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How to run your small business with free open source software

VoIP News October 16, 2017

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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Network World Unified Communications

3 total views, 1 today

IDG Contributor Network: SD-WANs lost my voice

VoIP News October 14, 2017

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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Network World Unified Communications

3 total views, 0 today

Whose Zoomin who? Polycom is

VoIP News October 12, 2017

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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Network World Unified Communications

5 total views, 0 today

How do you troubleshoot UCaaS problems? Put a ThousandEyes on it

VoIP News September 27, 2017

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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Network World Unified Communications

12 total views, 0 today

Polycom RealConnect makes multi-vendor videoconferencing easy

VoIP News June 7, 2016

Videoconferencing and the enterprise have had a good old love-hate relationship over the past few decades. It’s kind of like what’s happening with Tom Brady and the NFL. Both know they’re better off with each other, but there’s so much historical pain that it’s hard to move on and give each other another shot.

Enterprise video has come a long way over the past five years, but there are so many painful memories of how things were that many IT and business leaders don’t want to give video another chance. However, it’s worth taking another look. Complicated user interfaces have been replaced with easy-to-use touchscreens. IT no longer has to roll around carts and spend half the meeting time trying to dial the other side’s ISDN SPID. Quality issues have all but been resolved, and modern systems work fine now even over low bandwidth connections.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

793 total views, 0 today

Microsoft reportedly scrubbed an $8B bid for Slack

VoIP News June 7, 2016

Slack is the darling of the enterprise software world, and Microsoft reportedly considered buying it for a huge sum of money.

The tech giant was supposedly mulling a bid as large as US$ 8 billion before ultimately deciding against a purchase, according to a report in TechCrunch. An acquisition could have made sense for Microsoft, which has been picking up companies left and right over the past few years.

Slack is right in its wheelhouse, considering that Microsoft has purchased several other productivity-focused startups, including email app Acompli and calendar app Sunrise. Those deals formed the backbone for some of Microsoft’s newer productivity applications, including its Outlook app for iOS and Android. 

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

177 total views, 0 today

IDG Contributor Network: Wi-Fi 911: Running with scissors?

VoIP News June 6, 2016

Emergency 911 services first materialized in the United States when the Alabama Telephone Company established the service in the sleepy little town of Haleyville on Feb. 16, 1968. At that time, phone companies knew the installation address and phone number of each and every telephone device, and calls were routed based on this information. While seemingly unsophisticated by today’s standards, at the time, it was considered quite a feat of engineering.

The process remained valid until Sept. 21 of 1983 when the world changed forever. In a historic decision by the Federal Communications Commission, the Motorola 8000X, the world’s first commercially available portable cell phone, was approved for service and personal mobility took on a brand-new meaning. What was the cost of this miraculous technology? For just under $ 4,000, consumers could ‘cut the cord’ that tethered them to the wall — a small price to pay for a device that would revolutionize and redefine telecommunications history.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

191 total views, 0 today

Polycom brings a wide variety of video solutions to Microsoft Unified Communications

VoIP News June 5, 2016

Microsoft was a late entrant into the unified communication market. In a very short period of time, the company has jumped from relative obscurity to the No.2 market share vendor and now offers a robust premises-based solution with Skype for Business (formerly Lync) and burgeoning cloud service within Office 365. Microsoft’s best partner throughout this journey has been Polycom, which is the main supplier of IP phones to Microsoft Skype for Business or Office 365 customers.   

This week at the Enterprise Connect conference, Polycom made a number of announcements that expands the partnership to bring video to conference and huddle rooms. It seems a switch flipped inside Microsoft over the past six months.  Historically, Microsoft has seemed almost dismissive of the value of video, perhaps because so much energy was spent legitimizing Lync, now Skype for Business as a credible voice platform. Whatever the case, Microsoft seems to developed some religion around video and is looking to make a big push into conference and huddle rooms.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

174 total views, 0 today

6 secrets to mastering Slack

VoIP News June 4, 2016

Communication is the most important aspect of working on a team — without it, there is no team. Slack is all about making that invaluable communication more efficient. Slack allows for public channels, private groups, and direct messaging, giving team members the options to communicate in the mode appropriate to the topic. Plus, the ability to join multiple teams makes it easy to switch between work, recreational, and topic-specific chats.

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(Insider Story)
Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

168 total views, 0 today

Mitel’s acquisition of Polycom has game-changing potential in UC market

VoIP News June 3, 2016

After months of speculation, Mitel finally pulled the trigger on acquiring Polycom for $ 1.96 billion.

Competing in the unified communications (UC) market means having to butt heads with not just one, but two 800-pound gorillas named Cisco and Microsoft. The combined “MiPolycom” will be a much bigger, stronger, $ 2.5 billion revenue company—much more capable of competing with the big boys.

Mitel’s acquisition of Polycom is a bit of an unusual situation. Polycom is bigger than Mitel in both revenue and market cap, but Mitel was able to secure a $ 1.05 billion loan from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch to complete the deal. Under the terms of the agreement, Polycom will continue to run as a separate business unit under Mitel and will retain its brand. Rich McBee, Mitel’s CEO, will be the CEO of the combined organization, which will be headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

196 total views, 0 today

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  • How do you troubleshoot UCaaS problems? Put a ThousandEyes on it

    by on September 27, 2017 - 0 Comments

    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. […]

  • Whose Zoomin who? Polycom is

    by on October 12, 2017 - 0 Comments

    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 […]

  • IDG Contributor Network: SD-WANs lost my voice

    by on October 14, 2017 - 0 Comments

    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 […]

  • How to run your small business with free open source software

    by on October 16, 2017 - 0 Comments

    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 […]