NextPlane Blog

Is Your Desk Phone Going the Way of the Dodo?

Nov 12, 2014 11:00:00 AM

The telephone has evolved drastically in the roughly 140 years since Alexander Graham Bell filed the first patent for the transformative communications device. The goal of Bell’s invention was to transmit sounds telegraphically, and over the years, the technology evolved to the point where it displaced the telegraph altogether.

The telephone certainly marks a critical milestone in the evolution of communications technology in the business world. But over the past 20-so years, we’ve gradually seen the phone displaced by email. In fact, recent research indicates that employees send and receive roughly 120 emails each day, or one every four minutes.

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Prosumer Messaging Solutions: Designed for Both the Consumer and the Professional, but Serving Neither Effectively

Nov 3, 2014 7:00:00 AM

There’s a big difference between the kinds of messaging tools you need to communicate with your friends and family and those you need to communicate with your business partners and co-workers. The tools you use to communicate with your friends need to be easy to use and accessible while the tools you use to conduct business need to be secure.

In an attempt to meet these two very different needs, we’re seeing the rise of the “prosumer” messaging solution, or a set of tools designed for an audience that lies somewhere between professional-grade users and everyday consumers.

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Not All Glitter is Gold: Enterprise Collaboration Challengers 2

Oct 27, 2014 7:00:00 AM

It seems as though almost every day there’s a new collaboration app that’s touted as a true game changer.

On the surface, the solutions—like Cotap, Zula, IMO, Hall, Quip, Kato, Voxer, Glip, Google Hangouts, Uber, Biba, Convo and Slack, among many others—appear to be quite similar. But upon closer inspection, all of these apps have their own distinct personalities.

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Five Reasons Mobile Instant Messaging Will Overtake Email

Sep 29, 2014 3:12:00 AM

Combining dots and dashes, Samuel Morse is believed to have sent the first telegram in 1844. A little more than 50 years later, the technology had evolved to the point where Queen Victoria was using it.

Fast forward to 2014, and telegraph technology has mostly gone by the wayside. In fact, last year, India—the last country using the technology en masse—announced it would cease all telegram operations. (The United States shut down its telegraph service in 2006.)

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Is the Russian Mob, Chinese People’s Liberation Army or ISIS in Contact With Your End-Users?

Sep 24, 2014 2:22:00 AM

How did the Dyreza Trojan infect your end-users’ computers? Certainly it was not because there was a point of vulnerability on your perimeter firewall or your network lacked intrusion detection system.

One of the most common ways for malware or other viruses to infiltrate your corporate network is via a public instant messaging platform like Yahoo Messenger, Google Hangouts or Skype. These public networks give strangers the ability to contact your employees and start an unsolicited chat with them. On top of that, after hacking their accounts, hackers can pretend to be one of their colleagues, starting phony chat sessions and trying to get them to click an unsafe link.

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Presence Mapping Challenges - Part 1

Sep 22, 2014 10:00:00 AM

This is the first primer in our educational series covering presence technology. Part 1 discusses the fundamentals of presence technology and how different UC vendors handle presence status. In Part 2, we’ll dive into the technical aspects of how presence is translated through presence documents. Part 3 covers the increasingly complex challenges of translating presence across disparate UC platforms and how we accomplish this daunting feat.

Presence, aka “the dial tone of the 21st century” has become a ubiquitous part of most people’s daily work life. Yet, like the conventional dial tone, we rarely think about the remarkably complex technology underlying this fundamental component of our UC infrastructure. Instead, we simply rely on the red, green, and yellow icons to alert us to the availability of our co-workers and business associates.

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Three Reasons why you should not let public IM on your network

Aug 25, 2014 10:00:00 AM

We know of a number of companies that ban Spotify on their network for the fear of exposing their end-users to unwanted ads and potential of Spotify collecting information. However, these companies readily allow their end-users to use public IM services from Yahoo!, Skype and Google to talk to co-workers and colleagues in external organizations.

Let’s take a look at some of the obvious downsides to using these kinds of tools:

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Mobile-First or Die: UC Vendors’ Crucible

Aug 19, 2014 1:00:00 PM

According to Mary Meeker, in 2013, there were more smartphone users than laptop and desktop users put together, a clear indication that these kinds of devices are working to replace traditional computers.

The data speaks for itself: In December 2013, Americans spent 34 hours on their smartphones and tablets accessing the Web, according to Nielsen. During that same time period, they spent only 27 hours accessing the Web via a computer.

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What Is the CSCW Matrix and How Does It Change B2B UC Collaboration?

Jul 25, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Computers have been around for quite some time, but it wasn't until 1984 that Irene Greif and Paul Cashman coined the term "computer supported cooperative work" (CSCW). In essence, the CSCW postulated about how collaboration could be enhanced through computing.

In 1988, taking the idea a step further, sociologist Robert Johansen created the CSCW matrix to conceptualize the term. The four-square matrix addresses the four possible aspects of collaboration: individuals working together from the same location or remotely, and whether that work is occurring in real time or is asynchronous.

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A Different Take on UC Collaboration: Meet the Challengers

Jun 16, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Enterprise collaboration is more than just sending emails to peers. It’s about sharing documents, chatting in real time while in different locations, connecting teams via video conferences and sharing screens to remain on the same page, among other things.

Truly effective enterprise collaboration applications represent one of the most promising opportunities for cloud computing. During the last few years, several software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies have emerged with the promise of improving team and workplace collaboration. These include Quip, Biba, Zulip, Thinking Phones, Glip, Hall and Slack, among many others.

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