The Revolution of Mobility – Part 2

Over time the beeper I carried grew in size and functionality, but I still could not use it to make a call. For that I had a cell phone, and for organizational data I maintained a palm pilot. Overall, I had three devices serving three entirely different functions that made my belt something Batman would have been impressed with, but overall, communication at the workplace leaned on the same two work horses, email and the desk phone. Yet, something was shifting and shifting seismically. There was a steady convergence of technologies… the pager, cell phone and pocket PC were all
Read More

The coolest things I saw at my first Cisco Live 2014

I am flying back from my first experience with Cisco Live 2014. I really enjoyed the experience and, like them or hate them, Cisco knows how to turn out a crowd. With 20,000 plus people navigating the 4 or 5 venues, they owned San Francisco – and that is hard to do. I have always really enjoyed companies who can launch an idea and back it up with strategy and focus, and Cisco brought both. They had a team of people who all bought into the vision – from John Chambers, CEO, on down.  We were able to participate in the new
Read More

Revolution of Mobility – part I

The warmth is sweltering and embracing.  It is the summer of 1996 on Wall Street in New York City and I just departed the cool comfort of the office to wade in the sauna of a City summer decked out in the standard garb of the stock broking district, a suit and tie.  Its lunch time and my colleagues and I merge seamlessly in the crowd of suits.  A unified mass of discomfort lunging forward in wave upon wave of humanity with but one singular purpose, sustenance. In a New York minute we are planted at a table, food at
Read More

Five BIG Reasons for Call Accounting

Today our blog was submitted by Andy Wolf, Telecom Manger at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR. Phone calls and long distance have become so inexpensive these days, I often hear people say “Why use call accounting?” and “we can’t justify the expense of call accounting when the call cost is so cheap!”  From my perspective, there are five BIG reasons. And I mean a Big-Five-Fingered-Open-Handed-Slap-to-the-forehead, “why didn’t I think of that”; number of reasons.  Let’s have look:  OVERALL ACCOUNTABILITY – If you don’t track usage, there will be no red flags for abuse.  While the overall cost of phone calls
Read More

IAUG Converge 2014 Trade Show Recap

Last week we were exhibiting and presenting at IAUG’s Converge 2014 (#CONVERGE2014). Converge has a tradition of offering high quality content and training to Avaya end users. The buzz on the show floor and in the classes was about usability and enabling Avaya users to deliver better customer experiences. From finding the right headset for your contact center agents (we liked the Jabra MOTION™ Office) to ensuring call quality would enhance, not detract from, the users’ experience (check out our own VXPulse here). It seems like all the signs we saw talked about UC and customer experience. The energy at
Read More

Trade show Follow Up – I Just Had A Hot Bath, Now What?

Yesterday we talked about the hot bath effect. You know, when you take that nice relaxing bath, maybe with a glass of wine and bubbles and you feel awesome? It feels great while you are in it, but then you have to get up, dry off, and figure out what’s next. Sometimes people attend a trade show, conference, or networking event and have that same exact problem – they get home and then have no idea what to do next or what they should expect. We were talking last week to some of our friends who happen to be end
Read More

Unfriend Facebook? It is so 2012!

What happened?  I was such a Facebook fan.  There was the “courting stage” where I migrating my social media life from MySpace to Facebook.  With Facebook, I was just happy to open up a user’s page without music blasting over my laptop speakers.  So long MySpace.  Then the “I can’t believe who I can connect with” stage as I re-connected with friends from childhood.  Next was the “let’s share how cool my life is” stage.  Now, as I have gotten older, I have realized how uncool I really am.  My life isn’t all that interesting that I need to share
Read More

I’m a 3.5-star hotel traveler, and I’m happy with that

I had to laugh when I read this Real Life Adventures comic by Gary Wise and Lance Aldrich. Sometimes something so simple really hits a nerve. I travel for business – a lot. Sometimes it’s a few times a month and other times it’s less, but anyone who has been on the road knows there are some things that ring true. A good hotel can mean the difference between a great trip and a crappy one. And by good hotel I don’t mean 5-star ratings. I like breakfast. I eat it every morning, and as anyone who has traveled with
Read More

Educational classes don’t have to be Death by PowerPoint

Educational classes don’t have to be Death by PowerPoint Industry conferences, by their very nature, are boring – especially in the IT world where bits and bytes are thrown around with acronyms like PSTN, QoS, VoIP, QoE, MOS, just to name a few. Starting Sunday we’ll be exhibiting and presenting at Avaya’s @IAUG #CONNECT2014 in Dallas, TX (Info). We were selected to present one of the five topics we submitted. Now the way I see it, either the people on the selection committee don’t have much of a sense of humor, or they like death by PowerPoint. Here are the
Read More

HABIT #3 – Putting First Things First – Make sure you prioritize tasks

I love to watch M*A*S*H. One common scene in M*A*SH was triage. The doctors and nurses would quickly assess the wounded soldiers and rank them based on the severity of their injuries; life threatening, critical, stable, or minor. Those classifications would determine the order the soldiers were brought to the operating room.  It was interesting to note that often the soldier that was making the most noise wasn’t necessarily the soldier that had the life-threatening injuries. While our daily tasks aren’t comparable to soldiers on a battlefield, the concept of quickly doing a triage on the tasks that make up
Read More

VXPulse free from Heartbleed Bug

Many of you may have read about the Heartbleed Bug (http://heartbleed.com ).  This is a serious vulnerability in the Open SSL software library that has the potential to expose information stored in memory of servers using unpatched versions of the software.  After an internal review, we can report that we do not utilize the Open SSL software in our VXPulse software solution. We understand the importance of system security for ourselves, our Partners, and their Customers.  If you have any questions about this or any other security related issue as it relates to the VXSuite software solutions you can contact
Read More

BYOD: Bring Your Own Disaster

BYOD is an acronym that is common in the technology industry.  This term has bled over to the business world.  You may be a user of the acronym even if you’re not certain of the word’s meaning.  Do you use your personal mobile phone for work?  Are you reimbursed for a portion of your mobile bill?  Do you wish you were reimbursed?  That’s a conversation we cannot solve in this column.  If you answered yes, then you are a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) user.  A recent Gartner report predicts that 50% of the workforce will be required to supply
Read More

UC Strategy – Habit #2, Begin with the End in Mind

So to dovetail into Habit #1, Be Proactive, you need to know where you are going or you will never be able to be strategic – you will spend all day every day putting out fires and dealing with what comes up never moving toward an overall UC Strategy. If you do end up accomplishing something strategic, it will have been because of luck and not because of pre-planning. The Cheshire Cat said it best when he was talking with Alice in Wonderland. ALICE: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” CHESHIRE CAT: “That
Read More

Habit 1 – Be Proactive in UC Strategy

Be Proactive in your UC Strategy & Roadmap “Over 80% of enterprise investments in UC [Unified Communications] component projects will not be guided by a governing UC strategy and roadmap.”  Gartner, November 2011 “Predicts: 2012: Successful UC Deployments Depend on Defining Organizational Objectives and Understanding Challenges” After you get over your disbelief of that statistic and let it marinate a bit, think about your own work and your own projects.  Is there an overall UC Strategy? How many of your projects bubbled to the top of the list because of some sort of urgent need from the C-Suite? How many
Read More

Five Ways to be More Productive This Year

Five Ways to be More Productive This Year January is one of my favorite months. It is my birthday month so I tend to stretch the celebration beyond the customary single day. It is also a great month to reset and reflect. The holidays seem to put us in a time management tail spin. Our time is consumed with parties, family visits, travel, end of the year business activities, and of course, the countless hours our kids were out of school. There were a number of holiday networking events, which resulted in the typical pile of business cards. Is your
Read More

Spin Sucks – Meet Gini Dietrich at VXMadness

Consider this: The public relations industry might have begun in 1800 BC. Back then, the Babylonians used stone tablets to educate farmers on how to sow and harvest crops. In Egypt, scribes documented the deeds of the pharaohs; in Rome, leaders, such as Julius Caesar, wrote biographies to persuade the public to support their political aspirations. There are numerous examples of persuasive speaking, the art of rhetoric, reputation building, and mediating between rulers and subjects. Among the most famous was the use of public relations to promote Roman Catholicism during Europe’s Counter-Reformation. Pope Gregory XV coined the term “propaganda” when
Read More

Flight Delays and the Glamour of Travel

Travel is inevitable in my line of work. I am a Channel Manager and Director of Content for LVM, Inc – the software company that manufactures VXSuite, a suite of cloud-based analytic software that helps Telecom and IT Managers monitor and manager the phone system and the network it runs on. I go to a lot of trade shows, partner meetings and speaking engagements. Today I am headed to Wisconsin for one of my favorite trade shows, and wound up delayed on the plane for 90 minutes while they tried to fix the radio. They said the radio is necessary
Read More

My Silent Week

I can’t talk. I had vocal cord surgery last week, July 3rd to be exact, and have not been allowed to speak for a week. No whispering, no talking, nothing. All through the 4th of July weekend. This would be fine if I was a shy, quiet wallflower, but if you know me you’re laughing right now because I am not any of those things. I love to talk – a LOT! But for the last 7 days I have been silent. It’s been hard – almost impossible – since I have a husband and 11 year-old son and I
Read More

VXSuite exited to present 4 sessions at IAUG, Booth 400

Sunday starts the Annual IAUG CONVERGE2013 (Avaya) conference in Orlando and VXSuite is both speaking and exhibiting. Come see us in booth 400 in the Solutions Expo. VXSuite Hosted Sessions: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Communication Managers Session 904 Presenter: Doug Tolley Date: Monday, June 3rd Time: 4:45-5:45 PM Room: Naples 1 & 2 VXSuite – Quality of End-user Experience (QoE) Management Overcoming the Barriers to Funding Session 405 Presenters: Amy Bailey & Roger Blohm Date: Tuesday, June 4th Time: 1:00-2:00 PM Room: Sun 1 & 2 Effective Use of Telecom & IT Tools Increases Your Value Session 909
Read More

7 Biggest Headaches in IT and how to Solve Them

The variables in the IT landscape grow every day and while it’s great to have a plan for what this will look like in 5 years, we need a plan for today. At the Texas Technology Summit, VXSuite presented the 7 Biggest Headaches in IT and how to solve them.   BYOD – What are the pitfalls? Is more bandwidth the only answer? Transition from TDM to VoIP 911 or threatening call alert searches Who’s to blame for bad call quality? Carrier, IT, Telecom? Delivering the right information to managers to make critical business decisions Can IT be a strategic asset
Read More

It’s amazing we can talk at all!

I am a purist at heart. I won’t get rid of the copper phone lines to my house. Yes, on rainy days the quality gets a little scratchy, but unlike my VoIP phone it always works. I have a VoIP phone on my desk. We use a ShoreTel system and I have a firewall and a VPN and a 565 handset on my desk. The phone works great – my internet does not. Most days it works fine. BUT, I work from home and during holidays and especially today, the day after Christmas, my service sucks. Why? Because every kid
Read More

Do you know these common National Service Numbers??

To follow up on our previous post about 711 services, what a great time to revisit the common ‘national service numbers’ that are N11 in their format. In the US these include:  211 ­ Usually Local Community Services 311 ­ Municipal Government Services 411 ­ Directory Assistance 511 ­ Traveler of Non-Emergency Information 611 ­ Telco Customer Service *711 ­ TDD Relay for the hearing impaired 811 ­ Call BEFORE you dig *911 ­ Emergency Services   *As stated earlier, with the EXCEPTION of 911 and 711, these are all OPTIONAL to have programmed into your corporate phone system.   Should you
Read More

Are you keeping up with the times? 711 Dialing Info

I just heard from a company who is looking at setting up the 711 access to the TTY/TDD operator service that the FCC mandated. Have any of you implemented this change?  Any challenges?  Here is the FCC information: Background The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted use of the 711 dialing code for access to Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). TRS permits persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text telephone (TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities. For more information about the various types of TRS, see the
Read More

Is there ever Privacy with Social Media?

On September 27, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a regulation that prohibits employers from requiring applicants and employees to allow them access to social media sites where, presumably, the employers might find information that would affect employment decisions.  So the question is, does this mean people will go crazy again in their postings, or have we learned the lesson and will refrain from posting those damaging photos? As the mother of an eleven year-old son, I worry that he will post something that could haunt him forever. I personally, plan to keep the scare tactic going with him – be
Read More

Digital Bathroom Etiquette: Thou shalt NOT make video calls!

What happened to reading the paper on the toilet? These days it seems people just can’t hold the conversation while they are in the bathroom. Seriously? We need to even talk about this? But it’s true. I cannot even count the number of times that the person in the next stall starts talking and I wonder if she is talking to me. But no, she exits with a cell phone to her ear. I don’t even want to know the logistics of that. This is a great article. Check it out here.     rapa.jp
Read More

VXLegalTrack

The VXLegalTrack Smart App is a great way for attorneys, or other professionals that bills for their time, to increase revenue quickly. The app immediately captures and bills calls to the appropriate Client and Matter Code for the call. Data is automatically sent to a web-based application for reviewing, editing and integration into your time management and billing system. Finish a call, pick a client name and matter code and hit submit – it´s easy. Fast. Secure. Reliable. Check out this power point http://www.slideshare.net/VXSuite/vxlegaltrack   review.rakuten.co.jp
Read More

The Cybersecurity Bill – Many amendments filed to add privacy protections

President Barack Obama is currently pushing for a Cybersecurity bill and declared it is one of his priorities for 2012.  A previous version of the bill was pulled back in February due to privacy and personal liberty concerns, but the revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012 will be brought before the senate very soon. It is believed that the revised version of the Cybersecurity bill will have enough changes to make it more appealing for both sides. The bill was developed to prevent a cyber attack that could exploit the United States’ computer vulnerabilities.  The debate about the bill seems to
Read More