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Friday, January 16, 2009

Microsoft's Gurdeep Singh Pall's top ten UC predictions for 2009

I read a very interesting article on No Jitter about Microsoft's Gurdeep's top ten UC prediction for 2009. Although, I do agree with most of the elements that were mentioned, nothing was new to me and I am assuming that anybody who ready about UC around times in 2008 would know this. What would have been nice from somebody of his position would have been some more insights of where the UC segment is today (as it developed in the last three years) and then what were the drivers for those factors that would be mostly acted upon in the year 2009.
We all know that businesses small and large need unification of he communication model with collaboration being more intensely desired within the businesses. It is also inevitable that consumers have also started desiring some of these capabilities especially when related to mobile phones, IM and emails. But the problem for the businesses is to figure out a way to create a solution that customers are willing to pay for. Companies like Microsoft will focus on how Exchange is why this planet revolves around the Sun (no pun intended). It will also make a strong case of how OCS and HMC is a dire need for everybody. Some parts of it may be applicable but they have completely missed the whole aspect of unification where businesses are looking to unify what they have rather than a whole new set of tools and applications altogether. Needless to say some other leagacies have also being chompping on the bits like NEC, Alcatel-Lucent, Oracle, etc but the angle is the same.
What businesses really needs is something that works with the most common solutions out their, should work with their emails (Gmail and its derivaties, Exchange, Zimbra, etc), theit phones whether it is through AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Vonage, Comcast, etc and some of he applications which are mostly vertical domain specific.
Next when we get into collaboration we are in a different game. Now we starting picking apart the business productivity tools whether they are open source ones or from entreprise businesses and have them harmoniously interact with each other, happily understanding what each of them emit as output.
That is it.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nortel files for Bankruptcy

Nortel files for backruptcy yesterday. This was long over due. The way the company was struggling with serious lack of focus and trying to a little of everything and gained leadership and expertise in nothing did harm them in a big way. They were trying to the Jack of all trades. In the networking world it was a giant with a lot of products under its umbrella and frankly speaking it has a decent customer base. The important thing that indicated its decline was th alack of any type of growth in any segment or vertical whatsoever. They could not capitalize on their legacy customer base. Most of these customers who upgraded went Cisco route and then the ones that did not went Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper, Extreme, Foundry, etc.
Nortel was becoming a services company more than ever over the last five to seven years. They are trying to cling on to Microsoft (With a lot of their Unified Communication division being "ex-Norteliets", atleast on the operations, infrastructure and services side). They presented to the world that they could be a serious software only players in the telecomm (soft-telecomm) world.
Come on people, this is Nortel we are talking about. Everything needs to huge, monolithic and legacy oriented from them. Anybody who has worked close to them would know that.
They need a financial architect to come out of this pickle. The current guys are not going to cut it. This company will need to divest its business units intelligently as in this case the sum of parts is definitely greater than the whole.
Time will tell, but do mark my words. If I had the opportunity I could create several small but successful businesses out of Nortel, which would grow well on its own. They also need to lose these executive team and the mid-management (the barrage of VP's and SVPs) as they have not done much over the last five years or so.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ended up creating a new hybrid IM client

Quite interesting. With all so many IM clients out their one would have thought that for me test my hybrid Unified Comm. server I could use on these IM clients to test my stuff. but a rude awakening, couldn't find anything that really fit the bill and hence after some deliberation ended up developing a IM client in Python to do stuff that I needed to do. The plethora of these open source tools start out being lean and then end up becoming a monolithic piece of software that can't be used. I have had the same experience with the existing open source SIP servers as well as Ejabberd.
So made up my mind that I will continue on my path of developing a light weight gateway for SIP and XMPP that I can use for my stuff.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

IM the glue to next generation Unified Communication systems....

I have been working on IM (XMPP) quite a bit over the last year and half. It has been quite exciting and a bit of a learning process for me. The real time aspect adds quite a bit of a excitement and creates new avenues of building interesting solutions. I also find it quite intriguing that it can be used as the under-pinnings of Unified Communication. The concepts of presence that exists both in the VoIP (SIP) world and the IM world can be homogenized and extend it to some other communication paths.
Interesting enough their are not too many XMPP servers out their that scale and operate in a multi-protocol fashion. I had started writing something in C++ a few months ago and then got entangled in other stuff. I think I would go back to finishing what I started. I have looked at Ejabberd, Jabber2, etc and all of them are quite big and cumbersome to extend. The most important thing that I find is that most of them are quite big and very difficult to be stripped down to the bare minimum to start building exciting applications out of.
Need sometime to work on it. Wish had more time in the day to do so, especially for the Unified Communication solution. I love it.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hype around UC

This was a very interesting posting that I found on MarketWatch about the hype around Unified Communication. To be honest after reading the article I did not get what was the article suggesting, seemed like a few surveys being dumped in a few paragraphs.
Usage of Unified Communication and UC itself is so confusing and then the half-baked analysis presented by the analyst firms on the Internet creates more diffusion on the terms.
First, Unified Communication is a method to channelized and different streams of communications to be unified or synchronized. This implies that we could have a single channel of origination and termination of the channel of communication of somewhere in the path the different channels of communication unite.
The question one needs to ask is why would we envision doing this and what benefits, if any would be brought by this act. Some applications have demonstrated that unifying outputs and in-transit flow of information between the communication modes help make smarter choices in conclusion and reduce errors (reduce complexity and confusion in layman terms). Not to forget the aspect of latency reduction in certain aspects.
Beyond that we have not seen innovation that addresses other benefits which are not first order derivation of the error-proofing and latency reduction yet. Their certainly have been many, many big companies who have come up with acronyms and exciting phrases that get the industry intrigued (yours truly has also committed this act in the not so long ago, past). But we have not proved real benefits yet.
But hey, this is not a blog to finger-point and dog each other, but to bring the collaborative intelligence to work. Lets get busy and bring out cool stuff that is valuable.

Games on this site now

My kids were bugging me to make the site interesting for them. Given that they are nine and four, the exciting opportunities of VoIP and Unified Communication is not exciting to them. Although my nine year old is coaxing me to start thinking about an interesting online gaming business. She has promised me that she will be my first customer and has negotiated that part of her allowance (she does not have one but thinks she will have one soon) will be used in lieu of monthly service charges for usage.
Business starts at home.
I hope others visiting my site also enjoy the games.
As always, lemme know.