Transforming Network Infrastructure Week in Review: CA Technologies, FalconStor, Data Centers


Transforming Network Infrastructure Week in Review: CA Technologies, FalconStor, Data Centers

November 21, 2015

As we find new uses for the network as a whole, the need to change the network to accommodate these uses becomes all the more vital. This makes for a volatile market with plenty of upheaval, guaranteeing that network infrastructure changes with it. With a weekend afoot, it's a great time to analyze all these changes for ourselves, which we'll do now with our Week in Review coverage.

First came word that CA Technologies was departing the data center infrastructure management (DCIM) market. CA Technologies was a leader in this market, so its move to abandon the market altogether raised some eyebrows. A niche market with revenues projected at over $1 billion by 2019, CA Technologies' departure leaves potential opportunity for others to step in. With DCIM being both desirable and hated—many IT professionals don't understand DCIM tools—it may just be that CA Technologies got in a little too soon to realize profit.

Next, FalconStor Software took to the DCD Europe event to demonstrate its FreeStor SDS platform. Running as a part of a software-defined storage lineup, FreeStor SDS gives vendors extra flexibility by taking vendor lock-in out of the equation and allowing different hardware and software components to work with it. Its horizontal architecture offers greater efficiency and lower costs for users, and allows benefit to be had whether using flash storage, cloud only, or a hybrid of the two.

Image via Pixabay

Finally, we had a look at the data center market, and left with a grim projection: the traditional data center will be largely unaffordable in the next five years. With an increase of cloud and software-defined networking (SDN) stepping in, though, it means a major change afoot. With almost 40 percent of respondents calling cloud developments the biggest engine for change in the data center, and 30 percent giving SDN the top slot, it's clear where the changes are coming from. Flexibility and scalability, meanwhile, are top concerns, and cloud and SDN are top-notch on those fronts.

That was the week in transforming network infrastructure. Our global online community was at the heart of it all, retrieving and contextualizing all that news. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest from this rapidly-changing field, and every weekend for our Week in Review coverage!

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Omnichannel Experience Week in Review: Holidays Are Approaching, Are Retailers Ready?


Omnichannel Experience Week in Review: Holidays Are Approaching, Are Retailers Ready?

November 21, 2015

The Omnichannel customer experience is playing a significant role in this year’s holiday spending craze and retailers who haven’t yet got on board with the hottest trend – may find they fell behind significantly once the season is over.



One of the top stores to capitalize on the shopping season craze known as Black Friday is Wal-Mart. The retailer is famous for beating out competitor prices and offering rock bottom deals for those who come out early and wait in line at their chance to purchase the items. But offering just the lowest prices isn’t enough to win anymore. Aware of this, Wal-Mart has also announced it increased investment in omnichannel technologies and building a seamless multi-channel shopping network including an improved digital experience and more option for users of its online site for shopping nearby merchandise. The company found that customers shopping across several channel-types are spending close to $2500 a year. This is more than the approximate $1400 a year spent by in-store shoppers at its large superstores.

Not everyone thinks of Wal-Mart when it comes to gift shopping, but other retailers like JC Penny and Macys are top of mind.

A report this week looked at how these big name department stores are still struggling to add omnichannel experiences. Retailers are under specific pressure to bring together their physical locations with digital channels like online stores, mobile apps and even have a voice and offer customer care via social channels.

While JC Penney works on recovering from its plan to try and have low prices instead of weekly sales, its competitors, Nordstrom’s and Macy’s are already sending out notions that it will be a poor performance season this year. While much of this can be related to a still struggling middle class in the U.S., there are still Omnichannel experiences that if achieved, could help these retailers reach and please more customers.

And thanks to the expansive reach of the online world – these channels don’t have to be limited to only U.S. soil. For companies taking the plunge into global markets, omnichannel experiences also mean having websites translated into the native language of shoppers.

But even with your sites ready to go and even the languages supporting more users, all of that is worthless if your channel is slow or unresponsive. A report from Dynatrace out this week found that millennials will totally abandon mobile purchases if it takes too long for a mobile site to process an order or load while shopping.

Not just that – but fifty-one percent even said they would spread the word about their poor experience with the company by telling the world on social media. If that’s not a wakeup call, I don’t know what is.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check back for all the latest Omnichannel Experience news as it happens. 

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Real Time Communications Week in Review: Navigant Research, GENBAND, Xorcom

Real Time Communications Week in Review: Navigant Research, GENBAND, Xorcom

November 21, 2015

Another week in real time communications has come and gone. There's a lot to run down this week, so let's boil down the raw news and figure out the biggest parts of the week with our Week in Review coverage!

First a report from Navigant Research tried to get a better handle on the residential Internet of Things (IoT) market. The report found that this was a huge market overall with some serious difficulties attached to pinning down its size. With tools from smart thermostats to centralized management systems as part of the report, Navigant likened the market to a massive jigsaw puzzle without edge pieces and a rapidly-increasing number of middle pieces.



Next came word of GENBAND's KANDY system, as its director of product management Santhana Krishnasamy offered up comment about its growing development. The platform now counts 15 million total users to its credit and over 50 ecosystem partners, but won't be stopping there. KANDY is constantly getting in fresh new capabilities, from group messaging to screensharing, and several more are in the works like videoconferencing and contact center tools.

A look at technology markets around the world came in next, as the global nature of tech meant different things in different places. Some fields remained constant, however, as energy expansion efforts were front-and-center. With even Pakistan predicting energy demand in the 54 gigawatt range by 2020, energy development was clearly on the table. That wasn't the only development, as future developments look to include an increasingly personalized Internet as well as an outcome-based economy where future sales are heavily driven by analytics.

Then, Xorcom stepped in as part of a growing number of firms out to make communications in the office easier. Xorcom offers a complete line of telephony systems that not only support public switched telephone network (PSTN) operations but also voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) options, meaning users get the widest possible number of use cases. Xorcom is just one among many here, and communications in the office will never be a dirty word thanks to that kind of traffic.

Image via Pixabay

Finally, we had a look at the combination of smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT), a combination that presented almost equal proportions of challenges and opportunities. Cities are increasingly adopting such tools as a way to provide better services for residents with less expense, but several concerns are rising. The need for improved security is perhaps highest on the list, and complexity in the market thanks to an increasing number of competitors and platforms improves the chances of suboptimal purchasing.

That was the week that was in real time communications, and our global online community was right in the heart of the action, bringing back the best in news for us to consider. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest on this growing market, and every weekend as well for our Week in Review coverage!

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Unified Communications Headsets Week in Review: Jabra, Microsoft, Avaya and More

November 21, 2015

Unified Communications is a key component to a firm’s success, whether you are an enterprise or startup collaboration and communication are vital to efficiency and productivity. While it is mission critical to select an exceptional UC provider, it is also paramount to leverage exceptional unified communications headsets. And, with the weekend upon us there is no time better than the present to take a look at the week that was: time for the Week in Review!

A recent blog post from Jabra highlighted some of the challenges associated with Bluetooth pairing. Fret not, as the unified communications headset developer noted that many of today’s Bluetooth headsets come equipped with NFC. By enabling NFC, a headset can instantly connect to a tablet or smartphone within close proximity. Peter Scott’s complete analysis is HERE.

Earlier this year, Microsoft rebranded its Lync offering to Skype for business and hasn’t looked back since. On the backend of a strong 2015 come projections of Skype’s success to continue through 2016.  Find Laura Stotler’s coverage HERE.

Image via Pixabay

This week, Avaya announced a new midmarket selection program, which was developed to offer competitively priced enterprise class UC offerings. Starting with a select number of current partners, Avaya will begin offering select engagement packages. TMC’s Michael Guta has all the details for you HERE

Conferencing in general is littered with headaches. From the wasting of time due to connectivity or technical issues, to people not being prepared or showing up late it can be quite frustrating. A particular pain point is dropped calls, Lucid Meetings is offering firms improved service so that one’s unified communication headset can be put to good use. Brian Carey offers everything you need to know HERE.

As unified communications grows in adoption so too does the demand for exceptional unified communications headsets, remember to stop by early and often for your fill of the news. See you next week!

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WebRTC Solutions Week in Review: webrtcHacks, ECT, Blue Jeans, TokBox

November 21, 2015

This week at WebRTC Solutions, there was talk about privacy in communications at webrtcHacks, service provision from ECT Technology to a Scandanavian telecom, extension of the Blue Jeans network, and collaboration between TokBox and Fox Sports.

As TMC rightly states, there is hardly an application on the market that does not come with privacy concerns. Even the most secure products can keep its users wondering: Am I really secure? Well, WebRTC is no stranger to that sort of questioning, and as the webrtcHacks blog noted this week, it has come under fire recently for its interaction with Google Chrome. Chrome now caches certificates for 30 days, which has people wondering whether or not special cookies could grab their information tied to WebRTC-based conversations. Even after a lot of speculation, however, the general consensus is that the potential for risk here is not as bad as it may seem. Chrome is acting normally, and its Incognito mode could keep patrons even more secure.

Security risks are likely a primary concern for enterprises as well. But that does not seem to be halting adoption. ECT, also known as European Computer Telecoms AG, recently announced that it will now supply an unnamed Scandinavian telecom with its INtellECT WebRTC software that will give the telecom the ability to offers its customers voice and video calling through their Web browsers. Users may even take advantage of video conferencing and recording through the same software offering from the telecom.

Image via Pixabay

Blue Jeans, a provider of videoconferencing software, also made headlines this week when it spoke about the growing capabilities of Blue Jeans 3.0. The company’s mission is reportedly to make video as easy to use as audio, and it will be partnering with services such as Slack and Canvas to make its conferencing platform even better. Furthermore, it has integrated WebRTC support, so employees can make use of Blue Jeans directly in their Web browsers. Part of the big recent announcement regards Blue Jeans customers’ feedback that has urged the company to include texting, simplification of meeting spaces, and integration with products such as Salesforce and Microsoft Outlook. It appears Blue Jeans is listening.

Although Blue Jeans and other have many users who leverage the capabilities of the same platform, some deployments are meant for just one client. TokBox has reached out to Fox Sports to provide it with a unique interactive broadcasting software called Spotlight. This will enable Fox Sports to embed interactive shows onto its website. It debuted this past week at Fox Sports Huddle, a weekly college football chat program. Its capabilities of adding interactive features to video – without forcing users to install extraneous plugins – can give fans a whole new look at the future of video entertainment.

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Get Your Apps Ready for the Holidays

The busiest season on the App Store is almost here. Make sure your apps are up-to-date and ready for the winter holidays. New apps and app updates will not be accepted December 22-29, so any releases should be submitted, approved, and scheduled in advance. Other iTunes Connect functionality will remain available.

Because of your incredible apps, the App Store crossed 100 billion cumulative downloads. Revenue from the App Store increased 25% year over year, and the number of transacting customers grew 18%, setting a new all-time record. We want to thank you for all your hard work and dedication to our platforms.

Get Your Apps Ready for the Holidays

The busiest season on the App Store is almost here. Make sure your apps are up-to-date and ready for the winter holidays. New apps and app updates will not be accepted December 22-29, so any releases should be submitted, approved, and scheduled in advance. Other iTunes Connect functionality will remain available.

Because of your incredible apps, the App Store crossed 100 billion cumulative downloads. Revenue from the App Store increased 25% year over year, and the number of transacting customers grew 18%, setting a new all-time record. We want to thank you for all your hard work and dedication to our platforms.