Gartner has lowered its expectations for growth this year in global IT spending, saying it will rise 2 per cent to $US3.7 trillion. Earlier this year, the analyst firm predicted 2013 growth of 4.1 per cent.
Unified Communications: News
Two stalwarts in the enterprise IT market joined forces today to release a unified communications stack that integrates hardware from EMC, virtualization technology from VMware and communications apps from Avaya. Perhaps most interesting about the news, though, is a company that was not involved: Cisco.
LifeSize and Microsoft have collaborated to create a new Lync Room System, a joint effort that LifeSize says will bring the Lync unified communication experience to the meeting room.
More companies are looking to embrace Unified Communications (UC) tools in 2013 to enable increased mobility for increased efficiency and retaining and attracting top talent, a survey by hands-free communications vendor, Jabra and analyst firm, Frost and Sullivan, has found.
Express Data has inked a deal with enterprise communications vendor Aastra to distribute its range of IP phone models specifically for Microsoft Lync 2010 software.
Microsoft has selected Ingram Micro as its Value Added Distributor (VAD) for virtualisation and Express Data as VAD for Unified Communications in New Zealand. The two distributors were selected after the vendor sent out an RFI to distributors in the country, as part of a worldwide VAD programme. “The key is for distributors to increase the amount of resources and technical capabilities,” explains Ingram Micro general manager for Vendor Management and Marketing Scott Cowen. “We increased those.” Cowen says that Microsoft virtualisation resellers working with Ingram Micro will now benefit from extra training, roadshows, sales and technical presentations, along with other things. “We have a larger dedicated Microsoft team, with a couple of new staff hires.” For Cowen, the VAD recognition from Microsoft comes also from the fact that the distributor has been working strongly in the virtualisation market, not only with Microsoft but also with VMware, HP and IBM servers. “A lot of [this] is what we were doing already,” he says, adding that, in spite of that, they have brought in additional resources. Cowen says the Microsoft team at Ingram Micro is also working alongside regional resellers, “the ones outside tier 1, who rely more on the distributor”. General Manager of Express Data Paul Plester also believes the extension of the distributor’s partnership with Microsoft, through the VAD of UC stamp, comes from Express Data “very long experience with networking and unified communications”. “Our resellers will be able to leverage that,” he adds. “We do thousands and thousands of phones every year,” says Plester, adding that the distributor is adding products such as Aastra and Plantronics to complement its Microsoft Lync offer in the UC area. “We are now a one-stop shop for Microsoft Lync requirements and we encourage Microsoft resellers to encourage those who used to be instant messaging customers to migrate to Lync. Once they see it, it takes off by itself,” adds the GM. Like Ingram Micro, Express Data has also added extra training and more staff through its VAD certification from Microsoft. “We are very comfortable with our channel partners,” says Plester, optimistic about the value of the new programme. “We have been working with Provoke and Kordia (who sells the only Lync certified network in New Zealand. It has got very good momentum,” he adds. Ingram Micro is hitting the road with its roadshow focused on HP Infrastructure and Microsoft Lync and System Centre from February 21 to March 8. Cowen says he expects to get good feedback from resellers as the company travels the country with the roadshow.
Unified Communications provider Polycom will work with telcos to bring video-as-a-service to market in New Zealand.
Unified communications provider Jabra ANZ has launched its WIN Partner Programme, an education and sales programme that the company says will benefit up to 300 partners in the region.
Cisco Systems plans to collaborate rather than compete with IT services providers as it targets new market opportunities such as virtual education and health for communities, a senior company executive said on Wednesday.
Unified communications lacks a clear business case and can not compete with consumer-driven technology, Gartner has warned.
Alcatel-Lucent's second-quarter revenue fell 2.4 percent year on year, dragged down by slow sales in fixed-line network equipment and terrestrial optical networks, but the company reduced costs, cutting its operating loss by two-thirds compared to a year earlier.
Microsoft plans to release a new version of its Office Communications Server (OCS) by the latter half of 2010, according to Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Unified Communications Group.
Avaya tomorrow will reveal a road map that shows how its customers – in particular its newly minted Nortel customers - can move to unified communications technologies without ripping out existing gear.
Debate over the significance of Unified communications (UC) as a technology continues with Gartner and Frost & Sullivan arguing that its is respectively, no longer a strategic priority and its an evolving technology still worth watching.
A recent global survey of business and IT managers found that their companies got back benefits perceived as equal to four times their investment, on average, in unified communication and collaboration technologies.
Hewlett-Packard is building collaboration software with video, application-sharing and 3-D graphics support into several of its workstation models, giving the high-definition conferencing market an option well below the cost and scale of telepresence.
Cisco Systems is developing a collaboration software platform that will allow enterprises to combine social networking, presence, content and transactional applications in a single interface.
Nearly two years after acquiring Grand Central, Google is accepting some new users to its Google Voice service.
Avaya and IBM have overcome difficulties presenting joint unified communications proposals to customers and have launched a coordinated sales and marketing program and agreed to conduct technical development together.
By its own admission, insurance and financial services giant Suncorp had no unified communication technology just three years ago, but since then the introduction of IP telephony and videoconferencing has worked wonders for how the business leverages IT in general.
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