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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Source: ddd

IDG Contributor Network: New day or déjà vu

In July of last year, I believe that became the first to publicly suggest that Avaya should divest of the company’s data networking business. The one-year anniversary of my ”Cajun redux?” post is approaching and in a coincidence, around this same time Avaya will complete the sale of that part of the company to Extreme Networks. With this confluence of milestones, in this post will ask, does this signify a new day for Avaya or will, at some point down the road, we again be struck with that strange feeling of déjà vu?

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Source: ddd

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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Source: ddd

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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Source: ddd

IDG Contributor Network: How to organize workspaces around people and build culture

“Move in or get out.”

That was the injunction handed down to IBM’s marketing team just two months ago. Admittedly, the news wasn’t delivered in quite such austere terms. But the result was the same.

Forcing employees who work remotely to move their families and lives onsite is a bold move. Three weeks ago, I dove into the rationale behind hardline no-remote-working policies and made a data-driven defense based on responses from 25,234 workers found in The Changing World of Work: A Global Survey.

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Source: ddd

IDG Contributor Network: Unified communications is a marketing Camelot

A while back I wrote my feelings about the term unified communications. My point in different words is that unification regarding enterprise communications technologies is a type of marketing Camelot. Paraphrasing The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, like the legendary city, an imaginary enterprise communications environment is said to exist with some “impressive architecture … and the chivalry and courtesy of its inhabitants.”

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Source: ddd

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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Source: ddd

IDG Contributor Network: 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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Source: ddd

IDG Contributor Network: The pathway to digital transformation runs through IT

When Scott Crowder joined BMC as its vice president of infrastructure and operations in 2011, he felt like he had stepped back in time. While he knew BMC’s products to be world class, the data center and other technologies running this world-class operation seemed more like they belonged in a museum.

+ Also on Network World: Accelerating digital transformation using the Medici Effect +

Thus started a transformational journey that began in earnest with Crowder’s appointment as BMC’s CIO in 2014. He had already begun the transformation of the data center in his first role, but upon taking the reins as CIO, he knew he had the opportunity to reshape the IT landscape from the ground up.

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Source: ddd

IDG Contributor Network: 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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Source: ddd