloud and mobile software, says CIO Judd Nicholson.

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson.Georgetown University

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson.

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  • April 7th 2017 at 19:21

6 reasons why Slack is the next Netscape

Netscape provides an excellent illustration as to how tech darlings come and go.

Netscape created and sold Navigator, the browser that essentially invented the World Wide Web. Prior to Netscape, the internet was mostly benefiting geeks and nerds. Netscape changed the world by transforming the internet into the mass-market, browser-powered online world we know and love today.

Netscape’s original business model was to sell licenses for its Navigator browser. It was just over a year old when it had its IPO on Aug. 9, 1995. And in its first day of trading, the stock went from $28 to as high as $74.75, giving the company a value in the billions.

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  • March 27th 2017 at 13:38

RingCentral aims to unify ‘unified communications’

I started my career as an analyst in 2001, and one of the first reports I wrote was on the topic of “unified communications,” or UC as it’s more commonly called today. The concept is pretty simple: Workers use lots of communications tools, so why not bring them together into a single, easy-to-use tool? Makes sense, doesn’t it? 

However, a funny thing has happened over the past 15 years. In an effort to give workers more functionality, many specialty UC vendors popped up. I understand the term “specialty UC” is somewhat of an oxymoron, but this is the state of the industry because we now have UC vendors for video, web conferencing, chat, audio conferencing, VoIP, document sharing, file storage and the list goes on. 

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  • March 24th 2017 at 15:27

4 possible outcomes for Avaya

Avaya is one of the largest providers of enterprise communications products and services. It is a complex company of 158 separate entities that employ about 9,700 people worldwide. Most of its entities in North America, representing about 3,800 of its employees, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this year.

Avaya reported 2016 revenue at $3.7 billion. Despite an annual adjusted EBITDA of $940 million and positive free cash flow, it has a debt problem. It owes about $6 billion due to multiple investors spread over multiple maturity dates over the next several years.

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  • March 21st 2017 at 18:25

VOSS simplifies hybrid Spark provisioning

Last week, Cisco held the European version of it’s Cisco Live event in Berlin. At these events, Cisco typically makes several product announcements and demonstrates many of its new products. Cisco Live is also a time for the company’s alliance and technology partners to showcase their own wares as they look to add value to the Cisco ecosystem. 

One of the more interesting announcements by an technology partner at the 2017 show was from VOSS Solutions, which extended its platform to support Cisco Spark Hybrid Services. The Spark platform has been red hot of late, as Cisco has made it the company’s main UC platform. During the show, the Spark Board garnered a lot of attention, including being part of Ruba Borno’s day 1 keynote

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  • March 2nd 2017 at 16:47

'Meet' Google's new videoconferencing service for the enterprise

Google appears to have accidentally revealed its new group videoconferencing service for businesses on Tuesday, a week before a big user conference.

The service, called Meet, appears to be its offering for businesses that want to do group meetings over the Internet. According to a saved iOS App Store listing captured by AppAnnie, it will support high-definition video meetings with up to 30 participants. That’s an upgrade over the company’s existing Hangouts instant messaging and video calling service, which only allows meetings of up to 10 people.

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  • March 1st 2017 at 00:13

How to tame enterprise communications services

Communications capabilities are essential to the success of organizations everywhere. Voice, email, text messaging, multimedia messaging, file sharing, streaming video, conferencing, collaboration, and more – you can’t do business without them. But as traffic volumes and the number of communications services in use continue to grow, so do the IT and operational challenges.

Communications services have historically been provisioned by, and are of course still widely available from, broadband landline and wireless carriers who seek value-added revenue to offset the commodity nature of their “big dumb pipe” core businesses. But there are also numerous third-party solution suppliers, private implementations, and unified communications (UC) product and service capabilities. In addition, an increasing number of cloud-based services – many of which are often aimed squarely at consumer end-users rather than organizations – are seeing significant organizational application, and unfortunately often via backdoor or shadow-IT routes.

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  • December 11th 2018 at 12:00
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