As Senior Analyst for the Enterprise Communications practice at Current Analysis, Rob monitors, analyzes and reports on significant actions and announcements made by competitors in the Enterprise Communications market with a concentration on developments relating to PBXs (digital, hybrid, and packet), enterprise VoIP gateways, enterprise communications applications and unified communications solutions.
Prior to joining Current Analysis, Rob worked as the Corporate Procurement Team Leader at MCI/WorldCom, supporting the company’s telephony resale and managed services support divisions where he worked in partnership with engineering, project, operations, and sales management groups with responsibilities for customer contract and engineering specifications review, as well as for sourcing and logistics support for equipment and services. Rob also has experience as a coordinator in several high volume contact centers within the healthcare industry.
Rob received his B.A. Communications with a Minor in Business from the State University of New York at Albany.
Enterprise & SMB Communications infrastructure and applications
-PBXs, gateways, terminals, applications servers
-Unified Communications, messaging, conferencing, mobility, productivity solutions
As Senior Analyst for the Enterprise Communications practice at Current Analysis, Rob monitors, analyzes and reports on significant actions and announcements made by competitors in the Enterprise Communications market with a concentration on developments relating to PBXs (digital, hybrid, and packet), enterprise VoIP gateways, enterprise communications applicatio
I'm still trying to get into the fine detail of the new and enhanced products announced as Cisco Collaboration several weeks ago. While Cisco analyst relations points me to video data sheets on the Cisco site, I'm looking for more depth than that - more detail on speed and feeds, and comprehensive lists of what work has been done. I'm told that as these new and enhanced products are rolled out over the next few quarters the appropriate documentation will be made available. The tough part for me in doing my job as an analyst is being patient rather than pushing too hard for material that probably isn't in shape for presentation as of yet. However, it will be incumbent upon Cisco to deliver on all of the things unveiled at the Collaboration Summit and to do this within the general timeframes initially provided. At this point I do know this: Cisco Unified Communications Manager remains the lynchpin of the company's UC thrust (note that I'm using the term "UC" seperate from "collaboration"). But while UCM 8.0 is the anchor, the 8.0 software rev did not receive as much promotion during the Summit as did brand new solutions (Show and Share, Enterprise Collaboration Platform, MXE, IME, WebEx Mail, UCM Session Management Edition, etc) and very impressive updates to existing products (Telepresence, Contact Center, Presence, Personal Communicator, Mobile Communicator, etc). A number of these do not rely on UCM (for connectivity, session control, etc), however many of them do. As a result, and though maybe not as sexy as some of the other R&D accomplishments on display from Cisco, UCM 8.0 deserves and needs its time in the spotlight.
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Rob, As advanced collaboration applications evolve, it will be interesting to see which ones are adopted first by mainstream users. Ease-of-use is clearly a factor in moving beyond the early-adopter segment of the market. Moreover, "managed collaboration services" will likely appeal to organizations that prefer to initially defer the capital investment decision -- at least, until they have enough productivity data to perform a full assessment. David Deans Business Technology Roundtable
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UC System 8.0 is in fact more of a portfolio than a single system. And with Cisco again touching on many points of its portfolio with 8.0, similar to last year's 7.0 introduction, the company has also delivered on highly anticipated integrations, including PostPath and Jabber assets, as well as virtualization with UCS. I'm excited to dig into all the nuances of UC System 8: New -Intercompany Media Engine -Unifed Presence 8.0 -Unified IP Phones 9900 & 8900 Series -Unified Client Services Framework -Unified Mobile Communicator for Blackberry & iPhone -Personal Communicator 8.0 -UCM Session Management Editon -UCM Large Enterprise System -Customer Voice Portal -UCM virtualization
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I missed my regularly scheduled blog a week or so ago, with too many excuses to list them here. The blog I had pre-written will be superceded by things more on top of mind for me this week, foremost of which is the reminder that integration of products and services is not always better. I've always been wary of integrated hardware products (such as a TV with VCR integrated as a single unit) because losing use of one component severely degrades the value of the overall solution. However, I usually take a different stance when it comes to integration of software components. For example, the benefits of a rich multimedia conference are clear. My realization though, through this week's personal experience, is that there are still very strong arguments for keeping communications services accessible as standalone applications. This week an Internet service disruption rudely reminded me of the adage advising not to put all of one's eggs in the same basket. The network issue with my unnamed SP left me without stable high speed Internet via DSL, and therefore no reliable email, IM, presence, voice (via IP phone) or video. The urgency of this problem climaxed on Tuesday, after Monday's torrential rains on top of an already saturated Atlanta landscape flooded roads and limited my mobility. I had three conference calls to attend on Tuesday, which of course was the day that my SP scheduled a tech to come troubleshoot the DSL issues at my SoHo. The first conference was a webcast with no streaming audio but seperate dial-in. With the SP tech running tests on my POTS line, I was fortunate enough to attend the audio portion via mobile phone, flying blind without the presentation which was emailed to me afterwards. Trying to outwit my technology issues I braved the streets and headed to a nearby offsite location with available broadband. Once there, and with ear buds plugged into to my laptop, I quickly realized that I had the opposite issues as call number one. This time I had access to the web presentation, but with no streaming audio or audio of any kind because there was no land line and no cellular reception. I returned to my SoHo for call number three, which used a presentation that I had saved to my hard drive. Still no DSL, but my POTS line was back up and I was able to join. It was a humbling reminder that integration and convergence sometimes multiply problems. Often enough, simple is better and business continuity is not dependent on convergence.
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Rob, I completely agree -- lines certainly are blurred. To some degree, I now 'censor' myself on Facebook updates because I know I've got work colleagues alongside friends of varying degrees of closeness listening in. With the bad economy, I've also noticed that more distant work colleagues are reaching out to me on Facebook as well as LinkedIn, desperate to connect in hopes of finding jobs. I would like to see the social networking sites developing some new functionality to help me manage this better. What I really want are multiple 'circles' of friends on Facebook, such as "cisco work", "family", "relatives", "dear friends", "contacts", etc. When I publish an update I want to choose which circle(s) see it. And, it should not tell any friend what circle they are in so as not to offend. My own content management system! Then I can share different information with different groups of people, just as I would talking to them directly. LinkedIn urges you to only add those people who you know well and who know you. However, I get invitations from people I meet (example: I went to a conference and met someone and they sent me a linkedin invitation in lieu of a business card) and people that I have in the past or current distantly worked with. I wouldn't mind keeping track of them but they aren't a friend, colleague, or any other LinkedIn categorization. What I would really like is a "contact" classification to let my network know I know this person but no stronger relationship. Laura
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