SIP Trunking Implementation: A Systems Approach by Ivan Sindell

SIP Trunking Implementation: A Systems Approach

Given opportunity for design errors when implementing SIP, extensive design planning and communication are critical to ensuring success.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is inherently simple. It is readable, meaning that with a probe you can follow the session initiation by simply reading the messages as they travel between two devices. The protocol does not establish the route the content will traverse, nor its quality. After the session is established, SIP, as a protocol, is only responsible for ending the session.

Read More

SIP Trunking... Not Your Father's Carrier Service by Elizabeth English

SIP Trunking... Not Your Father's Carrier Service

Successful SIP trunking implementations start with organizational planning and effective communication.

The promise of SIP trunking has been touted for years: You'll save money! It's easy to manage! It's flexible! It offers better business continuity! While this all may be true in theory, the reality is that an integrated approach and careful planning are required to achieve these results. It's not as simple as order it and call it a day.

Read More

Impact of Data Protection Legislation by Scott Murphy

Impact of Data Protection Legislation

Organizations need to get out in front of new data protection legislation like GDPR, giving special consideration to communications technology.

2018 will usher in a new era of data protection as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on May 25. How does this impact a business based in North America?

Read More

Understanding the Evolution of Endpoints by Barbara A. Grothe

Understanding the Evolution of Endpoints

From desk phones to softphones, mobile UC clients, and headsets, endpoint options abound.

It has been five years since our first "no desk phone" deployment with a 750-user client installing Microsoft Lync 2013. The enterprise was forward-thinking and the CIO was adamant that this deployment would be heavy on "collaboration tools" and light on desk phones. Obviously, five years ago this was a bold move, but its dictum from the top meant that employees would 'play along.' The word was out -- employees would receive headsets only and desk phones were "gone." The result? Only two out of the 750 employees retained desk phones; 748 Bluetooth headsets were deployed and the cultural shift to UC was underway.

Read More

Smart Campuses Are Here by Howard Feingold

Smart Campuses Are Here

A key benefit of smart campus investment is that it helps to position the property for the future -- communications included.

You have a smart phone and possibly a smart watch. You understand smart buildings. But are you aware of smart campuses?

Read More

3 Technical Issues to Consider for a Cloud Move by Melissa Swartz

3 Technical Issues to Consider for a Cloud Move

The sales pitch makes a cloud migration seem easy, but the devil's in the details.

If a move to the cloud is in your future, hopefully you've been able to do some advance preparation, as I've previously recommended. In addition, you'll need to keep in mind a variety of technical considerations.

Read More

How to Keep Communicating When Cell Service Fails by Art Yonemoto

How to Keep Communicating When Cell Service Fails

Turn your smartphone into a node in a peer-to-peer communications network, and keep the conversation flowing.

The recent tragic events of the North Bay fires in California and Hurricane Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico highlight issues that arise when cell towers go down. In the aftermath of these disasters, we heard many stories about the difficulties of finding people in the affected areas.

Read More

Designing a Design-Driven Organization by Scott Murphy

Designing a Design-Driven Organization

Organizations that use cross-disciplinary teams, lead with customer-focused design, and share knowledge effectively will rise quickly to the top of their sector.

In the current technology ecosystem, many organizations have assumed that agility and innovation can only be achieved at the expense of design, security, and reliable operations. Many startups take this path. But as the startup begins to scale, there are often bumps in the road. Perhaps a company grew its solution organically with limited big-picture design or documentation; or maybe the customer experience begins to falter when customers demand reliability but the solution cannot deliver as changes get implemented too quickly.

Read More

Telecommunications Industry Changes: What's Next by Edward Moran & Elizabeth English

Telecommunications Industry Changes: What's Next

What does the future hold for telecommunications and what does each segment of the industry need to do to survive?

What's happening in the telecommunications industry today is explosive -- three-dimensional growth on all fronts, making it challenging for enterprises to determine the best strategic course forward.

Read More

IoT & Collaboration: Enabling the Next-Gen Operation Center by Howard Feingold

IoT & Collaboration: Enabling the Next-Gen Operation Center

Situational awareness, collaborative response capabilities, and proactive incident management are the keys to providing a secure environment and minimizing costly downtime.

Today, more than ever, airports need comprehensive situational awareness. Next-generation operation centers combining security, operations management, and collaboration can provide the insights and incident preparedness needed to both streamline everyday operations and manage emergencies.

Read More

Navigating Disruption, Synergizing with Tech by Tom Brannen

Navigating Disruption, Synergizing with Tech

Organizations need to realign processes and workflows to match the capabilities of new tools.

Disruption by its very nature isn't something you can avoid. It isn't something your business can opt out of if you don't want to go through the pain of reorienting. Or if you do opt out, there are eventually serious consequences.

Read More

Communications: Everything is Amazing and Nobody Is Happy by Dave Stein

Communications: Everything is Amazing and Nobody Is Happy

The communications market is ripe for disruption, leaving the traditional players longing for the good old days.

I borrowed the title of this post from a Louis C.K. stand-up routine a few years ago. In that routine, Louis talked about growing up having to dial a rotary phone -- and what a pain it was if the person you were calling had lots of zeros and nines in their phone numbers (for younger readers, ask your parents to explain). He also talked about the amazing things we take for granted in today's everyday life such as human flight -- sitting in a chair hurtling through the sky.

Read More

Does Market Size Really Matter? by J.R. Simmons

Communications industry consolidation has its plusses and minuses.

Although new players regularly enter the industry, it's natural that most of the attention goes to the larger firms with established market presence. When a well-known vendor buys or merges with another large well-known firm, the immediate concerns include the impact on the consumers' choices. Mergers and acquisitions such as the Mitel buyout of ShoreTel lessens the options for those businesses that are the ideal buyers of premises-based systems targeted for a sophisticated SMB environment. Sure, there are alternatives from smaller firms and cloud vendors, but for some with specific needs, the competition is getting thin.

Read More

Preparing for the Big Cloud Move by Melissa Swartz

When migrating enterprise communications to the cloud, preparation is key.

Every successful business project begins with good preparation. Of course, we all know that unplanned things happen all the time. However, laying solid groundwork through preparation always positions a company to have more success and as few surprises as possible.

Read More

The Day Chatbots Took Over the World by Dennis Goodhart

As interest in AI soars, chatbots have become a regular way of interacting and doing business.

Anyone who is involved in enterprise communications technology knows our industry is moving and changing faster than ever before. As a consultant for many years now, I believe that now is the most exciting time in our space since the invention of the telephone itself -- a sentiment that was echoed by my consultant peers last week at the Society of Communications Technology Consultants International's annual conference.

Read More

Getting Strict about Cloud and VoIP Implementations by Ivan Sindell

For law enforcement organizations, compliance with Criminal Justice Information Systems Security Policy can be a hard constraint.

The latest version of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Security Policy document puts severe constraints on VoIP and cloud Implementations for organizations that require access to CJIS databases. As reviewed in the document, maintaining compliance can double the price of cloud and VoIP systems for these law enforcement agencies.

Read More

Making the Case for a Consultant by Art Yonemoto

There are ways to justify your need for a communications consultant so executives will be on board to get you the help you need.


Read More

UC, Network Vendors: Buy, Sell, Hold? by Dave Stein

As in baseball, UC and networking vendors on the bubble need to position themselves to buy -- a la Mitel and Extreme Networks -- or be sold.


Read More

Getting in the Know on SD-WAN by Dennis Goodhart

The trend toward SD-WAN is only likely to accelerate. Here’s a high level look at what you need to know.


Read More

Where Will Technology Be in 2027? by Barbara A. Grothe

Where Will Technology Be in 2027?

From smart homes and offices, to AI and robotics, the future will likely look very different.

Last week I picked up the grandkids after school, and to my surprise, I saw 35 fourth graders all walk out to the car line with each one carrying their very own HP Chromebook. When we got home, our fourth grader couldn't unpack it quickly enough!

Read More