UC Summit 2011 Podcast: NEC

31 Mar 2011
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UCStrategies' Dave Michels interviews David Jantz of NEC following his keynote presentation at UC Summit 2011, held March 27-30 in La Jolla, CA. NEC is a Platinum sponsor of UC Summit 2011.

Dave Michels: Hi, this is Dave Michels with the UCStrategies team and I am here with David Jantz, Director of Strategic Sales at NEC, who earlier did a keynote session entitled, Communicate, Consolidate, Consummate - Understood. David can you explain the title to our podcast audience?

David Jantz: Absolutely and first of all, let me just thank you Dave, for having me down. The title was actually rooted from my attempt to be broad enough to not be pinned into any given corner. But after coming up with the title, what I decided is that it probably had more relevance than I gave it credit for when I first submitted it. Obviously from a communications perspective, nowadays that's what it is all about, but it's not about voice, it always was about voice, but it's not, it's about every form of human interaction under communicate. From a consolidation perspective, it is simply just that. We all know what is going on in the data center. We all know what is going on with virtualization. We all know what is going on with the need to do more with less, etc., etc., etc. So that gave me a little bit of room to talk about how UC in general can allow or support a momentum and with respect to consolidation of business efforts. And consummate was strictly humor-hoping somebody would giggle out in the audience and think about consummation in general in its most literal form. But then, as I also started thinking about that, I thought what are we here for, right? We are here to consummate relationships, establish relationships, etc., so being not quite so literal, it seemed to work. And understood was probably the most important part for the keynote. And that was simply that the message is - I don't want to say tired - but we're all saying the same message. We all get it now and now it's about distinguishing yourself. Now it's about finding relevant differences between vendor A and vendor B and what they bring to the market.

Dave Michels: Well, you talk about communication and understanding, but yet you also talked about the antisocial, social network. Can you explain that concept?

David Jantz: I have been quite fascinated with the - what's going on from a physiological and maybe even a psychological level with social networking in general for quite some time. And so I throw that in my presentation because I think it's important that all of us look at what is really going on. Social networking obviously has become a very pervasive technology. And yet to me, I think that if we are not careful what we're doing is we're very close to walking and crossing over a line where the exact opposite is occurring. And that is to say that we feel warmed and connected while we are a friend to a hundred or a thousand people, co-workers, etc., and yet we're satisfied to not actually reach out, but more be able to meet and measure our responses alone behind a keyboard, rather than face-to-face. So my point there is to at least just to stir up thought, as it relates to how we're communicating as humans together today.

Dave Michels: I am sorry, I wasn't listening to you I was busy sending a tweet. But did you somewhere in that response talk about CEBP, because I think that was connected as well to your anti-social network.

David Jantz: I talk about CEBP as it relates to the some context, in as much as CEBP is ultimately the goal, right? It's the Holy Grail of unified communications and that's being able to enable any worker, any role, within a business community, to be able to extrapolate, connect, and make their tasks easier by accessing these unified communications tools, regardless of what they happened or where they happen to work within. The thing I think that we all should stay focused on is that it's not - I think that the tendency is to be able to provide this pervasive and this presence status information and then provide choice as to how people communicate. And I think if we're not careful, what we'll do is we will begin to alienate rather than bring together. So my point is that as important as it is for us to enable and bring and expand and speed up business processes, that we not lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, it's about communications.

Dave Michels: NEC has been in the communications business for quite some time and you were talking about NEC's products. You referred to it as NEC's UC&C architecture. Is that the same products that you have had before; is it Sphericall with a new name? What is UC&C at NEC?

David Jantz: I think it's fair to say that right now, from an evolutionary perspective, it's probably more Sphericall under a different name than it is a new product. And looking forward, Sphericall will become probably - whereas historically what was at one time the NEAX product line that has become the SV product line - was the foundation of our success in the marketplace. Sphericall is rapidly outpacing from a capabilities perspective, where NEC is going from a communications platform standpoint. So what we see in the UC&C architecture is our commitment to allowing the SV platform consumer - the historical NEAX consumer-being provided a path to the benefits of a soft PBX, and so what you'll see from NEC is a combination and a delivery that is based upon the feature maturity of the SV platform, with it's some 900+ features that evolved over time; the absolute beauty, flexibility, and elegance of Sphericall and all of it's dynamic SIP deliverables brought into a single soft deliverable. So UC&C right now is essentially a roadmap to a vision to be able to make sure that we not only address the needs of tomorrow's consumers in unified communications, but also write a path the existing users of UC technologies that need to migrate to more of a cloud or private cloud virtualized infrastructure.

Dave Michels: Another term you used when you are describing this architecture is Ria or RIA, it's a TLA I am not familiar with, and can you elaborate on that?

David Jantz: Yeah, I have to chuckle on that a little bit when that one comes up, because I am not too far different from you in that, Dave. The way it has been explained to me is that RIA is the technology that is at the root of flash technology. And so what that does for you is it provides a more immediate internet browser-based experience, i.e. in a flash video-type of technology than a typical or the normal browser-based interface. So it simply provides a more contextual, quicker, richer, elegant interface for browser-based access.

Dave Michels: Access is a word that you used quite a bit. You talked about the importance of access versus the importance of hardware, but you have a point that surprised me - you said, power is a bigger issue than access.

David Jantz: Another one that makes me chuckle. We run around with our smartphones, we run around with our wireless laptops and we go into a hotel room or we go home and the first thing we do is look for someplace, somewhere to plug them in.

Dave Michels: They are very carefully hidden, usually.

David Jantz: They are very carefully hidden - behind the couch, etc. I know it is here. And so I think that as we move forward there are a couple of things to look forward to and that is - and NEC is actually doing some very interesting things with bioplastics that generate power because right now, we're still tethered. We're still tethered and I don't know that that is a bad thing, but I do know that with the maturity of wireless and where wireless is today and how pervasive it is... We go to a hotel, we don't look to see what type of phone is next to the bed. We don't hardly look for the light switch. We look to see if we have wireless access. We look to see what our access is to the outside world. I think that from a company standpoint, we still have to overcome the cost and the inconvenience of powered devices. I think also that one could look at wireless - and I know these things are possible now because you can see them in the early stages of development or exploratory research - and that is that power needs to also be delivered. It needs to be delivered -delivered in a wireless fashion.

Dave Michels: Excellent. Okay, well that is all our time here in La Jolla, California. Thank you very much, David and we will see you at the next conference.

David Jantz: Thank you very much for having me.

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