PLC International Talks UC, Net Neutrality, and ITEXPO

PLC International Talks UC, Net Neutrality, and ITEXPO

January 06, 2015

The business world is filled with all kinds of innovative technologies that improve operational efficiency and communication, but such sophisticated systems require a great deal of power and electrical reliability in order to function properly. That’s why PLC International Inc. has been providing engineering, automation, protection, control and communications solutions for transmission and distribution grids for nearly 30 years. Substations using PLC’s integrated systems can help ensure reliable and secure electrical networks for customers, no matter how heavy the usage demands.

Now, PLC is setting its sights on unified communications, and is finding new ways for customers to access such solutions. In preparation for ITEXPO Miami, being held Jan. 27-29, PLC’s president Carlos A. Huerta took a moment to talk with TMC about some of the most pressing issues and topics likely to hit the panels at the event.

TMC: Do you think the U.S. needs Net Neutrality? Why or why not?

Carlos A. Huerta: Yes, I think it does. The Internet should be free of charge, open and available to everyone, but a regulatory body is a must to provide usage policies not influencing freedom of expression.

TMC: What do you think of Microsoft’s decision to rebrand Lync as Skype for Business?

Huerta: I think is a good idea. Skype has a very well known brand globally, in addition to a high quality of service, so Microsoft has the challenge to up the ante.

TMC: What does the recent trend toward high-profile network breaches tell us about digital security, and what both businesses and individuals are doing to protect their digital assets?

Huerta: Internet security at both the personal and business level will be always a challenge, though an important one to face because information is not just cash money, but intellectual money as well. The rise of M2M will further spur the deployment millions of devices, increasing the opportunity and risk for network breaches.

TMC: How is WebRTC enhancing communications today, and what is its potential in the longer term?
 

Huerta: Real time interaction has been available for years in automation projects like robotics, but now it is becoming more accessible to everybody. I think the technology is still in its infancy, however. WebRTC will probably not be the answer, but there is obviously is a great push for it at the moment.

TMC: How often do you use video for business communications? Why do you feel it is or is not helpful in your interactions?
 

Huerta: In a very simplified way, we see three big fields: video conferencing, video on demand, and video promos. Video conferencing is not used a lot in our company, mainly because of low bandwidth in our counterparts all over the world. We do, however, use video on demand to make demonstrations in real time, and video promos are very important in our training and promotional campaigns. Using video promos we can tell a story in a compelling way.

TMC: How have technology innovations changed how you work in the past two years? What product had the greatest impact on your business? 
 

Huerta: In the past two years, the products that have made the biggest impact for our company have been Skype, cloud VoIP, and WEBEX. 

TMC: How useful do you think wearable technology can be in the enterprise? 
 

Huerta: I think it can be very useful. For example, if someone is interested in personal health, using something like the Fitbit can lead to not only a healthier and more productive lifestyle at home, but a more productive like at work too.

TMC: Which is the best mobile device on the market currently? Why?  
 

Huerta: Right now I use a BlackBerry for international data roaming, and the Samsung Note for personal use, as it takes better pictures and allows me to take down handwritten notes.

TMC: Why should attendees make sure your booth is on their ITEXPO to-do list?

Huerta: PLC International is partnering with Xmartek to demonstrate our RSM2M Gateway for the Unified Communications and Cloud connector at our exhibition booth during the event.

PLC International will be at Booth #333 at ITEXPO Miami. For more on all the latest technology and trends happenings, be sure to register to attend ITEXPO, the business technology event that brings together service providers, enterprises, government agencies, resellers, vendors and developers to demo, discuss and network all the latest innovations changing the marketplace. ITEXPO is being held January 27-30, 2015, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida.   Stay in touch with everything happening at the event -- follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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AVST’s CX-E UC Platform Nets Interoperability Certification from GENBAND

AVST's CX-E UC Platform Nets Interoperability Certification from GENBAND

January 06, 2015

When it comes to building an operation, particularly one that deals with unified communications (UC) and real time communications, it's important to set it up such that it's readily able to work with components from other vendors. After all, no one wants to get into a situation where a critical system won't work because two parts don't work together. Interoperability becomes a key component, therefore, of many systems and adds to versatility and overall effectiveness in the field. Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc (AVST), meanwhile, has recently achieved such interoperability with GENBAND, who gave AVST's CX-E system certification for GENBAND's CS2100 product line.

With this new certification, AVST confirms its front-runner position in terms of simultaneous call control integrations, whether premise or cloud, among UC platforms in the market. The CX-E has already shown itself to be a leader in the field, bringing its capability with mobile, voice, business process applications and collaboration tools to several firms in the field. It offers an array of tools ranging from interactive voice response (IVR) systems to a complete personal assistant known as the Atom system, which can perform a variety of tasks ranging from scheduling meetings to informing others of a user's current whereabouts, all from a simple voice-based operations platform. AVST, at last report, currently offers its services to such names as Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent, ShoreTel and even GENBAND itself.

Recently, AVST found itself called up on to provide service to a major hospital system in the United States, which had its collective eyes on moving to voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service while at the same time making its call processing operations more centralized. AVST topped the list in considerations thanks to that impressive level of interoperability, working not only with currently in place GENBAND systems, but also with those of NEC. While the GENBAND interoperability is one of the newest such certifications AVST can bring to the table, it's far from the only one; back in September, AVST brought out integration with Microsoft Lync 2013, and recently, the company offered integration with Broadsoft to help further gains in the hybrid cloud-based UC field.

In a perfect world, all systems would be equally interoperable, and there would never be a concern for just what systems would work well with other systems. But this is not that world, and as such, careful and rigorous testing must be established and performed to ensure that the systems that business depends on every day can work together to provide the best outcomes for the companies putting said systems to work. Interoperability testing opens up the field of choice for consumers, and makes sure that those choices made work best for the firms making the call. Considering the sheer number of tools AVST can offer, meanwhile, makes it all the more important to make sure it works well with what's currently in place; it would be a shame to miss out on all those tools in one place because the CX-E wouldn't work with what was already in place. With this new testing, meanwhile, it makes it a bit clearer that it will work with GENBAND, among others, making it worth considering for many firms.

So for those looking for a new way to augment UC operations, as well as keep up with several breeds of hardware currently operating in the system, AVST's CX-E might be just what the doctor ordered. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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