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TMCnet's Unified Communications Week in Review

April 13, 2013

Unified communications (UC) meant generally good news this week, with video taking the spotlight in a few developments and testaments to its growing value abounded every day. But now it’s the weekend, so let’s review before relishing the warm weather.

unified communications’s Mae Kowalke went back to basics in a unique column advocating for certain attention to “the experts” when engaging a UC solution for your practice. As universal as they seem, we should necessarily be picky when choosing one that works best for us. Especially in a business setting, UC hinges on a myriad of factors that define how the firm earns its revenue – according to West IP Communications VP, James Whitemore – and therefore employing a UC service provider tends to be the best course of action.

Specialists in UCaaS also help companies save money by recognizing that not all existing resources are obsolete when implementing a new system; throwing out presumably old software can be a waste, so weaving a new campaign more seamlessly into a business – often via multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) – ensures UC is as effective as it can be.

TMC’s Robbie Pleasant echoed the theme of Kowalke’s piece with more on why unified communications and collaboration (UCC) is out there, but generally misrepresented or underestimated among IT decision makers – everywhere from America, Australia and Asia, to Europe and South Africa. Of almost 80 percent who have plans for UC, only half possess a budget that accounts for its complete installment.

Project Plan Online broke news next on Monday when it unveiled its Social Project Manager & Video Project Manager, allowing businesses to use social media to simplify the delivery and articulation of their brand content that cuts through the common obstacles hampering staff’s relationship with and distance from their clients. The program consists of a series of videos detailing the proper yet simple use of visual media as one aspect of standardized collaboration within a company.

Next up was Covene, which recently celebrated its first full year of business with tremendous numbers it attributes in part to its success offering expertise in UC through Cisco. The firm, which got its start filling a need for formal collaboration services in the Midwest, touts a sophisticated use of Cisco’s collaboration portfolio from which it stresses the use of call control, messaging, video integration, and the modern contact center.

Video conferencing, in particular, sold in two places this week, displaying an eclectic use of what visual UC can do for some of the more unlikely industries:

  1. The Smithsonian Museum of African Art employed Polycom’s RealPresence video conferencing services for the distribution of African art and culture, which deserves to play a bigger role in world education, and would be lost without visual media.
  2. Catalyst Telecom, part of ScanSource Inc., released FastQuote for use by Avaya’s Radvision resellers in the more comprehensive management and presentation of their Scopia video solutions.  

Art Rosenberg closed out the week with a smart discussion on the opportunities available within UC when working with value-added resellers, system integrators and consultants. Like Kowalke said, UC service providers are ideal, but these partnerships should embrace the use of the cloud in as practical a way as it can.

Check out the annual UC Summit in La Jolla start April 28 for an elaboration of Rosenberg’s message, but enjoy the weekend first! That’s it for this week.

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