Unified Communications and Collaboration
The future is calling
Rendering courtesy Cyviz
I remember overhearing an AV salesman quote a bit of perspective from one of his global enterprise customers: the corporation’s annual worldwide AV budget was smaller than its annual worldwide coffee budget.
That’s still a lot of gear. And it does seem that the trend toward electronic communication and collaboration will inevitably grow. But will it grow in a way that will benefit AV consultants and integrators? Will all those screens, devices, networks, audio, and videoconferences happen as part of AV systems or IT systems?
Part of what makes the landscape hard to read, and hard to strategize, is that unified communications and collaboration means many different things. Here’s one statistical snapshot: This time last year, according to Infonetics Research, Cisco and Polycom had both sustained year-over-year declines in worldwide revenue for enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence systems. Dedicated systems sales took the hardest hit, falling 26 percent sequentially in the first quarter of 2013 due to slow demand for immersive telepresence. In that same year, IP PBX-based videoconferencing, such as videophones using VoIP, grew 118 percent.
Statistics are, of course, mostly a game in relativity. Who knows where IP PBX systems started in order to grow 118 percent? And for Cisco, the decline translated to $661 million in revenue in the first quarter and a 46 percent market share in the sector. Infonetics predicted from its research data that sales of dedicated systems would bounce back and grow. But the point of the vignette is to illustrate that end-users experiment. They try big dedicated systems; they try IP-based systems; they use both at once for different purposes. Microsoft Lync and Google WebRTC exert influence from the desktop/IT side; teleco, web/cloud, IT, and AV all compete and collide.
“The reason that organizations are having so much trouble achieving the promise of unified communications is that it is not a product one can buy from the leading industry manufacturers (despite their sales pitch). Successful UC is actually an outcome, and one that can only be achieved when appropriate technologies are deployed in combination with a future-ready strategic vision and a detailed adoption program,” says David Danto, who is both Dimension Data’s principal consultant for collaboration and director of emerging technology for the unified communications trade association IMCCA. (The association is running a unified communications and collaboration summit at InfoComm14 with 13 sessions (lunches, seminars, presentations, and labs) as well as hosting the Unified Collaborative Conferencing Pavilion.)
Cyviz supplies turnkey solutions comprised of key building blocks including projector/panel, display controller with multi-touch monitor, and video processor. (Rendering courtesy of Cyviz)
But when it comes to strategic vision for unified communications and collaboration, who’s strategic vision will that be? The facilities manager? The department head? The CIO?
Mark Sincevich, director, federal, of Cyviz (booth C6821), typically sees it unfold as more of a progression, from initial solution or application-based adoption (a single room or a single department) that, if successful with users, evolves toward a platform-based approach as it did with Cyviz’s customer Chevron. Cyviz sells visual display solutions at the high end of collaborative telepresense, for government and enterprise markets, and also focuses on command and control solutions. Collaborators may be spread throughout the globe on a variety of devices that can come together on the Cyviz platform. Cyviz supplies turnkey solutions comprised of key building blocks including projector/panel, display controller with multi-touch monitor, and video processor. Cyviz tools are based on the idea that collaborators come together to share something—data, a file, a document, a picture, or a video. Cyviz comes out of AV, looks at collaboration as an AV system, and sells through the AV channel.
That does not mean they are segregated from the IT side. Indeed, Sincevich, who has a long background in IT, says that the IT teams and the CIO come into the decision-making equation when a system gets big enough. “Frequently, initially, we represent such a tiny fraction of what concerns a CIO,” he says. “Our customers and decision-makers are facilities managers, operations managers, and command and control managers. Those are not IT people. But we also work with videoconferencing managers and security managers. Either way, once you are in the building or campus with a few rooms or systems, and those rooms are getting used productively, there comes a time when you can propose wider platform-style solutions. When you’re providing something that’s proven, you can say to a CIO, ‘Let me show you how we could tie these things together more effectively.’ You can show them how IT tools can manage AV assets. At that point, we would propose a client/server solution. Once you’re talking client/server, by definition you’re now talking to IT.”
So what does this mean for the AV professional? “People in the AV industry need to be very conversant in IT lingo and able to bridge the gap between AV and IT,” Sincevich says. With that in mind, here are some training opportunities in videoconferencing.
Unified Communications and Collaboration
The future is calling
Unified Communications and Collaboration Pavilion
In partnership with IMCCA, here you’ll see the latest collaboration and conferencing solutions that allow you to meet from anywhere in the world.
You’ll find these products in the Unified Communications and Collaboration Pavilion:
- Videoconferencing and telepresence systems
- Remote worker/teleworker technologies
- Cloud services
- Unified collaboration technologies
- Networked interactive whiteboards
- Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) providers
- Managed services providers
- Collaboration system integrators.
Stampede’s fall Big Book of AV (BBOAV) Tour, which commences immediately after Labor Day, will be highlighting both videoconferencing and unified communications.
At each stop, industry veteran Paul Dragos will be unveiling Sony Video Conferencing, MediaPointe streaming, Automated Workflow process for content management, and Radvision United Communications with a presentation titled, “Sony Unified Communications and Video Conferencing Fundamentals for the Pro AV Market.” In addition, Jim Feldman, change management expert at Shift Happens, will facilitate a stimulating discussion on managing and creating change by highlighting the benefits of linear problem solving.
“Videoconferencing and unified communications are two of the biggest drivers of business today,” says Stampede President and COO Kevin Kelly. “More and more of our dealers customers are requesting scalable and affordable hardware and software solutions that allow them to connect, communicate, and collaborate. A big part of our fall BBOAV Tour is going to focus on helping our dealers help their customers to do just that. These presentations are a great way to start that.”
More information and dates for the Big Book of AV Tour can be found at www.bigbookofavtour.com.
The following courses are part of the AVADA VendoComm and Vendopalooza tours, lunch-and-learn events, and webinars, which have multiple upcoming tour dates throughout 2014. The 2014 AVAD VendoCOMM tour, a series of one-day trade events offering custom installers access to manufacturers, service providers, and industry influencers, will take place in Denver, the New York metro area, and Orange County, Calif. AVAD Vendopalooza, the distributor’s exclusive touring tradeshow with monthly dates throughout the year, provides dealers with demoes of the latest products, plus offers prize giveaways, raffles, and special pricing when purchasing products. Here are some of the UC topics to look for:
How To Tap Into The Videoconferencing Market
Presented by LifeSize
Explore the relatively untapped world of videoconferencing. Today, 99.8 percent of the available market does not use videoconferencing, a estimated value of more than $2 billion worldwide. This training will discuss how your business can capitalize on this golden opportunity. The videoconferencing market is growing approximately 7 percent per quarter; beat your competitors to the punch.
The New Way To Collaborate
Presented by InFocus
Discover the Mondopad, Mondophone, Jtouch, and Big Touch. These four new solutions from InFocus integrate touchscreen technology, computing, conferencing, digital media, and communication to amplify the experience of a shared work space. Dealers have an opportunity to offer these powerful solutions in an in-depth demonstration webinar.
Digital Signage 101
Presented by the AVAD System Design Team
Digital Signage is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry with projections to be more than $40 billion by 2015. How would you like to have a part of that? In this one-hour session, the AVADA System Design Group will walk you through all that you need to identify opportunities and provide the correct solution for your client’s needs. In addition, you will learn tips on growing digital signage into a money making part of your business. This one-hour class is CEDIA approved for 0.5 CEUs. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate of training for your training records.
See avad.com for AVAD news, events, and promotions. For details specific to AVAD Vendopalooza and VendoCOMM events and trainings, see avad.com/news/vendopalooza and avad.com/news/vendocomm.
Cisco Certified Network Associate Voice CCNA Certification
What it is: The Cisco Certified Network Associate Voice (CCNA Voice) certification validates associate-level knowledge and skills required to administer a voice network. The Cisco CCNA Voice certification confirms that the required skill set for specialized job roles in voice technologies such as voice technologies administrator, voice engineer, and voice manager. It validates skills in VoIP technologies such as IP PBX, IP telephony, handset, call control, and voicemail solutions.
Prerequisites: A valid CCENT or a valid CCNA Routing and Switching or any CCIE certification can act as a prerequisite.
Recommended Training and Required Exam: Introducing Cisco Voice and Unified Communications Administration (ICOMM) v8.0 training and 640-461 ICOMM v8.0 exam. This exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of the architecture, components, functionalities, and features of Cisco Unified Communications solutions. It also tests the knowledge needed to perform tasks such as system monitoring, moves, additions and changes on Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Connection, and Cisco Unified Presence. Candidates can prepare for this exam by taking the Introducing Cisco Voice and Unified Communications Administration (ICOMM v8.0) 640-461course.
Cisco Certified Network Professional CCNP Voice Certification
What it is: Cisco Certified Network Professional CCNP Voice validates advance knowledge and skills required to integrate into underlying network architectures. Furthermore, this certification validates a robust set of skills in implementing, operating, configuring, and troubleshooting a converged IP network. With a CCNP Voice certification, a network professional can create a collaboration solution that is transparent, scalable, and manageable. The CCNP Voice curriculum focuses on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (formerly Unified CallManager), quality of service (QoS), gateways, gatekeepers, IP phones, voice applications, and utilities on Cisco routers and Cisco Catalyst switches. Additionally, the integration and troubleshooting of Cisco Unified Communications applications are now covered in the CCNP Voice, specifically the Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unified Presence applications.
Prerequisites: Valid Cisco CCNA Voice or CCNA Video or any Cisco CCIE certification can act as a prerequisite.
Recommended Training and Required Exams: Implementing Cisco Voice Communications and QoS (CVOICE v8.0) training and 642-437 CVOICE v8.0 exam; Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 1 (CIPT1 v8.0) training and 642-447 CIPT1 v8.0; Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 2 (CIPT2 v8.0) training and 642-457 CIPT2 v8.0 exam; Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Communications (TVOICE v8.0) training and 642-427 TVOICE v8.0 exam; and Integrating Cisco Unified Communications Applications (CAPPS v8.0) training and 642-467 CAPPS v8.0.
See learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccvp/syllabus to see the full training and exam descriptions.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Communication Training and Certification
What it is: The globally recognized standard for IT professionals that validates your expertise in creating a consistent communications experience for your organization and connecting your colleagues to people around the world. Earning an MCSE: Communication certification will qualify you for a position in network and computer systems administration.
Required Exams: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 (410); Administering Windows Server 2012 (411); and Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services (412). Those three exams earn you your associate-level certification. After that you can complete, Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013 (336); Enterprise Voice & Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013 (337); Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 (417); Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013 (336); and Enterprise Voice & Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013 (337).
See www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-communication-certification.aspx for more information.