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Archive for the ‘use cases’ Category

ITExpo: BYOD – The New Mobile Enterprise

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

If you are going to ITExpo West 2012 in Austin, make sure you attend my panel on this topic at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, October 3rd.

The panelists are Jeanette Lee of Ruckus Wireless, Ed Wright of ShoreTel and John Cash of RIM.

The pitch for the panel is:

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has been in full swing for a couple of years now, and there’s no going back. Enterprises have adopted a policy of allowing users to use their own devices to access corporate networks and resources. With it comes the cost savings of not having to purchase as many mobile devices, and user satisfaction increases when they are able to choose their preferred devices and providers (and avoid having to carry multiple devices). But the benefits don’t come without challenges — the user experience must be preserved, security policies must accommodate these multiple devices and operating systems, and IT has to content with managing applications and access across different platforms. This session looks at what businesses can do to mitigate risks and ensure performance while still giving your users the device freedom they demand.

ITExpo: The Realities of Mobile Videoconferencing

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

I will be moderating a panel on this topic at ITExpo East 2012 in Miami at 1:00pm on Thursday, February 2nd.

The panelists will be Girish Khavasi of Dialogic, Trent Johnsen of Hookflash, Anatoli Levine of RADVISION and Al Balasco RadiSys. This is a heavy hitting collection of panelists. Come with your toughest questions – you will get useful, authoritative answers.

The pitch for the panel is:

As 4G mobile networks continue to be rolled out and new devices are adopted by end users, mobile video conferencing is becoming an increasingly important component in today’s Unified Communications ecosystem. The ability to deliver enterprise-grade video conferencing including high definition voice, video and data-sharing will be critical for those playing in this space. Mobile video solutions require vendors to consider a number of issues including interoperability with new and traditional communications platforms as well as mobile operating systems, user interfaces that maximize the experience, and the ability to interoperate with carrier networks. This session will explore the business-class mobile video platforms available in the market today as well as highlight some end-user experiences with these technologies.

ITExpo: The Future is Now: Mobile Callers Want Visuals with Voice over the existing network

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

I will be moderating a panel on this topic at ITExpo East 2012 in Miami at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, February 1st.

The panelists will be Theresa Szczurek of Radish Systems, LLC, Jim Machi of Dialogic, Niv Kagan of Surf Communications Solutions and Bogdan-George Pintea of Damaka.

The concept of visuals with voice is a compelling one, and there are numerous kinds of visual content that you may want to convey. For example, when you do a video call with FaceTime or Skype, you can switch the camera to show what you are looking at if you wish, but you can’t share your screen or photos during a call.

FaceTime, Skype and Google Talk all use the data connection for both the voice and video streams, and the streams travel over the Internet.

A different, non-IP technology for videophone service called 3G-324M, is widely used by carriers in Europe and Asia. It carries the video over the circuit-switched channel, which enables better quality (lower latency) than the data channel. An interesting application of this lets companies put their IVR menus into a visual format, so instead of having to listen through a tedious listing of options that you don’t want, you can instantly select your choice from an on-screen menu. Dialogic makes back-end equipment that makes applications like on-screen IVR possible on 3G-324M networks.

Radish Systems uses a different method to provide a similar visual IVR capability for when your carrier doesn’t support 3G-324M (none of the US carriers do). The Radish application is called Choiceview. When you make a call from your iPhone to a Choiceview-enabled IVR, you dial the call the regular way, then start the Choiceview app on your iPhone. The Choiceview IVR matches the Caller ID on the call with your phone number that you typed into the app setup, and pushes a menu to the appropriate client. So the call goes over the old circuit-switched network, while Choiceview communicates over the data network. Choiceview is strictly a client-server application. A Choiceview server can push any data to a phone, but the phone can’t send data the other way, neither can two phones exchange data via Choiceview.

So this ITExpo session will try to make sense of this mix: multiple technologies, multiple geographies and multiple use cases for visual data exchange during phone calls.

ITExpo East 2011: NGC-02 “The Next Generation of Voice over WLAN”

Monday, January 24th, 2011

I will be moderating this panel at IT Expo in Miami on February 2nd at 10:00 am.

Voice over WLAN has been deployed in enterprise applications for years, but has yet to reach mainstream adoption (beyond vertical markets). With technologies like mobile UC, 802.11n, fixed-mobile convergence and VoIP for smartphones raising awareness/demand, there are a number of vendors poised to address market needs by introducing new and innovative devices. This session will look at what industries have already adopted VoWLAN and why – and what benefits they have achieved, as well as the technology trends that make VoWLAN possible.

The panelists are:

  • Russell Knister, Sr. Director, Business Development & Product Marketing, Motorola Solutions
  • Ben Guderian, VP Applications and Ecosystem, Polycom
  • Carlos Torales, Cisco Systems, Inc.

All three of these companies have a venerable history in enterprise Wi-Fi phones; the two original pioneers of enterprise Voice over Wireless LAN were Symbol and Spectralink, which Motorola and Polycom acquired respectively in 2006 and 2007. Cisco announced a Wi-Fi handset (the 7920) to complement their Cisco CallManager in 2003. But the category has obstinately remained a niche for almost a decade.

It has been clear from the outset that cell phones would get Wi-Fi, and it would be redundant to have dedicated Wi-Fi phones. And of course, now that has come to pass. The advent of the iPhone with Wi-Fi in 2007 subdued the objections of the wireless carriers to Wi-Fi and knocked the phone OEMs off the fence. By 2010 you couldn’t really call a phone without Wi-Fi a smartphone, and feature phones aren’t far behind.

So this session will be very interesting, answering questions about why enterprise voice over Wi-Fi has been so confined, and why that will no longer be the case.

Sharing Wi-Fi 1 – My Wi-Fi

Monday, February 9th, 2009

I have written before about Intel’s Cliffside project. This went public at CES in January under the name My Wi-Fi. The idea is to make your one laptop Wi-Fi adapter into two virtual adapters. One of these adapters is a regular laptop Wi-Fi adapter like before. The second turns your laptop into a kind of mini access point. Consumer electronics like Apple TVs and Wi-Fi printers can then stream media directly to and from the laptop, rather than relaying it through a real access point:

Realize first that, from an overall network topology standpoint, a single video stream coursing from source to destination is actually two streams; one going from the source to the router and through its integrated switch, and another heading out from the router to the destination. [Brian Dipert]

My Wi-Fi also allows Wi-Fi to substitute for Bluetooth for laptop wireless peripherals, like mice and keyboards, and this CNET article points out that it can also be used to share paid Wi-Fi connections in hotels and hot-spots.

Smartphones displacing notebook PCs?

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

The coming crop of smartphones are data friendly, third-party software friendly phones with Wi-Fi. But there’s more! The processing power of the ARM application processors used in phones lags that of mobile PC CPUs by about 7 years, so this year’s phones will have roughly the computing power of a 2001 laptop.

These changes come together to make phones chip away at the uses of notebook PCs. Many people who used PCs only for email now use Blackberries instead. Many phones are good substitutes for personal organizer software on PCs. The iPhone can credibly substitute for a PC for web browsing.

These trends motivated Instat to say last November:

Smartphone use will grow mostly from use as a laptop replacement

According to Gartner, the year-on-year notebook sales growth numbers for notebook PCs from 2004 to 2007 remained healthy: 36%, 28%, 22%. The crossover in unit volume came in 2006, when smartphones and notebooks both shipped roughly 80 million units worldwide. That 22% unit growth in notebook sales from 2006 to 2007 represented a jump to over 100 million units shipped. Compare this to a 70% jump in smartphone unit shipments in the same period, to over 130 million.

Intel’s Primary Wireless Campus

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Intel published a white paper last year about a trial deployment of 802.11a as a replacement for wired Ethernet at a 5,000 person campus. The results were lower costs and happier workers. This was just for PC connectivity. The dual-mode phone phase of the deployment is still to come.

There are several interesting findings in the white paper. First, while the latency of the network increased somewhat, the difference was imperceptible to the users. Second, Intel chose to abandon the VPN, relying on 802.11i for security. This made joining the network faster and easier.

The decision to use 802.11a was presumably for the greater capacity (more non-interfering channels than 11g), and for the cleaner spectrum. 802.11n is superior to 802.11a in capacity and rate at range. This means that what was doable with 11a will be even easier with 11n.

Parvesh Sethi’s opinions

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Parvesh Sethi is Cisco’s Vice President, Advanced Services. In his keynote at the Communications Developer Conference this week in Santa Clara, he described an interesting use case for future wireless devices:

Your phone automatically notifies the hotel when you arrive – no need to stand in line to check in. Your assigned room number appears on your phone screen. The phone acts as a wireless key for your room. In your room the hotel puts targeted ads onto your phone’s screen.

The bulk of his talk consisted of advice for developers. The two main themes were “leverage the power of the network” and “exploit the long tail.”

The power of the network bit is to be expected from Cisco. The long tail part was a theme at many of the other presentations in the conference. For those who haven’t read the book, the idea is that the enormous reach of the web at relatively minuscule cost allows products that in the past would have been too narrow in appeal now to be commercially viable, and when combined with enough other low-volume products, to be lucrative. For example, a book that sells two copies a month isn’t worth carrying in a retail bookshop. But an online bookstore with a hundred thousand such titles would glean annual revenues in the tens of millions of dollars.

Sethi explained that custom programming for a particular enterprise used to be prohibitively expensive. But now the Web is packed with useful components that you can invoke through simple APIs. Web development environments automatically take care of the hard stuff for you, stuff like security, transcoding, QoS, authentication. Application acceleration is available right in the network. The open application development environment makes it possible for people to add their own value. This unleashes the long tail effect for the component vendors.

The example Sethi gave for this type of application was a real-world one, from an individual Subway franchisee – not Subway Corporate. The application runs on a Cisco phone. When an employee arrives in the morning, he logs in on the phone. This means no need for a time clock. Suppose four employees are scheduled to work a shift, but only three clock in. Previously one would have to start calling to find a substitute, leaving only two to perform the work. Now the phone system starts outdialing automatically, calling down the list of substitutes until one responds with a touchtone. Meanwhile, back in the store, the phone reminds the employees about essential process steps, like putting the bread in the oven. If the employee doesn’t acknowledge that he has done it, the system calls the supervisor to snitch. Sethi claimed that this application yielded a 30% increase in lunchtime revenue in its first month of operation.

Openness of the development environment, the ability for users to modify Cisco’s system and incorporate it into applications built on a whole set of such open components was one of four “Pillars of UC development” that Sethi identified. The other three were security, simplicity and virtuality (access to the application via any device, any where).