AVST Webinars

AVST Webinar
UC Myth Busters — Transcription

Eric: Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, depending on where you are in the world, and welcome to today's webinar: UC Mythbusters: Is Everybody Talking About the Wrong Things?, brought to you buy Enterprise Connect, AVST, and United Business Media LLC.

I'm Eric Krapf, co-chair of Enterprise Connect and Editor of nojitter.com, and I'm your moderator today. We have just a few announcements before we begin. This webinar is designed to be interactive between you and the presenters. Later in the program, we'll ask for your feedback. This webinar event contains audience polling. The polling questions will appear in the presentation window. Please complete the polls when they appear, and thanks in advance for you participation.

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Now on to the presentation: UC Mythbusters: Is Everyone Talking About the Wrong Things? Discussing today's Webinar will be Michael Finneran, Principle of dBrn Associates and Hardy Myers, President & CEO of AVST. I'm going to turn things over to Hardy. Michael and Hardy are going to be discussing together some issues around Unified Communications. This is obviously a topic that everybody's dealing with and I think they've got some very interesting, fresh new data that's just out from some market surveys. And also some very interesting perspectives on the kind of things you should be looking at as you migrate to UC. So I'll turn it over to Hardy and let's you guys go from there.

Hardy: Thank you, Eric. We appreciate the opportunity to give this webinar, and we're honored to have both Eric and Michael Finneran join us today. As Eric has just mentioned, Michael has just completed a survey and it's got a lot of very interesting data relative to the UC market in it, and I'm looking forward to a great conversation today.

If we could go to the slide on AVST, please. Thank you. For those of you that don't know, AVST is a worldwide developer of Unified Communications software and interoperability solutions. We're celebrating our 30th year in business this year. Founded in Seattle in 1982 and we support over 15 million users worldwide, including many major enterprises worldwide. Next slide.

Our focus is in three core application areas, mission critical voice applications, of course, mobility, and business process integration. On the platform side, really where we excel is supporting enterprises as they move towards a centralized cloud type architecture and hardening that architecture and, of course, maintaining a highly interoperable, if not the most interoperable architecture on the market. We're known worldwide for our scalability and also the resilience and the quality of the applications. Next slide.

So this is first of our Mythbusters, UC: What's in the Name? So on the first slide, here, this is the question, and I'm sure Eric will appreciate this one. What industry are we in? And, of course, as many in the audience know, when we started, and, of course Eric, being part of the BCR, and then Enterprise Connect team, knows that back in the early 2000s, it was really called Enterprise Communications.

It has then, of course, evolved into Unified Communications. We added a second C on that to be called Unified Communications and Collaboration. Recently there's been a lot of focus around just collaboration. That has now turned into Business Communications in Collaboration and recently I've seen many of the industry participants just calling it Business Communications again.

So I wonder, and it would be curious to get Mr. Finneran's input on this. Maybe we'll be calling it Enterprise Communications again in a year or so.

Michael: I hope not Hardy. And welcome everyone and AVST and No Jitter thanks for having me. But what do you see really mean is that utter confusion or utter confusion and chaos. Frankly I've never really been fond of the name UC it just doesn't draw up any real strong images for me. But my basic [inaudible 05:27] it's what we have so let's use it.

I don't like the idea of moving back to business communications because really with UC we've moved on to a completely paradigm for our communications will be done. I always look at UC as a new set of communication collaboration tools that are required basically in a new way that business is conducted. And if UC is what we want to call fun, but the only worst outcome I can think of is if we allowed each one of the vendors to come up with their own terms to mean the same thing for various marketing imperatives.

But in terms of the expanding definition from UC to UC&C basically I look at this simply as a prior to the expanded vision of the unified communications. The original term that seems to have run out of the idea of unified messaging and we realize that we're not just unifying our inbox, now we're also unifying our text, email, [inaudible 06:25], and ongoing video and collaboration tools. This is a much bigger thing that we're looking at coming out of the box.

Totally in collaboration of the mix I heard a comment from John Chambers some years back that he too was confused with term “unified communications” but everyone seemed to know what collaboration stood for. Of course that's not going to be the end of it. We're now expanding it to UC&C plus SN for Social Networking. So the scope if UC continues to expand of course that moves social network has really pioneered I'd say by IBM.

But certainly Cisco getting with the bandwagon now having changed the Cisco Quad to WebEx Social now. And certainly Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer what looks to be a view of improving the life experience we'd have in SharePoint. So UC is what we call, I just look at it is as the best name that's come up with for the next generation f business communication solutions.

Hardy: I think that's a great way to say it. If we can go to the next slide I think Michael, this highlights what you were just saying which is, in Gartner's most recent report on the hike cycle on Unified Communications Collaboration they cited 37 different technologies that make-up UC&C of which 14 new ones were added in 2012. So it clearly is a market where it's made up of multiple and evolving technologies and of course you would agree that it's rapidly mobilizing.

And the net of this is obviously interoperability is really a key cornerstone. The take away for you on this is that interoperability needs to be one of the key cornerstones of any enterprise UC strategy from AVST's perspective.

Michael: Absolutely and certainly with the survey that Eric had referenced before. By the way that was conducted by Webtorials and we'll soon be up on Webtorials home page and I do recommend reading. It has some very interesting insights some words I'll be sharing with you along the way here. But in terms of the top technologies I've got a link to your list later. Voice unified messaging, web conferencing, presence, all scored very high. We were very surprised in when we found in terms of the new technologies. The vote for desktop video conferencing outweighed those for room size video conferencing two to one. What do you think about that Hardy?

Hardy: That's interesting. That's very interesting. Michael, let's move on to the next slide. I think this is a worthwhile slide just to sort of center everybody's attention. So definition of UC this is my perspective on it. And I'm sure again, given your focus on mobility, its location device independent communication, integrated with information and context optimized business processes.

As you know and I think since you're part of the UC strategies team, I've sort of have taken their definition and expanded a little bit to include some elements that we see as being important specifically around location and context. But then as importantly, and I think this is another area we're going to talk about in just a minute when we get to the cloud. But your survey clearly validates that the models are evolving for how people are going to acquire UC technology and that being said obviously the cloud from this recent survey is a very, very important element for any vendor and clearly is a very critical evaluation point for any person or excuse me, any enterprise acquiring UC technology.

Michael: We'll get back to the cloud issue in a moment because we've got some very good number relating to that. But one thing that struck me here was the importance of interoperability. A number of the questions we asked in the survey dealt with: what is your current arrangement for UC or enterprise voice, or whatever, versus what are your goals in the longer term? And one of which was the issue of a single vendor with authoritarian solution versus multi-vendor UC deployments for the future.

We found that 60% of users were anticipating a multi-vendor deployment. Of course, 45... That left 40% over, but [35%] of those remaining said they like a single vendor but the single vendor should be standards based, which seems to indicate that they are looking at some degree of multi-vendor interoperability. So at the end of the day, what we're seeing from our survey is that only 5% of respondents are looking long term at a single-vendor proprietary implementation of UC.

So I think you're dead on with your point with regard to multi-vendor interoperability, Hardy.

Hardy: Good. All right. Let's move on to the next slide, and this is a survey from 2012, and I'll cover these points. And then, Michael, would you compare and contrast these to your survey, which I think you... Did you release yesterday or it's releasing tomorrow?

Michael: It will be openly on the website momentarily. It's...

Hardy: Great. Good.

Michael: But soon.

Hardy: And I highly encourage all the audience to get to access that survey. It's a really great and very relevant data for purposes of evaluating your UC strategy. So in this particular survey, a survey of a thousand plus CIOs, in this particular survey, 61% are investing in UC to boost productivity. Again, two-thirds are implementing over the next three years, and in this... Again, in this survey, 43% were coming at it from the telephony side versus the email side.

So no big shift to the cloud yet, but 25% are favoring a hybrid-type approach, which we're going to talk about when we get to the cloud in a minute. And major obstacles, obviously, cost being a significant one. And as equally importantly, integrating UC with our existing infrastructure. And then, of course, also lack of expertise integrating all these technologies.

And that's an area we see in as far as AVST over the past few years has continued to grow in support of our channel, frankly, and support of our customers of a professional services organization because of the complexity of the environments we're going into and the objectives that customers are trying to accomplish, which is to take a lot of really heterogeneous infrastructure and move it towards centralized solutions. That requires a very unique set of skills, and the channel has continued to move forward with that as well as the vendors, so there is a lot of progress been made over the last two or three years in that area, and obviously, more to come.

And then ease of use is, as we all know from the iPhone era, if you will, ease of use is critical to any type of UC applications. And then security is a top criteria for vendor selection. Michael, did you want to compare and contrast that to yours?

Michael: Yeah, well, we kind of asked the question in a different way. Essentially, we asked: what factors did you take into account in computing your ROI for UC investment? But we did find that, and we allowed multiple answers in that one, but 50% of the respondents, close to your 61%, did identify productivity gains. Of course, we found a lot more practical ones there as well, but 55% were talking about reducing travel expenses, 53% looking at conferencing expenses. So certainly, that last C in UC and C, the collaboration part, is a big thing in what the CIOs are looking at today. Back to you, Hardy. Actually, of course...

Eric: I was just going to ask a quick question to both of you guys of the surveys and just observing customers and looking at ROI. Is it common enough that enterprises actually do go back and measure the ROI? Everybody kind of talks about why they get into it, but sometimes we hear the idea at Enterprise Connect that they still don't go back to see if they've actually captured those savings or productivity gains that they were expecting.

Michael: Well, in this survey, we did not ask if they'd gone back. But we did find that, I think, it was 88% of organizations did an ROI analysis going in, but we didn't ask about the... after the fact. But I'm actually starting on another survey now with information we got on their tackling unified communications. That is one of the questions, so the next time we do that, I might have a good answer for you.

Hardy: I would echo that, but I would also add that, I mean, clearly some of these harder dollar ROIs, particularly when you're talking about taking discrete systems or hardware-based solutions, and moving them into software-based solutions. are pretty locked down, Eric, from the beginning. You know what it's going to be when you end up so that's pretty easy to measure. But I do agree with you that would be a great thing for Michael's information survey to ask those questions.

One of the surprises we see in a lot of cases are is a lot of enterprises with a lot of legacy infrastructure they've owned for quite a while have maintenance that is relatively economical for the technology. When they start to refresh their infrastructure one of the areas we've seen multiple times, to your point about measuring afterwards, is that they're surprised at the cost of the ongoing support which in a software case is not only the actual maintenance but it's also the software assurance. That's an area when people are doing their evaluations it's very, very important that you map that cost out.

Also, what's the refresh cycle on the new technology because for a lot of customers who've had, as I said, gear installed for many, many years that's worked really well when they go to refresh they're not expecting, in many cases this is what occurs, a hardware refresh every three years or every five years because in their mind it's a seven, eight, ten year cycle. When you're doing that go in all eyes open and make sure you have all those pieces mapped out in your ROI calculations would be my recommendation.

Eric:That's great advice.

Hardy:On the next slide, and I think Michael would agree with this, regardless of what you call it at the end of the day what we're really trying to do here is really cost effectively improve productivity through enhanced or unified communication. We at AVST, and this is a great way for you to think about this because our roots go all the way back to the beginning of the communication industry, we look at this in three different areas.

Specifically there's individual productivity improvements, for example, unified messaging which enables a worker to be more responsive by unifying his streams of information. There are work group or collaborative type applications and some of the social stuff you're seeing now really is around improving that activity.

Of course, then there's enterprise productivity enhancements and that's everything from centralizing infrastructure to reduce costs to as simple as aggregating calls through a single point and then routing them out to the right person. These are the three areas we suggest you focus on but net-net, the bottom line, the theme, the goal of this is always to improve productivity.

Next slide please.

Eric:At this point we've got a polling question that we'd like to push out to you folks in the audience and ask you to tell us what your primary driver is for deploying UC given the choice of gains through mobile productivity, productivity in the office, required infrastructure upgrades like Hardy was talking about a minute ago, or trying to improve your business processes.

We'll give you a couple minutes to give us your answers and while we're hearing from you and waiting for everybody to make their selection I want to ask you guys, when we talk about improving business processes, we hear the acronym CEBP, communications enabled business processes, and I wonder for anyone who might not have been exposed to that what we're talking about there.

Hardy:Sure. I would add a comment here on this that what we've seen and where we need to go as an industry on this is there's been a lot of discrete, we're going to talk about a couple of them in a minute, but there's been a lot of discrete CEBP solutions; one off type things where individual enterprises are finding an area where they can connect better communications with information.

As we all know information is the oil of the 21st century and to try to speed up or improve processes I think the thing that we're focused on at AVST and I think something that we as an industry need to focus on, is how do we deliver vertical specific sets of solutions. For example, for healthcare, higher ed or state and local government: areas we have a lot of focus and strength on.

Not to generalize it too much but a lot of institutions in higher learning have similar problems and if we can figure out a common set of business process integration solutions we can then bring to hundreds of customers we think that's a really great way to speed up this part of the UC value proposition, and this part, where there's really -- from my perspective, and I'm sure Michael would agree -- there's just some great ROI.

Eric: Well, let me . . . I'll let Michael put in your thoughts about that as I push out the results there, you know? I can see, it looks like office productivity kind of is the #1 answer. Michael, I don't know if you had a comment, either, about what Hardy was saying or about -- either of you guys -- about the results you see here.

Michael: Yeah. This one did pretty well, actually, yeah. Personally, I'd give my predilection toward mobile solutions. I'd be looking at mobile productivity gains. People who are out of the office, dealing with a smaller screen, more intermittent communications, and already the stresses of being on the road, I think can benefit the most by a well-designed mobile unified communications solution. In terms of business processes, well, I'm going to say about that later, because that's an area I've worked in for quite a while now.

Eric: Okay. Well, there. Everybody's had a chance to look at that. If you guys wanted to move on, we'll . . .

Hardy: Yeah, we're ready for the next . . .

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: We'll go ahead.

Hardy: Okay. It's a single vendor suite in my future, okay? So if you go on to the next slide, please, Eric, beyond the cover slide. And so my comment on this one is, I think -- and I think the Gartner reference highlights this -- it was obviously technology-specific, but with each new technology comes a whole new set of vendors that are entering this space. And, frankly, it's the incumbent telephony vendors -- the traditional telephony vendors -- it's people like Microsoft and IBM coming from the collaboration and the email side.

We're now seeing Oracle and people coming from the data side, if you will. And then of course we're seeing people from the network side, like BroadSoft and people like that, emerging as players in the market. So it is a rapidly growing, and very rapidly evolving market. Michael, did you have any comments on this slide?

Michael: No, let's continue on. I do have a couple of notes on the following one, though.

Hardy: Okay. Let's move on to the next slide. And this is interesting data from the survey. The one that I was referring to; the IDT survey. They ask, when each one -- and remember, this was 1,000+ CIOs -- and they asked them to name up to 10 vendors who they considered UC&C thought leaders. And this is very consistent, I think, Michael, with your data that Cisco and Microsoft captured significant [inaudible 22:28]. But they also mentioned over two dozen other vendors, and then 30% selected none.

And the none is the part that I find to be most intriguing, which is this is a very disparate space. There's a lot going on. And I think that, from my perspective -- from an AVST perspective -- that really portends well for emerging players like AVST in the market who have an opportunity to carve out a niche in the market, and to help enterprises move forward with their UC solutions.

Michael: That's one of the things that always kills me about surveys, is when you get the answer either "none" or "other." You'd really like to find out who they're thinking of. And certainly AVST, or even somebody like Interactive Intelligence, could wind up in the non-listed vendors here. But I'd be real interested to find out if they were thinking about companies like SAP or Oracle or McKesson or [Cerner], who are, like, integrating communications into their line of business applications.

But we did ask a similar set of questions, and in a much more general fashion, in the Webtorial survey. But we asked who they thought were the leaders in various applications. Enterprise voice, unified messaging, IM presence, collaboration, video teleconferencing. And what we saw, pronounced today and more so looking toward the future, was this is breaking down to a two- or three-horse race, with the two horses being clearly Cisco and Microsoft, as you mentioned.

Actually, the top three vendors for unified communications, we found . . . excuse me, for enterprise voice, currently are Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft. When we asked them on their plans for their future, it was Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya. Microsoft actually passed Avaya.

But certainly when we looked through all the different specials, the only variation we saw on that was, when you got to video teleconferencing, Polycom, who of course sells through any number of the UC vendors, grab one of the top three spots when we talked about video teleconferencing. So yeah, there certainly seem to be two or three names that are pulling to the fore, here.

Hardy: Yup. And I think, as I'm sure you would agree that the key here is that you're going to . . . most enterprises are focusing on a couple of anchor vendors, and then they're sort of filling in the gaps or rounding out the solution, or getting in operability from several other vendors. And that's the way we see it clearly in our fairly broad perspective from an enterprise access standpoint as well.

Michael: Yeah. As you'll see on the next slide, Webtorials not only asked about who is the top vendors, we also ask about which were the most important functions, which gives you some real rich territory to start comparing. If this is the biggest function, who's the biggest player in that part of the market. It's typically the case, Enterprise Voice came out on top. These percentages, you'll see, add up to more than 100. We only put the responses up to 20%. We allowed each respondent up to five answers.

I always like questions like that, because if you have a long list, it makes people choose. "Is this more important than that?" But Enterprise Voice was picked by 54%, which, of course, also means that 46% didn't count Voice as a function of UC. Of course, we never know how to interpret that. It might just be that they assume Enterprise Voice is going to be there, so they focus on the other things. Of course, Unified Messaging usually comes in close to the top.

As mentioned, video conference, the video conference at the desktop, outweighed video conferencing for room size, better than two to one. But there's a lot of the collaboration stuff, web conferencing . . . a couple of surprises, the mobile clients, the smartphones, which we do not see used widely today, tied for fifth with Presence, which I always looked at as one of the cornerstones of unified communications. Audio conferencing is good on there.

Some of these, we'll get down to the smaller ones. We were thinking, for example, softphones. My take on that one is, usually it means that we're still going to be looking at desk phones in UC deployment, or everyone knows that every UC solution comes with a softphone, so it's not going to be a top function to focus on. They can look at the other stuff.

In terms of the deployment stuff, the other real interesting statistic we pulled up from that survey was that 21% of respondents claimed to have a full UC deployment today, and 57% a partial deployment. Which means that 78% of the voters who responded to our survey had at least some amount of UC capability already deployed. Only 6% had no plans for UC deployment.

Hardy: Since, I guess that, Enterprise Voice was the top function, a significant chunk of those guys, that's what they've been focused on for the last couple years, would be checking 'yes' anyway, right?

Michael: Yeah. We'll mill over the survey question later about who's the primary driver for UC. I'm leaving this here for the end for the audience, because we asked that same question with the Webtorial survey.

Hardy: I'm very curious to hear that. I'd like to ask just real quickly what you make of the video conferencing at the desktop ranking so high, because that was what jumped out at me, too. Do you think enterprise is just getting ready to make the jump on that?

Michael:Personally, the way I took it was they already have room size systems done. They've got them working. If they're looking toward the future, one of the big things they want to bring into the picture is increased use of desktop video conferencing. I think, when I read this, I took it as, "Well, they've just assumed the room sized system is there. Let's look at the new things." What would you think?

Hardy:Don't you think, with the new technology coming out with the [inaudible 28:23] [Kodex], and all that stuff, that it's starting to become the technology that actually works really well and given the whole iPhone experience too, with your sort of personal video conferencing, don't you think more people are starting to see that as valuable in certain cases?

Michael:I think it's highly generational. We older guys just don't like to see ourselves on TV. We're conditioned to see professionals on TV. When we see amateurs, particularly when that amateur is you, it's a real depressing experience.

Hardy:Yeah, I would also add that comment that it does appear to be generational. There seems to be . . . it's very natural for the millennials to go right to video.

Michael:I think one of the real key capabilities we're going to see come to the fore and have that LTE networks already available. "You see what I see." Essentially, allowing people to share the experience by holding up their smartphone while they're on a conversation, and let the other party see exactly what they're looking at. We have some good industrial applications for that, but I think the ability to share that real-time experience on video, I think is going to be way more important than just showing a picture of your mug.

Hardy:Okay, great. Moving on to the next slide, this is just a shameless plug for AVST so we can move on through it, but this does highlight fact that, as I mentioned, one of our core competitive advantages and why enterprises choose AVST as part of their solution, is our ability to integrate, not only with whatever their legacy infrastructure is, but integrate with the new and emerging technology they're embracing in UC as well. Eric, should we move on to the next one?

So this is an interesting one and I will say given the focus around cloud and I know we're all clouded out, if you will, from the standpoint that it's become sort of a standard term now. The real question here is the public cloud an all or nothing decision. Eric if you could move to the next slide, I think that the point that we want to make here from the AVST perspective and I believe really from the industry perspective is that the evolution of the enterprise adoption of cloud is going to be a hybrid scenario. And a hybrid scenario means they're going to have some of their UC technology deployed on a private cloud type environment, and then they're going to add and/or deploy certain applications in the cloud.

Even if, as a vendor, we're seeing certain opportunities to get our technology to our customers by delivering solutions in the cloud in a more efficient and effective manner. So, the benefits of both are right there on the slide and clearly there are certain applications and certain functionality that's mission critical that they, and they as an enterprise, may choose to have behind the firewall. And then on the pubic cloud side, of course, it's all the benefits of the public cloud, on demand or SaaS type applications that you get with that.

Michael did you want to add any comments on that?

Michael: We got some good data on that on the next slide.

Hardy: Let's move on to the next slide, yeah I think so.

Michael: Current and future plans from both enterprise voice and unified communications looking at, hopefully everyone else's image is a little bigger than the one I have here, I'm have a hard time reading it. But you can see, currently in enterprise voice 71% is on premise, which means 29% is either hybrid or fully cloud based. Of course, looking toward the future, the premise based solutions drops to 42%, and some degree of cloud. Because if you add the hybrid and pure cloud together you get 57%. [Inaudible 32:16]

Hardy: What is the time frame on future by the way? Did you guys define that?

Michael: No, well, I would say given the way we worded the question ... current planning horizon. Depending on where you are now, where do you think you're going to be in the defined future. I would probably say two years.

Hardy: Okay.

Michael: But the unified communications is even more pronounced, currently at 65%. But for the future, when you add the hybrid and fully cloud together it's 70%. So certainly, with 57% of enterprise voice and 70% of unified communications using at least some portion, or deploying at least some portion of their seats in the cloud. I think the cloud move is key, and each one of the categories hybrid is leading the way.

Also, how they pitch out, we're already starting to see the picture taking shape and that we're talking to covering clients it appears that big sites are going to remain on premise. Now we have a more cost effective approach, but the smaller sites more likely to end up in a cloud deployment. So, we'll see if that picture holds on.

Hardy: That would be very consistent with what we've seen and of course, as I mentioned in hi-res an example, we saw institutions start deploying email in the cloud first. Adopting Gmail for the students. Then starting to adopt cloud based email solutions for the faculty and staff as an example, as one of the first, sort of, hybrid type scenarios, as you're referring to it, as we're referring to it, I should say.

The next slide, I think is a great slide. That really highlights what we think, and again, I think Michael actually you recorded in your survey, in your analysis, saying hybrid deployment is the preferred approach to UC in the future. I would just put forth the position that hybrid is the future of enterprise UC. So, I think the data really points to that, as you pointed out both in UC and enterprise voice, better than a third of the market's going to be hybrid with another third going to be in the cloud which is quite significant.

Michael: It looks like we have another polling question from Eric.

Eric: All right, I will push that out, we're asking folks what UC components do you think you are most likely to deploy first in the public cloud. Voice, enterprise voice, that being your main call control, your email, conferencing, or business apps, CRM, or none at all. And we'll give you all a minute to answer the poll.

We talked a little bit about, before we came on here, email in the cloud and the options that people have now, whether it's . . . We're talking this week, it's been IBM what used to be Lotusphere. Now it's called IBM Connective where obviously IBM has been looking to Notes to the cloud. The enterprises are starting to hear from Google. Google is trying them cloud based Gmail accounts. What do you guys see in email?

Hardy: The answer is so far we've clear enough ability to both Gmail and Microsoft 365 Club Email Solution. IBM, I think is coming out with the cloud based Notes here. We'll have the latest version here shortly, and as you said, Eric, I was very impressed with what they've done and with what they're doing with Notes, both from just moving to the cloud standpoint and, of course, the IBM infrastructure supporting the cloud.

But also op top of that their connectivity to their connection social software and their same time unified telephony software, so their presence in real time telephony software. So it's a very impressive set of solutions, and I think speaks to the fact that again, based on the validity of the numbers we just showed you that there is a lot of movement, not only from the vendors but also from the customers to the cloud.

Eric: Michael, do you have any thoughts about Google and Gmail? Every once in a while you'll hear about some big user, some government moving to Gmail, but then it doesn't seem to quite completely gain the share you might think, considering the pricing that they talk about?

Michael: [Unseating] Microsoft, who's dominant with Exchange in email space, it's going to be extremely difficult most because Microsoft, to a much greater degree than Google, at least, currently. They've done a much better job of integrating all the various Office tools together, and now that bundle does include Microsoft Lync. So for all wrapped up in a bow kind of solution, I think Microsoft is going to have the inside track for some time to come, but a lot of crafty folks there at Google and certainly the price is a lot more attractive. So if it's a price [buy], Google has a much better shot. If it's an integrated experience buy, then my money is still on Microsoft.

Eric: With that, I'll push out the polling results here. You can see conferencing leading the way here and followed by email enterprise Voice. I'll turn that over to you guys as you want, or you can move on.

Michael: The Conferencing isn't surprising because you'll get vendors like [InterCall] and Premier Global and the other conferencing suppliers, a lot of conferencing started there. The big conferences are in the cloud today. One of the things we're looking at, one of the low hanging fruit as we call it, in UC comes from bringing a lot of that conferencing service in-house rather than paying out money for it. But 25% of enterprise voice, that's impressive. Certainly, the cloud-based suppliers, like your 8x8s and, of course, those lawyers of Cisco HCS should be drooling over that number.

Hardy: We've seen actually a relatively high degree of interest in cloud based cloud control, specifically in higher ed areas we've seen it, not so much in health care and state government but clearly in higher ed who seems to be on the cutting edge in a lot of areas. BroadSoft has been very involved in that scene. In fact, we've done a couple of large universities already where we are inter-operating with cloud control from a large vendor, like Verizon or somebody like that, which is based on either the . . . It think it's the BroadSoft technology so it's very interesting. I think it validates this whole concept of the hybrid, from what I can see.

Should we move on to our next myth? CABP, Communication Able Business Process. Is it fool's gold, and, Eric, you brought this up before. If we can move to the next slide, I won't go into all the details. It's kind of a fun slide, but the point here is that every day we're creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, so big data is big, obviously. And the key here, and everyone is focused on this, I think, from an enterprise standpoint is how do we tape this river of data to best run our businesses.

Frankly our prospective, again, as a unified communications vendor is about obviously leveraging the integration of communications with the data, and by doing that, improving business process. If you go to the next slide, clearly the goal here is to take this large amount of information and these very complicated business processes, and through the integration of enhanced communications, improve customer relationships and make informed decisions.

If you go to the next slide, clearly from a top priority of today's organizations, highest priority said by 40% of surveyed CIO's was to make business processes more efficient. It's interesting that didn't show up quite as high in your survey, Michael. I think Gartner does a nice job on this. They say the delivery of effective business processes is arguably the most powerful outcome that IT can deliver to any organization.

I believe that this is one of the areas of unified communications that we, as an industry, and enterprises need to put more focus into. I can tell you, from active conversations with hundreds and hundreds of customers, it's typically not the lowest of hanging fruit. But when they get into it, it becomes really a powerful point for a UC, if you will, deployment to really get some traction. I think, Michael, you've got a couple examples here on the next slide that talk specifically about three different companies or enterprises that have embraced the EBP, and what it meant to them from an ROI standpoint. Right?

Michael: Yeah. First, in the survey, we found that 44% of respondents were looking at achieving business goals, as one of the ROI objectives. The few we have here at Global Crossing, they're now part of level three. They have great documented case study from Microsoft, talking about how they embedded Lync in some SharePoint for their RFP responses.

Now, rather than having 14 different versions of the proposal being worked on simultaneously, they had one version. They build it right out of that to communicate with any other party being involved in the process. It not only cut their costs by 30%, but also helped them get their versions under control.

[Marty Parker] talks about a case he's familiar with. [Dealing with] a mortgage company, where they really did the CEBP process. They looked at how the loans were being processed, and identified specific points in that process where the machine ground to a halt. It generally had something to do with communications. By addressing the communication functions, they finally were able to increase their loan capacity by 30,000 loans a year, without adding another person in the staff.

The branch bank example, I cite there at the end, [inaudible 42:50] Dominion Bank. Instead of having specialists go out to spend one day a week at each of five different branches, they started putting video kiosks in the branch. They allowed video conferencing to allow any prospective customer to deal with that specialist immediately. It can be done. Certainly, we've seen tons of CEBP examples with real hard ROI and test work. We do a lot of this mobility, putting bar code scanners on forklifts. We make fewer mistakes, faster inventory turnover. The real challenge here is the conundrum of the knowledge worker. How do we measure productivity in the knowledge worker? It might be that we are still going to have to be looking at soft dollars or safes, to justify a real CEBP initiative. Hardy?

Hardy:Yep. I will add that in many cases where we've worked with customers, what started out as an infrastructure, refresh, or centralization initiative, quickly moves into some sort of problem solution around a specific business process that for years, has been hobbled by some of legacy infrastructure. Of course, that's the beauty of software. You can put it on top of this stuff and write integrations to database, etc. Away you go with some really interesting CEBP type applications. We actually do a webinar on this about every month or so. It's an area that some of you might be interested in attending, relative to specific CEBP.

Moving on to slide 20. Sorry, I don't have a slide number here. I can't see it. I'm moving onto the next slide. This just highlights, as I mentioned before, our focus is really, in addition to obviously supporting horizontal type CEBP applications at the enterprise level, we're very focused on delivering solutions in three of our core verticals: health care, education, and government. These are just, again, we won't spend any time on it today. These are some really good examples of some of the things we've done, whereby, we're stitching together communication infrastructure with disparate databases to deliver an enhanced business process.

Michael: It looks like, Eric, we have another survey coming up.

Eric: We have one last polling question here. The question is: Who is the primary champion for your UC deployment within your enterprise? Is it the telecom person? The CIO or IT manager, somebody more on, what we used to think of, the data side? Is it the CTO or someone in their operation? Or is it the CEO, somebody above all of them?

We'll give you a few quick seconds to do that. It's interesting, I was looking over some of the sets of registrants that we have for the Enterprise Connect conference in March in Orlando, and I have seen more of these folks coming in with a title that has unified communications in it.

Coming out on the other side of some of these descriptions, we're starting to see people who are the Unified Communications Manager, Unified Communications Architect, something like that.

Michael: Yeah, I'm waiting to see what the answers are to this one as well because we asked the same question at Webtorials. We didn't split out CTO from CIO; we found that the CIO, IT Manager, or CTO was the champion 61% of the time.

It was 14% for the Telecom Director. So I'm interested to see if this is going to match up to what we've seen where, basically, it is truly that UC has moved out of the telecom realm and into the IT realm.

We also found 8% of the time was CEO's. CIO and CTO dominated with 61%.

Hardy: I know in the case of IBM, the CEO of IBM is really driving the whole adoption of social business within IBM which, of course, is flowing through everything they're doing. So it's not surprising that there is a measurable amount of CEO interest in this.

And, as far as the telecom piece, I think, as we all know telecom in many cases reports to the CIO now whereas it might have been something separate in the past. So it's clearly moving toward an IT centric solution.

Michael: Looks like Eric has the answers up there for us. Son of a gun, looks pretty close to what we found.

If you combine CIO and CTO we're up to 66%.

Hardy: Okay. Great. Let's move on to our final myth. Of course we don't mean it that way but just controversial topics.

Is Lync my PBX replacement? Or will Lync be my PBX replacement?

I think it's worthwhile on the first slide to do an assessment of how Microsoft is doing. As, I'm sure all the audience knows, Microsoft has now been in the UC space for quite some time.

Eric, I can't recall when the first year was they were at a keynote, but it's been at least five or six years, maybe.

There's some interesting data here. Michael, let me just take the middle one because that one I'm familiar with. I think, from our perspective, with as many customers as we have and with the disparate of infrastructure they have, we have seen a significant increase, obviously, in Lync activity and inquiry.

It's principally, still to this day from our perspective, and I think these numbers validate it, in the middle box so I'm curious to get your interpretation of your numbers because they're obviously quite different; it is moving forward. It's been deployed and customers are trying to figure out how to stitch Lync in with their existing infrastructure.

They want to have a seamless call-control experience with both Lync and their incumbent voice solutions. At some point in the future, they may move towards an all-Lync deployment as if it's a PBX.

Clearly, the needle is moving here; it's 5% that was going to use Lync as their IP PBX in 11 and the 12th survey had moved up to over 10%, 11%. So that's interesting.

How does that relate, Michael, from your perspective to the percentages you had in your survey?

Michael: This is actually one response that frankly set both Steve [Taylor] and I back on our heels when we saw it. There's 28% today and 39% in the future that looked at Microsoft for enterprise voice. But we thought about it.

By the way, there was also another 44% who said they would never consider Microsoft anytime for voice anytime soon.

Our take of it, because we look at market research from organizations like MZA; Microsoft is in the other category, that's less than 3%. However, the way we worded our question, this is sort of the challenge comparing between two different surveys; the way we asked the question, if you had one user using Microsoft Lync for voice, you could answer "Yes".

So I think the percentage we're seeing, that doesn't necessarily say that they're yanking out the PBX in favor of a Microsoft Lync solution. But it's really still surprising that this many of the respondents were actually actively involved in Microsoft Lync for voice. So it was a surprise for us as well.

Hardy: So are you interpreting that the 28% have deployed Lync in some shape or fashion and they're playing with it? Or I don't want to use the term playing, they’re piloting it. Is that what you're saying?

Michael: Yes. It certainly does not appear from what I see that 20% of the PBX lines out there today are actually on a Microsoft Lync or somewhere close.

Hardy: Yeah, we haven't seen that market share type of number in any of the surveys I've seen.

Michael: Yeah.

Hardy: Let's move onto the next slide. I think this does highlight though that, and it is really a couple of different we talked about this a little earlier. There are clearly two very different ways that Microsoft is going to market with UC. And of course the acquisition of Skype, I think further adds to that opportunity and potentially complexity. But the bottom line is that of course their email exchange and its cloud twin, if you will, Office 365, has changed courses. It's been deployed very broadly and adopted, and I believe Office 365 will really start to see some real traction on the SMB side and then possibly moving up into the Enterprise.

Lync as an instant messaging or presents client is very widely deployed as well. And as what Michael was saying, and I would agree with, is that we have not yet seen Lync as the enterprise voice engine if you will, or PBX replacement. None of the market share would indicate that that is in fact the case. Although, and as I think as Michael's statistics indicate, roughly a third of the market is piloting it and testing it. So, it's very significant, both on some of the more collaboration type applications side as well as the voice side. Michael, did you have anything on that?

Michael: Cisco is also making a pretty good stab at instant messaging and presence. Microsoft led the way on that one with 58% of the future plans. But Cisco is fairly close behind with 53%. But I really see that is shaping up as a two horse race, because number three on IM and presence was Avaya and they came in with 17%. So, it's Microsoft and Cisco, and pulling away from the pack.

Hardy: Yeah, we've seen a lot of focus around, of course, Federation around this stuff, as you know, Michael. I mean. Because of that sort of intersection we just described, where there is multiple clients and multiple presence, potential sources, Federation is a big opportunity we see in the market.

So, on the next slide, just to highlight what we're doing in the area. We clearly have developed solutions that link, no pun intended, link into the existing infrastructure. And again, I'm not going to spend too much time on that, but that's a big focus for us in that area. And then of course also on the messaging side, which is, one of our core areas of legacy strength. We've done a lot of work with Exchange for literally probably 20 years now. And of course we just announced Office 365 full integration a little earlier this week.

So, various areas of focus for us. Microsoft has a very strong presence in this space and we're looking for ways that we as a company can partner with them as well as add value to our Enterprise accounts.

Eric, next slide.

Eric: And actually, with that, that brings us to the end to Q and A. But I'm going to go ahead and push out a quick survey that we ask everybody to fill out just to let us know what you thought about this event, and let you do that while we do a question or two before our time is up here.

And one of the questions that came in that I think is an interesting one is what role in this, Michael, this is something you work on a lot obviously, what role will the wireless carriers play in supporting all of this UC.

Michael: Well, it is always a difficult one to call with the mobile operators because they are so focused on the consumer market. That we're in unified communications. This is an enterprise buy. Most recently we're seeing a great overlap between the capabilities we have in being in it for communications and social network applications, with what we have at UC.

Actually, one of the things I'm watching very closely now with the carriers is which communication servers, or which communication suite, which is a multi-operator plan to have thing like enhanced directory, presence, IC with UC. We have a lot of these capabilities but it's just the iPhone users get it or just the Blackberry users get it. But that's sort of across the board, all carrier UC capability. Keep an eye on that, which communication suite. That could be the thing that really gets the mobile operators into this game.

Eric: Hardy, what about the you talked about the cloud here earlier in the session and a lot of people talk about the cloud in terms of supporting a user base that's mobile some of the time and not mobile some of the time, and wants sort of the same experiences on different devices all the time, and maybe thin clients. How do you see all that working?

Hardy: Yes, that's an interesting opportunity and we put a lot of work into that. Clearly there's a desire by the enterprise to have sort of a separate experience, to not mix enterprise and individual data. Of course, you end up with a BYOD or "bring your own device" type scenario, and for a lot of enterprises it becomes even more of an area of focus. I can tell you that that is a big area of focus and I think all the vendors are working real hard to deliver solutions that can help with that. I'm sure Mike will actual have more input on that than me.

Michael: I think you covered that pretty well, Hardy.

Eric: All right. And a good thing because we're just about at the top of the hour. I'm going to push out a final slide on AVST there for you, and let everybody know that if we didn't get to your questions, those will be something that we've got here on the back end and that AVST will be able to follow-up with you offline and make sure that your questions are answered, and everything that you're curious about, they're able to satisfy you on. I'd just remind you to take a look at these links.

We'd like to thank everybody for attending today's webinar. Again, this was the webinar called UC Mythbusters: Is Everybody Talking About the Wrong Things?, brought to you by Enterprise Connect and nojitter.com, AVST, and United Business Media LLC.

Shortly after this live event, we'll send you an email to remind you to access the presentation on demand and encourage you to pass that along, also, to anybody you know who might be interested who wasn't able to attend or who didn't know about it in time to register, and encourage them to come in and listen to the replay.

This webinar is copyright 2013, by United Business Media. The presentation materials are owned by, or copyright, if that's the case, by Enterprise Connect and AVST, who are solely responsible for its content. And the individual speakers are solely responsible for their content and their opinions.

On behalf of our guests, Hardy Meyers, President & CEO of AVST, and Michael Finneran, Principal of dBrn Associates, thanks your time and have a great day.