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Posts from March 26, 2017 - April 1, 2017

More VoIPWatch Coverage of Enterprise Connect

Wrestlemania is less than a week away in Orlando, and you would think that in the battle for enterprise communications market share that at Enterprise Connect there would be more rumbling. But the news isn't from the challengers as much as it is from the established heavyweights.....HMMM. YAWN...That's why what was done at TadHack Mini was so important. It's about what's NXT..(a pun of sorts)..So with that, ring the bell and let's dig in...

Cisco can't get away from hardware. It's in their aging DNA. So no matter how many new software companies they acquire, they still fall back to their knitting, and in their case it remains hardware, but smartly they are doing it with a twist. Hardware is the attractive attention getter, but really it's the connective tissue software that's making things so interesting and clearly worth a look.

Yesterday at Enterprise Connect Cisco made a flurry of announcements that Network World covered, and while some may look at the hardware as the key drive, much of the surrounding news was really from the software centric Spark-the group that is at the core of Cisco's next wave of workplace collaboration. 

To me, the Spark Hybrid Media Service and Spark Care are where the action will be, not the hardware centric Spark Room Kits. Today people use their own devices, even at work. BYOD has become the winner, but the connection to those devices seems to be really where Cisco is going.

Comcast put out some news about Voice Edge, a Chrome browser plug in that makes Skype for Business more friendly. The real play here is to get away from expensive Windows boxes and to have enterprise businesses start to deploy ChromeBooks and ChromeBoxes. 

RingCentral keeps adding more integrations and they also expanded into more countries in Europe, following a play a few years ago by 8x8. Honestly, they are becoming the kings of integration.  Here's my take:

RingCentral is using the integrations as a way to lure customers. Say you're using HubSpot, PipeDrive, Agile CRM or SalesForce as your CRM. RingCentral integrates with them and then says, "we're the best phone service to use with X, Y or Z." By integrating with more, they are opening up the door to the people using the services and giving them a reason to switch to RingCentral. Of course, switching can be painful, and doesn't happen overnight. But give them credit for being perhaps the most integration friendly telco.

As far as expanding into Europe....well, with roaming rates going away almost in June, and with rock solid broadband arriving in more places in more countries, the timing is very good. That said, this is a better play to sell to US companies who have operations there than to try to go up against the local incumbents. Vonage, 8x8 and others have all tried at times to build a business in other countries. It's an uphill battle.....and adding POPs isn't the same, nor is having a reseller program. It's not about selling in , it's about selling through, so unless these reseller can convert customers from their already embedded carriers, it's uphill.

That's it..One, Two, Three...

 


VoIPWatch Coverage of Enterprise Connect News

You have to love the conference industry. When one media company puts on a conference, the coverage from competitive companies is almost non-existent, despite the size of the advance press list.  So be it. There is news coming out of Enterprise Connect and here's a summary of what I think is cool...so far.

TadHack Mini-this is the future of Enterprise Connect.  The companies that had the foresight to sponsor and engage with the developers who are creating new technology to serve their fellow man. Some very cool ideas so give a read to Michelle Burbicks summary.

As for the rest--Genband keeps pushing Kandy like it's crack cocaine, offering tastes and samples, but not saying who the users are.....Voxbone adds CafeX to their customer base. For CafeX this is all about numbers. More numbers in more places. Telephone numbers that is. ...and for Voxbone, it is too now that Private Equity investment is really driving the business....Genesys, one of the largest providers of Contact Center solutions has taken the Pure approach when it comes to customer experience. And, Genesys seems to have had a revelation of sorts about WebRTC it seems. That means no Voxboning for them much longer.....as WebRTC eliminates the need for a phone number as all you need to do is click and call..For those of you old enough to remember Polycom and how they used to be BIG BIG BIG at Enterprise Connect, well, it's time for a changing of the guard it seems, as Jabra, a longtime pioneer in headset and earphone audio is making a BIG splash with a speakerphone for the Unified Communications sector.

And last but no means least, Masergy is opening up the pipes, the CloudPipes that is, and using a new fangled alliance to cross connect to multiple API's to enable workflow simplification. In many ways, this may be one of the most important announcements to come out of Enterprise Connect. The reason is, the Internet is running rocket fast. More new services, or as Jeff Pulver once called them, Purple Minutes, these new creations, or mashups like those created by pal Thomas Howe and other smart developers. With CloudPipes you can put your service in the cloud, any cloud, and be cross connected to Masergy via CloudPipes. This opens up a whole new rung of service delivery from core Class Five and SS7 functionality to more abstract features....

Got news from Enterprise Connect? Send it my way. 


Apple Really Only Does Two Things

Behind the big facade of their website, apps and very attractive stores what Apple does, and does better than all the other tech companies is two things. And only two things. They build hardware that everyone, including their competition, drools over. And they retail what they make.

Sure you can talk about their developer programs. You can talk about how they have a platform to sell apps, music, movies and television content, or how they provide a route for universities to share lectures, and others to deliver podcasts, but at the end of the day all that "content" does is drive more sales of hardware. And all that hardware drives more people into the Apple Store or to the online version.

This very binary approach is pretty much what built many industries in the USA. Take the automotive industry. They make cars and trucks. They sell them. Everything else they do is designed to support either one part of the business or the other. Airlines are the same. They fly planes and sell seats and cargo space. In many ways, Apple eliminated the computer store, while airlines have done a pretty good job at eliminating the travel agent and are on their way to get rid of more middlemen each year.

Now, let's compare Apple to the banking industry. The latter has expanded into so many different sectors that they have to have lawyers just to make sure they're not doing anything wrong, or to help get them out of trouble with one regulatory body or the other. It used to be banks did two things. Took deposits and disbursed your money. Then they got into lending. Then brokerage, then all kinds of "financial services." As they did they got deeper and deeper into the debacle of the last decade. 

If you think this binary approach doesn't work just look at Domino's Pizza whose stock is outperforming Google and others. Domino's does two things. They franchise/operate pizza parlors. They deliver pizza.  And everything they do, supports either operating a pizzeria more efficiently, or delivering a pizza.

Binary works.