Channel Partners

SEP-OCT 2013

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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> SOLUTIONS <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< A BreAkdown of UC fUnCtions Email Email is a core function of unified communication. It works everywhere and provides a level of security. Its death has been long predicted, but nothing comparable has ever come up. UnifiEd inBox A unified inbox enables users to read voice mails and have emails read to them. Depending on the worker, it can be highly useful, but not a boon for all. Accuracy continues to improve; it is much better than it was just two years ago. prEsEncE A user's presence and status is detected or set manually so other users know when and how to contact them. In theory this is highly useful, but in practice, automatic methods often don't catch when a worker is busy, and users often forget to set their status. A quick chat message usually provides better info. Still, every system will have it. sharEd calEndars Shared calendars are highly useful within the company, allowing workers to schedule each other's time usually within limits. This function is best if it works across devices. On the downside, it can be a major point for data leakage (e.g., when users attach high-value documents to calendar invitations). aUdio confErEncing Audio conferencing is highly used, especially when integrated into calendars and directories. Depending on the nature of the company, however, audio conferencing may be best delivered as an independent function from UC. dEskTop VidEo confErEncing Desktop video is used minimally when compared to basic telephony. Its usefulness is a matter of opinion and may vary by user age. One-on-one conferencing is usually part of chat capabilities. Source: Art Wittmann for Business Value toolbox DOWNLOAD thiS iNfOGRAPhiC At TOOLBOx.CHANNELPARTNERSONLINE.COM 18 ChaNNel paRTNeRs SEPt/OCt 2013 Basic TElEphony Also a core function, telephony is ubiquitous, functional, and useful — often useful when email isn't. UnifiEd dirEcTory A unified directory of users is highly useful, particularly for larger organizations. For accuracy, it needs to be built into Human Resources processes and users should be empowered to request changes. Integrated directories with partner organizations are still rare. insTanT mEssaging, or chaT IM is highly useful, as chat can be done while on the phone and also asynchronously (you can wait a few minutes between responses) as with email. With IM, quick questions can get quick answers, but IM can be abused and overused. In addition, its usefulness is dependent on the completeness of the directory and number of devices supported. collaBoraTion/ docUmEnT sharing Collaboration is usually a function of some other tool, but sometimes it's integrated into UC. Wikis and Google Docs are a better bet usually. WEB confErEncing Web conferencing allows sharing of desktops with audio conferencing. It's highly useful for most organizations, but not always part of a UC deployment. roomBasEd VidEo confErEncing Room-based video conferencing is expensive, but growing in popularity. Top vendors claim compatibility between systems — make them demonstrate it. are by far the largest players in the space. Microsoft doesn't make phones, but it sells a lot of Windows and Outlook clients packaged with Lync/Office Communicator, so its UC products revolve around the computer and Windows. Conversely, Cisco doesn't sell desktop computers; in fact after giving up on the Cius tablet, it only sells IP desktop sets and video conferencing endpoints, leaving the handhelds to Apple and the Android makers. As you can imagine, Cisco's approach to UC is very different than Microsoft's and based on the hardware and software they sell to end users. Because the two UC market leaders hold such different views on enterprise communications, there's a healthy market for competitors, add-ons and service-based alternatives. Editor's Note: This article was excerpted from a report, "Making the Leap to Unified Communications," housed on the Channel Partners Business Value Toolbox. MORE INFO Visit the Business Value Toolbox to download reports, slide shows and videos to share with your customers about starting a UC project and other hot topics. CHANNEL PARTNERS ™ UNDERWRITTEN BY: About Business Value Toolbox Channel Partners' Business Value Toolbox is designed to help channel partners position their telecom and IT solutions as ways to create business value for their customers. This unique resource offers market information and marketing tools that partners can use in their own go-to-market conversations and presentations. Created by Channel Partners for channel partners, the Business Value Toolbox includes slides, infographics, videos, reports, calculators and more. Business Value Toolbox is underwritten by AT&T.

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