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New Year 2010

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The VoiceCon 2010 event, now called, “Enterprise Connect!” is underway this week from Orlando, Florida; broadcasting keynotes from Avaya, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and Siemens, which you can watch for free on VoiceCon TV.

As I mentioned previously, in my last unified communications blog post, “Telepresence – The Face of the Cloud“, the 2010 UC dance gets more interesting (and complicated) with each passing day.  As businesses continue to seek out ways to cut costs, and gain efficiencies, unified communications, and cloud computing, continue to provide alternatives for enterprises of all sizes to reduce their costs, and become more efficient in the process.

Some of the leading news stories this week are: HP partnering with Polycom (you didn’t expect them to partner with Cisco did you?), Siemens partnering with VMWare for virtualized real-time enterprise unified communications, and Verizon Business Teaming with Microsoft, Cisco on UC Services.  Additionally, Polycom announced that it is optimizing its solutions portfolio for Microsoft’s UC, and Polycom is expanding the Avaya partnership.  All in all, a good week for Polycom.

The personal telepresence space continues to evolve with Tandberg’s EX90.  So if you’re looking for a 1080p high-definition personal telepresence solution for your top executives, Tandberg’s (Cisco) EX90 may be the right fit for you.

Skype continues to make small inroads into the enterprise market with the announcement of Skype for SIP Now Interoperable with AudioCodes Mediant 1000 Multi-Service Business Gateways, and Siemens Enterprise Communications Wins Best of VoiceCon Award for its OpenScape UC Server 2010.  The rest of the exhibitor announcements can be found here.

Three months ago, in December of 2009, Channel Insider wrote that ABI research places Avaya at the top of the UC vendor list with IBM and Siemens in 2nd and 3rd place respectively, and Cisco placing 5th behind NEC.  While Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications placed Microsoft in the lead followed by Cisco, IBM,and Avaya.  It may only be March 2010, but it already looks like a potential reshuffling of vendor’s UC solutions is well underway.

It also seems that Cisco will have its hands full doing what it does best – integrating Tandberg into the Cisco family, and leveraging its network architecture, to expand its portfolio of offerings (acquired in recent years) into the enterprise.

After all, the end game for the convergence of unified communications and collaboration; and the revolutionary business and economic model of cloud computing, bringing web 2.0 technologies to the enterprise, seems to point to a simple view – a thin mobile internet accessible device, the network, and the cloud service provider.

Will Cisco succeed in its leveraging its network architecture, and offerings portfolio, with its borderless enterprise initiative?  The strategy is sound, the question will be, can Cisco execute it? In that regard, I wouldn’t bet against them.

The transformation in the way we will work, communicate, and access applications is off to a good start in 2010.  It’s just a question of what enterprise 2.0 will look like when we get there, but don’t wait to find out, go connect your business, before your business is disconnected by its competitors!

-Tune The Future-

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More Stories By Ray DePena

Ray DePena worked at IBM for over 12 years in various senior global roles in managed hosting sales, services sales, global marketing programs (business innovation), marketing management, partner management, and global business development.
His background includes software development, computer networking, systems engineering, and IT project management. He holds an MBA in Information Systems, Marketing, and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a BBA in Computer Systems from the City University of New York at Baruch College.

Named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Computing Bloggers in 2009, Top 50 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2010, and Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2011, he is the Founder and Editor of Amazon.com Journal,Competitive Business Innovation Journal,and Salesforce.com Journal.

He currently serves as an Industry Advisor for the Higher Education Sector on a National Science Foundation Initiative on Computational Thinking. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. DePena now lives in northern California. He can be followed on:

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