UCStrategies Podcast - Gartner Magic Quadrant Report for the UC Sector

For better or worse, it's hard to ignore the Gartner's Magic Quadrant reports when they cover your space, and with their UC coverage out now, we knew what the next UCStrategies podcast topic was going to be about.

If you've been following these reports, you'll know that the market has consolidated to the point where it's clear who the leaders are, and the playing field is well-established. That's not surprising given that the underlying product - enterprise telephony - is highly mature. It's certainly not a growth market, and that's why the vendors are transitioning to UC, but of course, that's only half the story.

Before that could happen, however, the cloud blew in, and now the bigger challenge is how quickly they can transition from premise-based UC to cloud-based UC. That's what's really driving the market now, and the current MQ shows that Microsoft and Cisco are doing that better than everyone else.

Lots more to talk about, and we all had something to say about what this report says about the current state of UC. The podcast has been posted to the portal, and after you give it a listen, we'd love to hear your thoughts as well.


My Digital Transformation Series - Part 3: Driving Agility with Collaboration

This is the third post in a series I've been doing for RingCentral about digital transformation, and the response has been strong enough to warrant more analysis, so watch for that soon. During this series, I've examined three specific business-level benefits of digital collaboration, and the role collaboration can play to support them.

For this post, my focus is on business agility, and it's running now on the RingCentral blog page. The other two posts addressed improving workflows and the customer experience - you can read those, along with the other posts I've been writing for RingCentral, here on my profile page.


My Next Webinar - Digital Assistants for Collaboration and Customer Care

I've been doing webinars with Ziff Davis on a steady basis lately, and the next one is about digital assistants. This is another way of saying chatbots, and what I'm really talking about is the emergence of conversational interfaces as a way to leverage AI to make both collaboration and customer care more effective.

There's a lot to explore here, and I'll be providing an overview of current trends and opportunities based on my current research in this space. The webinar is next Tuesday, August 22 at 2pm ET, and I hope you can make it. As always, Ziff Davis webinars are free, and you can register here.

Habitat Soundscaping from Plantronics - Now for Something Completely Different

If you don't know what I'm getting at with that title, then ask your parents - they'll know.

Either way, I'm talking about something very new - and very different - from Plantronics. Building on their rich audio heritage in the headset business, they've come up with a unique approach to making the workplace more conducive to collaboration, but I'm not going to tell you here. I'm just trying to make sure you know that my current No Jitter writeup has been posted, and that's where you can read my take on Habitat Soundscapes. I hope you like it, and would love to hear your thoughts.

Mitel's ShoreTel Acquisition - Our Take on UCStrategies

In the UC/collab space, this was definitely the big news story last week, and it seems everyone had an opinion. This was Mitel's second try for ShoreTel, and aside from coming at a lower cost this time around, the move finally positions Mitel as the UCaaS consolidator they've long been talking about. I'll be sad to see ShoreTel go, but this is just part of the market's evolution, and it won't be the last time the pool shrinks.

There was lots to discuss, and Dave Michels was his usually engaging self moderating the group. Our podcast is running now on the UCStrategies portal, and here's the link. There was lots of buzz in the media as well, and I was cited in this writeup from TMC