Date Archives August 2010

Could Google’s Latest Move Spell Trouble for the Unified Communications Market?

Over the last few years, the battle for the desktop has been intensifying between some of the biggest technology names in the world. It wouldn’t surprise folks to see Microsoft, IBM and Cisco all pitching to convince companies to use their platform and suite of applications across an enterprise.

However, just as the line has blurred between work and play, the traditional “enterprise” players are seeing new entrants join the fray. Frost and Sullivan’s recent article on Google’s acquisition and development of a Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration suite reveals the heightened interest of traditional consumer-based players, as they try to penetrate the workplace as well. They do have a ways to go to before they can compete with the established, feature-rich solutions provided by the traditional players. However, the brand recognition and “cloud”-based approach Google will most likely take with its UC offerings could enable them to make inroads into the corporate world.

Here at AVI-SPL, we take a neutral approach to technology solutions. We help our customers deploy and leverage UC tools and applications, and are focused on solutions that best fit their requirements and budget. We do not see Google UC gaining a large market share in the enterprise in the near future. In the next few years, however, we expect that Google will be considered a viable option for corporations on a wider scale.

The above is written by Michael Brandofino, executive vice president of VTC and UC, AVI-SPL.

As momentum on this story grows, we’d like to hear from you too. Does Google have what it takes to become a strong contender in such a tightly-established market?

Behind-the-scenes: LA County Fire Department Photo Shoot

LA Fire House Video Wall Installation

We’re giving you a sneak peak at the recent photo shoot for AVI-SPL’s project for the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD) – one of the largest fire departments in the country! With nearly 4,000 dedicated personnel responsible for fire suppression, emergency medical services, lifeguard operations, airlift rescues and additional operations, how does the fire department effectively coordinate all their efforts?

Simple: The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the LACFD headquarters in Commerce, Calif.

About 26 operator stations fill the main EOC floor, with each dispatcher supporting designated North, Central and East regions of Los Angeles County. Dispatchers previously relied on the use of 36-inch CRT TVs on carts to relay critical information throughout the EOC. Unfortunately, with this type of arrangement, sharing reports from neighboring regions required personnel to constantly rush between stations, costing valuable time and energy in a larger crisis like wildfires or earthquakes.

LA Fire House AV Installation

AVI-SPL’s solution: A video wall arranged in a 2 x 4 array featuring 70-inch video wall cubes with 16:9 wide-screen capabilities.

What else? To learn more about the advancements made to the LACFD’s Emergency Operations Center, check out the case study and view a complete gallery of photos. Or take a peek at other control room AV installations.

Polycom, Microsoft to integrate Unified Communications offerings

Polycom and Microsoft have announced a channel partnership to increase Microsoft’s Unified Communications (UC) offerings. As a part of the multi-year global agreement, Polycom will develop and provide integrated end-to-end UC solutions, including room-based video systems, for Microsoft’s clients. Under this partnership, Polycom becomes a member of Microsoft’s key strategic global alliance.

AVI-SPL Director of Video and UC Project Management John Vitale shared his thoughts about the partnership: “I think this is a good step for both Microsoft and Polycom to take and help accelerate the adoption of Unified Communications. In the past, video has always been the ‘leave it for later’ feature of UC due to its challenges with mass scale deployment in an enterprise. Polycom and Microsoft teaming up to help solve these issues can only help the situation. I’m looking forward to the fruit this partnership will bear.”

For more information about the agreement, click here to read the announcement and watch a brief video featuring Microsoft Corporate Vice President of UC Products and Polycom President and CEO.