IDG Contributor Network: The real unified communications

A few weeks back, I wrote a post contending that, as traditionally defined, the term unified communications has no meaning. Since then, I have had many interesting conversations with people who have varying opinions on the subject. This post is to pass along some of what I have learned.

Un-unified

In alignment with my contention, most of the conversations on the subject have confirmed that when someone in a work situation needs to communicate with someone who is not within earshot, they typically use tools that are very, well, un-unified. If we need to talk to someone, we call. We still email as much as any other modality. Second to that, we text and increasingly group message. If we need to share or collaborate on information that is in a document, we webchat. Begrudgingly, we occasionally video chat. A few people do use a single tool for these functions, but more often we choose between a set of tools—applications that are specialized to the task at hand.

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Source: ddd

IDG Contributor Network: Beyond 911: Other N-1-1 codes you should know

The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) establishes what telephone numbers exist. It would be safe to say that most people know and understand that the short code of 911 will connect callers with police, fire or medical services in the event of an emergency. But did you know that there are seven other numbers, arguably as important?

N11 numbers, or telephone short-codes, provide callers quick and simple access to other special assistance that may be needed without tying up emergency services resources and phone lines.

Usage of these codes is established by the Federal Communications Commission based on use defined by the NANP Administrator, and is as follows:

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Source: ddd

Level 3 blames huge network outage on unspecified configuration error

Level 3 Communications has cited an unspecified “configuration error” as the root cause of its nationwide network outage on Tuesday.

Here’s the statement issued by the Broomfield, Colo., service provider:

On October 4, our voice network experienced a service disruption affecting some of our customers in North America due to a configuration error. We know how important these services are to our customers. As an organization, we’re putting processes in place to prevent issues like this from recurring in the future. We were able to restore all services by 9:31 a.m. Mountain time.

Social media sites such as Reddit and Twitter erupted on Tuesday morning with inquiries and complaints about the outage from Level 3 customers, as well as customers of other big carriers like AT&T and Verizon that were affected by the outage. Speculation for the outage ranged from possible fiber cuts to more outlandish theories.

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Source: ddd

Level 3 acknowledges network outage

Social networks exploded Tuesday morning with customer inquiries and complaints because of a Level 3 Communications network outage across the United States.

Though by noon, reports had started spilling out that service was returning in certain spots.

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It appears the outage started around 11AM EST, and according to the outage tracker Downdetector, hot spots on a heat map appear particularly colorful up and down the east coast and in California. Reports also surfaced of outages at Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and other service providers, possibly because of their use of Level 3 infrastructure, a major Internet backbone.

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Source: ddd