Yup, It’s THAT TIME again.
I’m currently booking appointments for #CES2013, more formally known as 2013 International CES, running from January 8-11, 2013 in Las Vegas.
You’ll find me writing for HD Voice News (www.hdvoicenews.com), as well as contributing to Green Data Center News and TMCnet.com.
This means I’m taking briefings among the following topics: HD Voice (both mobile and broadband, smartphones), tablets, laptops/PCs, energy and power solutions, and broadband satellite.
My current schedule looks like this–
January 6 (Sunday)
CES Unveiled, Sunday, January 6, 4-7 p.m.
Mandalay Bay Level 3, South Seas Ballroom C
January 7 (Monday)
Morning – CES Press Day at Mandalay Bay
At 5-6 p.m, moderating “Richer Mobile Communication through Broadband” panel at the Broadband Unlimited conference track, Las Vegas Convention Center
Digital Experience, 7-10 p.m. MGM Hotel
January 8 (Tuesday)
Morning – Suite visits at Las Vegas Hotel (LVH)
Afternoon – CES show floor, Las Vegas Convention Center
ShowStoppers @ CES 2013
Wynn Hotel, Lafite Ballroom, 6-10 p.m.
January 9 (Wednesday)
CES show floor at Las Vegas Convention Center
What typically works to set up a meeting–
A stop at a tabletop display at CES Unveiled, Digital Experience and/or ShowStoppers. I have a fond spot in my heart for ShowStoppers since they’ve been a class act over the years.
If you’ve got a suite at the LVH, I can try to stop by on Tuesday morning through noon, but I’m already starting to loath navigating the labyrinth of floors, rooms, and overloaded elevators.
Meeting on the show floor, provided I’m meeting with a subject matter expert, not getting the generic suck booth tour (Yes, that’s *YOU* Samsung, about 3 years running).
What doesn’t work–
Meeting off-site more than a block from the Las Vegas Convention Center during show hours. Seriously, travel time from anywhere to LVCC is 30-45 minutes one way during CES, so unless it’s a REALLLY good breakfast meeting with Stevie Nicks providing a live performance as I eat, it’s not going to fly.
How not-exciting is this year’s The Cable Show? Well, the only Kardashian scheduled to be here is the rejected one – Bruce Jenner. There are a couple of DC talking heads and John Boy Walton (and BTW, how many of you know who John Boy is, anyway?)
Yes, it’s that slow.
Voice and business services? Forget about it. It’s all about tablet apps for the most part.
I hate to be a hater, since The Cable Show PR people could teach the CEA crowd a thing or two about how to treat the press, but the most exciting thing today was catching up with some of my old media running buddies this morning.
Word is there may be a voice announcement tomorrow and I’ve also heard some good dish on putting HD voice on a cable network.
Now that the HD Voice 2012 report is done, I’m now able to travel a bit more.
I’ll be at The Cable Show 2012 in Boston, from mid-day on Monday, May 21, through Tuesday afternoon, May 22.
Did I ever mention that I’m Editor-in-Chief of HD Voice News? (OK, not really a joke to anyone who regularly reads this blog).
“HD Voice 2012: Proliferation” is now available at TMCnet.com. It was a much larger task to put together and edit than I anticipated, due to the rapid ramp in HD voice adoption going on around the world. You can find a description of the report here.
The net-net upshot is: HD voice has already in Europe, coming to America (“I feel good!”), and has a significant and growing presence in Asia and Africa.
With Sprint planning to introduce 3G CDMA HD voice in the US by late 2012 (and if you don’t understand what I just said, you should at least take a quick look at www.hdvoicenews.com), the pace and availability of deployments is picking up. Get excited. Buy a copy of my report. Buy two copies, give one to a friend…
A couple of years ago, VoiceCon morphed into Enterprise Connect because there was UC, there was video, and voice was just so passé. When I talked to Co-chair/CEO Fred Knight back in the day, he said the “sweet spot” for the show were enterprise clients with 1,000 seats or more. Big companies. Multi-site companies. Fortune 500 to 1000-2000 companies. Sooo… how come there are a significant number of companies that show up to announce SME solutions?
Off the top of my head, there’s ADTRAN, Avaya and CounterPath. ADTRAN rolled out its SBC (session border controller) for NetVanta and Total Access CPE. The software can be purchased for 10, 25, and 100 sessions, with a $395 to $495 list price, depending on the box it runs on. Avaya introduced its cloud solutions, including AvayaLive Connect “a new, fully-integrated, unified communications solution for small businesses that includes voice, voice conferencing, messaging, video, mobility, presence and more.” CounterPath showed up to give a “sneak peak” of SoftPhone.com, a cloud offering to connect CounterPath X-Lite softphone users (i.e., the people too cheap to pay for a copy of Bria). SoftPhone.com is targeted at 25-30 seat SMBs to connect X-Lite to X-Lite calls for free, while terminating calls over an IP PBX when the recipient is not connected to the SoftPhone.com network.
Enterprise Connect isn’t a huge show — fits nicely into the Gaylord Convention Center in Orlando — and it treats the attending media quite well. I don’t know, but suspect from the quality of amenities given to attendees and the media, it’s not exactly a cheap show to exhibit at; a 3 day VIP Special for 2012 is already running at $1695 for attendees. (But you can get in on an Expo Plus pass free for access to keynotes, show floor, sponsored sessions, and networking receptions).
I guess my point is that I’ve seen SMB-esque announcements out of Enterprise Connect before and I have to wonder if there’s room somewhere for a dedicated Business Connect show strictly for the 2-500 SMB world.
Orlando, Florida – Avaya has announced “Collaborative Cloud,” a “strategic framework” for cloud-based collaboration solutions using Avaya’s various products plus the “AvayaLive” suite of of public cloud-based collaboration applications. If you’re really shocked about this, you missed the 10 foot sign Avaya put up at IT EXPO East 2012 earlier this year.
As usual with Avaya, there’s the heavy marketing-speak to parse through. The Avaya Collaborative Cloud framework enables customers, channel partners, service providers and developers to use, build, deliver and enhance cloud collaboration solutions based on Avaya applications, platforms and infrastructure. The framework allows a wide range of flexible, cloud-based deployment and utilization options to accommodate diverse market segments and needs, says the press release.
Public cloud-based solutions — “part of the Collaborative Cloud” — in the AvayaLive suite include:
AvayaLive Connect, a new, fully-integrated, unified communications solution for small businesses that includes voice, voice conferencing, messaging, video, mobility, presence and more. The solution supports PC, Apple Mac, iOS and Android devices; multiple offices and remote and mobile employees. The entire solution can be easily ordered, downloaded and accessed through the Web. AvayaLive Connect is currently in trials and is planned for general availability in the U.S. market by mid-2012.
AvayaLive Engage – formerly known as web.alive, the Web-based, immersive collaboration environment adds new features and capabilities. The solution enables participants to use personalized avatars in a 3D environment to engage in collaboration activities such as meetings and creative sessions, sales and customer service, HR training and recruiting. New features of AvayaLive Engage include Support for Apple Mac OSX operating systems and
Safari browsers, enhanced collaboration tools and all kinds of video streaming, sharing collaboration, and conferencing.
Expect more AvayaLive cloud-y services to be rolled out over the months to come.
Wrapping up the announcement, Avaya Communications Outsourcing Solutions can also be provided to enterprises as a private, managed cloud service.
Orlando, Florida – SBC leader Acme Packet has announced UC vendor-neutral session management solutions with support for Microsoft Lync. The new solutions combine Microsoft Lync with legacy multivendor enterprise communications networks without compromising Microsoft Lync’s powerful enterprise voice features.
Key features of the announced solution sets include:
• Protocol normalization and interworking between H.323 and SIP protocols
• Centralized dial plan management tools using Microsoft Lync’s E.164 addressing capabilities while unifying disparate legacy enterprise dial plans.
• Highly scalable protocol and media encryption capabilities
• A session routing engine with an Active Directory interface applies centrally defined rules and user policies to help control costs, simplify administration and ensure quality of service
• Support for Microsoft Lync media bypass that optimizes bandwidth utilization
• Media interworking that resolves common incompatibilities, including DTMF and fax
• Call accounting log that captures and centrally stores complete call detail records
• High availability features that protect the communications infrastructure against failures
The session management solutions are based on the Acme Packet Net-Net product family. They are available immediately and fully qualified by Microsoft under the Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP) to ensure interoperability with Microsoft Lync. More info can be found at www.acmepacket.com/enterpriselync.
Orlando, Florida – ADTRAN has rolled out Session Border Control (SBC) software to its NetVanta 3430 and 6000 series, plus its Total Access 900e IP Business Gateways.
Targeted at the small to medium enterprise (SME) markets, the new SBC offering rolls into service providers’ need for a new CPE demarc device to handle normalization, security and monitoring for SIP trunking services.
The announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise; It’s part of ADTRAN’s philosophy these days to add more functionality to its devices via software. The company hinted it might add SBC functionality and other features to its boxes at its annual media/analyst event in December.
Features included in the SBC software are:NAT/firewall traversal, VoIP protocol interworking, transcoding, media anchoring and “numerous” service provider troubleshooting tools.
By moving the functionality to the edge of the enterprise network, service providers can more easily integrate directly with a wide variety of IP PBX vendors’ SIP trunking implementations. It also provides a clear point of demarcation that enables providers to gather valuable metrics and perform tests, as well as implement network disaster recovery, security and failover polices without having to modify a customer owned IP PBX. (Yes, that’s straight out of the press release…)