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 Eric Krapf
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Profile of Eric Krapf

Editor, No Jitter
Blog Posts: 58
Articles by Eric Krapf

UC for Free

8/20/2009
Enterprise communications is always going to be a complex system--not a mere application or even a mere collection of applications.

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The Mobile UC Endpoint

2/3/2009
Will the smartphone become your only computer, and if so, what are the implications for the enterprise-in terms of cost and security, among other issues?

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Incremental Improvements

1/28/2009
Real cost justifications around IP telephony and Unified Communications center around international calling, travel avoidance and the like.

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The IBM Desktop

1/21/2009
At the opening of this week's Lotusphere, a lot of the talk was about LotusLive, which is IBM Lotus' new offering in the cloud/software-as-a-service (SaaS) market, and Bob Picciano, general manager of IBM Lotus software, talked this solution up as an extranet service -- i.e., one that could connect an enterprise's CPE-based Lotus systems with cloud-based systems used by partners.

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Will UC Save Enterprise VOIP?

1/6/2009
In the enterprise, VoIP isn't dead. It may be rolled out more slowly over the difficult times ahead; but as the basis of next-generation communications systems, it's business critical.

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Who's Doing UC Now?

12/16/2008
This survey paints a picture of UC as a leading-edge technology that, during a normal business cycle, would be well-positioned to continue growing and attracting more attention. Whether the usual rules still apply, however, is another question.

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Progress In Interoperability

11/18/2008
All eyes are, once again, on Microsoft. During the VoiceCon session where the inter-domain agreement was announced, IBM's Pat Galvin made it clear that he doesn't feel the job is done. "As far as IBM is concerned," Galvin said, "this process is only half complete."

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Microsoft Users Highlight VoiceCon

11/11/2008
Betsy Frost Webb, Microsoft's GM for Unified Communications marketing, talked up the need to focus on the organizational impacts of UC, then brought out two enterprise end users who are living through those impacts

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Shell's Progress On UC

10/22/2008
The big headline out of Johan Krebbers' keynote at VoiceCon Amsteradam was Krebbers' assertion that at Shell, voice is no more important than the other peer-to-peer real-time media. In his talk, Krebbers elaborated, saying that within Shell today, if you travel, you're encouraged to use a softphone to save on international dialing; the expectation is that you'll become comfortable enough with the softphone that you'll be willing to use it when you're in the office as well.

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Shell Stays Aggressive On UC Plans

10/8/2008
Early on in the VoIP migration, you heard, "Voice is just another application on the network." Then you heard it wasn't; it was tougher to do and more mission critical. At VoiceCon Amsterdam next week, an executive from Royal Dutch Shell will say, in essence, that voice actually is just another application.

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Cisco Changes The Communications Debate

9/24/2008
As you can see in my No Jitter post on the topic, my friend Allan Sulkin, the ultimate voice communications expert, considers Cisco's announcement of a software-as-a-service play for UC/collaboration a "game changer." Maybe it changes the game; it definitely alters the debate.

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FMC: It's All About Features, Says DiVitas

9/22/2008
DiVitas Networks has been one of the leaders in enterprise fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), going back to the time when FMC mostly meant the ability to transition from a cellular network to voice over Wi-Fi without dropping the call. Now, DiVitas's CEO calls that capability "table stakes."

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Is UC Tactical Or Strategic?

9/8/2008
Wainhouse Research is out with a new survey of enterprise attitudes and practices in adopting unified communications. One of the key findings is that, more so than last year, the decision is being made by IT, rather than at the CXO level.

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Avaya Plus Tandberg?

8/21/2008
In what is probably the first really interesting consolidation rumor I've heard in a long time, there are reports that Silver Lake, the private equity firm that owns Avaya, has approached Tandberg about acquiring that video-focused vendor.

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Microsoft For Corporate Telephony?

8/18/2008
There's been a lot of buzz over at No Jitter about the most recent Gartner report in the area of IP telephony/Unified Communications, in which Gartner gave a spot in its coveted Magic Quadrant to Microsoft. What drove the commentary was the fact that Microsoft made the Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony, an area in which

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Consolidation Among UC Vendors

8/4/2008
Last week's deal for Siemens Enterprise (SEN) solved the vendor's immediate problem of reassuring its customer base that the brand and products would go on, be supported, and form the basis of future strategic activities. That was really Job 1 for SEN last week; now we have to see where it invests and what approach it takes to the North American market. Meanwhile, there remains the question of the enviro

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Siemens Enterprise Finds A Buyer

7/29/2008
Some two years after it was spun off from the Siemens AG parent company, with the intention of being acquired, Siemens Enterprise (SEN)has finally reached that goal with today's announcement that Gores Group, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, will acquire 51% of SEN, while Siemens AG retains the rest. (For more posts, go to No Jitter.)

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Revisiting Click-to-Call

7/25/2008
If you sit through enough unified communications marketing presentations, sooner rather than later, you'll hear someone confidently assert that "UC is more than just click to call." But what if click to call is really enough for you?

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The Role Of Presence In UC

7/14/2008
What makes Unified Communications unique, something other than just a bunch of applications running on an IP infrastructure? How does UC fundamentally change the communications architecture? There's a growing consensus that the answer is: Presence.

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What's Video Good For?

7/1/2008
Videoconferencing is a hot technology, one that's seeing 30%+ annual growth in both revenue and units shipped, according to Wainhouse Research. The assumption is that this growth is being driven, at least in part, by companies' desire to avoid employee travel as fuel prices rise. But people who look at this market closely say travel avoidance is only a small part of video's appeal.

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UC Security

6/27/2008
It's become conventional wisdom in the VoIP/IP telephony/UC security space that the major vulnerability for voice-over-IP traffic today remains the simple fact that it runs on IP infrastructures that may be the targets of attacks that have been plaguing data networks for years. In other words, all those exotic types of attacks with names like SPIT (spam over IP telephony); VOMIT (voice over misconfigured IP telephony); or eavesdropping via packet capture -- these have not yet materialized to any

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UC Vendors As Services Companies

6/23/2008
I mentioned in last Friday's post that Unified Communications is expected to require much more systems integration work than traditional telecom implementations. That's directly related to the fact that communications is becoming more of a software business and less of a hardware business. It also means that many of the "hardware" vendors of the past are trying to imitate IBM's successes of the last deca

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The True UC Market Is Tiny...Today

6/20/2008
I've been watching the Unified Communications market since it began two years ago, and one of the things that everybody's been trying to figure out is how to quantify the market and characterize how fast it's moving and where it might be headed. This week, Blair Pleasant of COMMfusion and UCstrategies.com delivered a great contribution to this emerging body of knowledge. The executive summary and TOC are Post a Comment

Mystery And Margin

6/19/2008
Over at No Jitter, consultant Gary Audin has posted a blog based on a new report that looks at IT services costs. The report, from the OnForce analyst firm, finds that VoIP is by far the most expensive IT component to service; the average VoIP work order is more than half again as expensive as the next-highest category, wiring and cabling, which of course also can be a

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Will Enterprises Buy Hosted UC?

6/17/2008
This week the carriers are having their big show in Las Vegas, NXTComm, so we're seeing announcements like this one from Nortel, of a joint solution with Microsoft for carrier-hosted Unified Communications. The focus of that particular release is SMBs, which have generally been the target market for hosted services. There's an ongoing debate about whether larg

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You've Already Got Communications-Enabled Business Processes

6/16/2008
Communications-Enabled Business Processes, or CEBP, is one of the hot buzzwords in enterprise communications. Many people see CEBP as the Holy Grail of communications technology, something that may be attained years from now. But, in fact, you have CEBP in your enterprise now. It's called PBX features.

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Who Makes The UC Buying Decision?

6/13/2008
Forrester Research has a new report out that offers some insights into the communications technologies that enterprises are adopting -- and are still holding off on. There's also a provocative data point on how involved business unit executives are in Unified Communications purchases.

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D'Ambrosio Steps Down From Avaya, Citing Medical Reasons

6/10/2008
Avaya announced today that its president and CEO, Lou D'Ambrosio, is stepping down due to "medical reasons" (about which no further details were given), and that he'll be replaced on an interim basis by Charlie Giancarlo, who left Cisco late last year to join the private equity firm, Silver Lake Partners, that acquired Avaya almost exactly one year ago. The Avaya announcement is here and

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Telepresence: Hype or Revolution?

6/9/2008
One of the hottest topics in Unified Communications is video, and specifically the high-definition, high-end experience known as telepresence. HP and Polycom make telepresence systems, but the concept really took off in the market when Cisco announced its version of the technology almost 2 years ago.

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Contact Centers As The UC Killer App

6/6/2008
If you're looking for early-adopter scenarios of Unified Communications, your best bet is probably to watch what happens in enterprise contact centers (or call centers, as they used to be known). Contact centers are frequently at the cutting edge of communications technologies, as occurred with computer-telephony integration (CTI)--a comparison that understandly makes UC advocates a little nervous.

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The Need For Interoperability

6/5/2008
One of the major discussions in UC has to do with the need for interoperability. The legacy voice world is highly proprietary, built around PBXs that speak vendor-specific protocols understood only by that vendor's telephones. A lot of people like to compare the PBX to the mainframe computer, and suggest that, just as in computing, the end station will become untethered, hardware will become commoditized, and everything will reside in software. That may, in fact, turn out to be the end state, bu

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Organizational Challenges For UC

6/4/2008
The convergence of voice and data onto a single network has required some significant changes to the IT organization. But those changes may pale beside the effort that will be required to get the enterprise IT shop ready to implement and support Unified Communications.

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Does UC Improve Productivity?

6/3/2008
The whole reason for Unified Communications, it's believed, is that UC makes your workers and your business processes more efficient and productive. But productivity benefits are almost always tough to quantify and measure reliably, and that's certainly the case with UC.

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What Is Unified Communications?

6/2/2008
Since this is a new blog, I'll start with a very quick introduction: I'm the co-chairman of VoiceCon, the leading conference on enterprise real-time communications/UC. I'm also editor of a TechWeb site called No Jitter, which runs blog postings and in-depth features on IP telephony, UC, and converged networking. I used to be the editor of Business Communications Review, which many of you may remember, and whic

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