What Great Leaders Can Learn From Abraham Lincoln

Well, it’s the start of 2015. You’ve probably already had your fill of ‘predictions’ and ‘resolutions’ posts. Fear not, what I want to write about today, what I want to get everyone thinking about, is pretty basic. Aspiring to be great leaders. How is being a great leader basic, you might be saying? It’s basic, because it’s your launch point. It’s the foundation upon everything else you do for the next 365’ish days should be built. But don’t take my word for it. Take Abraham Lincoln’s. A Leadership History Lesson I should start with the fact that I am very
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Big Data is not as important as UCC Analytics

There is a lot of buzz about Big Data. It’s awesome for some applications but sometimes I wonder if Big Data is simply an outgrowth of the fact that we have so much data available to us these days. Like we are finding a way to justify the existence of it all. Finding patterns in massive data sets has tremendous value. But in a practical sense it is often more valuable to drill into the data analytics. This is where UCC Analytics come in. UCC Analytics and Big Data I have a friend suffering from heart disease at a pretty
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What I Learned from Microsoft WPC 2014 in DC

Microsoft wpc was a great show and as a first-timer, what can I say? Microsoft is going after Enterprise Voice (EV) and they’re like a locomotive going full steam ahead. They did this show in style and they took over our nation’s capitol city. This time it’s not about the PBX. It’s about transforming the way company employees communicate – desk phones being replaced with tablets, smartphones extending the experience with Mobile Lync apps all tied together via SDN (Software Defined Networking) – wowser! Trust me, they are studying EVERYONE with a Directory infrastructure that is getting into UC –
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When Voicemail to Email Goes Wrong

I had to laugh when one of my friends sent me a copy of a voicemail to email she received. She was on vacation but she knew that she received a voicemail because it’s showing up on her phone as an email. In these days of Universal Communication, there are lots of ways for people to get in touch with you and for you to reply to them. There’s email, desk phone, soft phone, cell phone, voicemail, IM, text and more. But sometimes that technology doesn’t work as expected. She said she “thinks” this is from a colleague who is
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Get Out of the House – How to Ensure Work from Home Success

My vacation last week was awesome. I traveled to Yosemite for three days and then spent two days white water rafting with 27 people from my son’s Boy Scout troop. But, coming back to reality is always tough. And this week has proved especially busy, so when I looked at my calendar Wednesday morning and saw that I had a lunch meeting out of the office with a new partner my initial reaction was, “Oh no, I can’t afford two hours out of my day for this.” But I really wanted to cultivate this new partnership and it’s hard to
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The Revolution of Mobility – part 3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2 which can be found here. At this moment, the evolutionary convergence of cell phone, pager and pocket PC had reached fruition and the smartphone stepped onto the empty plane of possibilities. Customers now carried with them, at all times, a portable mini-pc with twenty-four hour network connectivity. The advent of the app made it possible to deliver products and services directly to the user, wherever they were and whenever they wanted. Information from the world-wide web, coupled with social media, which forever altered the way we communicate, was made all the more potent
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Seven Habits of Highly Successful IT Managers

One of the presentations we give at trade shows and user groups is called, “Seven Habits of Highly Successful IT Managers.” We take the late, great Stephen R. Covey’s book and relate it to the crazy world of IT. So to dovetail into Habit #1, Be Proactive, we’ll tackle the second habit, “Begin with the End in Mind.” In IT, especially, 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 a strategic
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Healthcare IT News: Are healthcare and technology working together?

While healthcare and technology are certainly working together to achieve medical advances, the healthcare sector seems to be somewhat slow in adapting the communication technologies to its daily operations. Advances in information technologies have helped almost every industry manage data storage and processing.  It seems to be the opposite for the healthcare sector, where one of the central problems has always been a lack of communication between different departments. Doctors with different specialties have not been able to communicate effectively about shared patients.  There are also large amounts of information available that have not been properly analyzed nor used to
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