Going Pro
Uncategorized / August 19, 2013

If you talk to enough people that I know, you will eventually come across at least one person that says, “He wins everything!”  A few weeks ago, my friend Amy would have been the one most loudly claiming that I did win everything.  It was about that time that the folks at 2Ring sent me a message to let me know that I had won their Microsoft Surface Pro at a drawing they had at Cisco Live.  I was excited of course, winning something is always exciting, but I was also unsure of what I was going to do with a Microsoft tablet.  For the past four years I have been using Apple products pretty exclusively.  My work computer is a MacBook Pro, I use an iPhone and an iPad (which I won at an EMC conference, ok I do win a lot of stuff) and my family uses Mac computers, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with it.  I decided that I would use the new device for a week and see where if and where it fit into my daily life and go from there.  As I said before, it’s been three or four weeks since…

No More Small Business UC
Uncategorized / July 23, 2013

A co-worker of mine forwarded me an e-mail earlier today that stated that Cisco was going to discontinue their UC300, UC500 and BE3000 series of products.  You can see the EOL notices here: UC 500:  http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7293/prod_eol_notices_list.html UC 300:  http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10782/prod_eol_notices_list.html BE3000: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw/ps6788/vcallcon/ps11370/end_of_life_notice_c51-729019.html If you read through the documents you will see that in addition to killing off these products, Cisco has also provided no real replacement product for this.  This decision has effectively removed Cisco from the S portion of the SMB market.  Several thoughts went through my head when this announcement came out and I thought that I would hash them out here. Thank you If I am totally honest, the first thought that went through my head was thank you.  I work for a Cisco partner and while our primary focus has not been the SMB line of products, we did have some customers out there that were using the UC5XX and UC3XX line of products (more the former than the latter).  While the 5XX series products were OK, that’s about all I could say about them.  Cisco would not support them if you configured from the command line instead of the GUI, even though there were still some…

The Power of Collaboration
Uncategorized / June 6, 2013

I just want to start by saying thank you.  Without everyone in the community working towards one goal of reversing a decision by Cisco we would have never succeeded. But let’s backtrack in case you haven’t been following this story.  Last week, Cisco made the announcement that they were upgrading the CCIE Voice track.  I thought this was a good idea until I heard how they were doing it.  They had decided that the CCIE Voice was going to be retired and the current CCIE Voice engineers would have no way of transitioning their existing certification over tot he new CCIE Collaboration.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  We were told that the transition path was to take the new CCIE and become a double IE (Voice and Collaboration).  As you can imagine, many many people were not amused. What happened next, was actually kind of magical.  In this age where politicians yell at each other and online discourse is usually relies more on insults than logic I saw many people posting professional, well thought-out and well said arguments about why the decision was wrong and what should be done to fix it. After some discussion on Twitter, I took a…

There Can Only Be One?
Uncategorized / May 2, 2013

I have recently started studying EMC to improve my knowledge in the storage arena. The choice of EMC was simply because the company I work for, though they CAN sell other storage vendors, has chosen EMC as their vendor of choice. Whether you agree with that or not, the fact is that it gains me access to more EMC training materials than other. This is all beside the point though. Upon learning that I have started studying storage stuff, I have had a number of people, some that are engineers and some that aren't, ask me if that meant that I was getting out of collaboration. Whoa, that was the first thing that you jumped to when I said I was studying a new technology? When I first heard the question, I thought that it was akin to asking someone if they were quitting the technology field altogether because they were studying a car repair manual to learn how to replace the fuel pump in their 1966 Galaxie. I can see where some people are coming from with this kind of thinking: I have spent so much time and effort getting to where I am in the collaboration space, why…

Video Killed the Radio Star
Uncategorized / June 20, 2012

I’ve just finished my fourth hour of telepresence calls for the day. It’s odd, because a couple of months ago I would have laughed if you said that I was going to spend that much time in video calling. It got me to thinking, does doing this stuff through video really make a difference? Does it make me more efficient, more productive, more fill in your adjective here? Cisco has been espousing the benefits of video for a number of years. A large number of years. I remember at least 10 years ago, I attended a Cisco IP Telephony Users Group conference in Dallas. Cisco got up and presented and started talking about all the video that they were going to be putting into the product. At the time, my company was running a 3.3 version of CallManager if I remember correctly and everyone in the room was a little upset that Cisco was focusing on adding video to the product instead of adding functionality that was already in every old TDM PBX. If there had been weapons available, I feel certain there would have been a bloodbath. In the years that followed, Cisco has been like Puxatony Phil, coming…