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June 2009 | Volume 28 / Number 1
From the TMCnet Blogs

From the TMCnet Blogs

Tandberg: Year of Videoconferencing Came and Went
In his Communications and Technology Blog, Rich Tehrani writes:

Since 1990 we heard the year of videoconferencing was coming soon and dozens if not hundreds of video companies have disappeared while waiting to take advantage of this new age of visual communications. Yet over the last few it has become evident that video is here to stay and it will become a bigger and bigger part of our lives.

The most recent conversation which drove this home was with Tandberg where I spoke with Tony Cook VP Marketing Americas and Rick Snyder President Tandberg Americas. The pair went on to explain how their business is doing well and that market research shows they are taking share of market from others. While spending has slowed in many segments of the market including tech, the communications market has proven more resilient. It is worth pointing out that Polycom recently saw its telepresence services grow 45% in the most recent quarter. The reason of course has to do with travel budgets being slashed and the need to communicate more effectively over distance. Tandberg credits the quality level of their solutions as the reason for their growth in video market share as well as a focus on interoperability with a variety of solutions. In the last few recessions video just wasn't where it is today.

Visit Rich’s blog at http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/rich-tehrani

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IT versus PBX
In his On Rad’s Radar, Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO (News - Alert), Inc writes:

If a business is moving to UC, how does the decision get made on the platform?

In many cases, the IT Administrator has some responsibility for the phone system (even if that means he calls the PBX vendor). When the IT Admin is tasked with replacing the phone system, what goes into that decision?




Certainly, if the admin is Cisco (News - Alert) certified, he will be leaning towards a move to Cisco Call Manager. You don't get fired for buying Cisco. You also go with what you know. If the admin is an MCSE, he may lean towards an OCS solution.

My guess would be that it would be difficult for a PBX vendor like Shore-Tel or Avaya (News - Alert) to pitch their box. It's too foreign. A PBX is an unknown black box. In a business IT department, you go with what you know. It comes down to IT being familiar with IT vendors. PBX (News - Alert) vendors just never bridged that gap. Likely that is why VAR's and MSP's (managed service providers) are having success selling Hosted PBX solutions. IT guy to IT guy. Trust is there because they speak the same language. Hosted solutions are a concept that an IT guy (or gal) can fathom. After all, what is a server or Exchange or Novell (News - Alert) or the mainframe?

Visit Peter’s blog at http://blog.tmcnet.com/on-rads-radar

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Concentrix

In his “First Coffee” blog, TMCnet’s David Sims writes:

British customer relationship management specialist and IT vendor Concentrix is now providing Microsoft (News - Alert) Dynamics CRM 4.0 as a hosted offering.

Concentrix has been implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an on-premise product within businesses for years, and the company describes itself as “a strong advocate” of on-premise CRM, but company officials say over recent months they've seen increasing demand for hosted systems.

"The hosted model bests suits the requirements of some organizations. We’re getting more and more inquiries about hosted, or software-as a-service CRM," says John Odell, Senior CRM Consultant at Concentrix, describing the firm as ‘product agnostic’.

Odell says the Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a hosted product option is more popular with "organizations that need lower setup costs, less risk and quicker implementation times.” Despite the increased interest in hosted CRM, Concentrix officials say their bread and butter is still best-of-breed on-premise CRM installations, such as Sage CRM, SalesLogix, and FrontRange’s GoldMine as well as Microsoft. Asked if Concentrix expects to see a shift from on-premise to hosted solutions, Odell says “probably the other way around. Hosted is a great way to get started with CRM and install a CRM culture. However, there are some limitations with hosted CRM, and they are by no means suited to everyone. It's likely that businesses that start off with hosted will soon see tangible benefits and, with proven ROI, will move away from a monthly-fee model to on-premise.”

Visit David’s blog at http://blog.tmcnet.com/telecom-crm/

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