Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August 2013 VCI-Group President’s Message

August 2013 VCI-Group President’s Message

This month I would like to focus on those companies that ensure that we have jobs—because they continue to implement new strategies and provide various services—those are our Alliance Members.

We look to these companies to set the direction of the industry and to transform it.  We expect them to have the foresight or a crystal ball to develop what will be needed in the next 3 to 5 years.  We are seeing legacy manufacturers developing applications for the iPad, tablets and smart devices.  Storage is moving from hardware to the cloud.  They are looking at verticals who themselves are transforming due to federal regulations, demographics and the need to provide “satisfaction” to their client; be it a patient or a student. 

Our Members have been addressing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) revolution and understand that we must make these devices work with our legacy infrastructure.  However, there is an influx of new companies in our industry who are really pushing the term “virtual”.  Consider that you will no longer need to have a receptionist at your facilities – that there is a “virtual” receptionist who can provide you with access to the facility.  What about finding a way through the facility or searching for the nearest restroom, restaurant or public transportation—enter wayfinding.

Are we implementing these by the hundreds or thousands?  No, not yet – but, it is only a matter of time.  Very soon you will only need to know one (1) telephone number for an individual.  You will not need to know someone’s office, cell, video number – one number will dial the individual on whatever device they are on; be it their desktop, laptop, tablet or cell phone – just one number or 1 SIP URL or an email address.

I encourage you to visit our web site and the Industry Sourcebook where we have listed all of our Alliance Members with the products and services that they offer.  Also, bi-monthly we publish our Newsletter and have information from our Alliance Members on any products or services that they may have introduced.  Lastly, each month we are conducting a webinar with one of our Alliance Members (Alliance Member Spotlight) who will present and discuss their latest product or service—this is an opportunity for you to stay abreast of what is happening in your respective vertical along with the industry at large.

It is our responsibility as End Users to continually inform our manufacturers and service providers with what OUR clients are asking for.  Don’t be shy. Your input will help make all of us better.
Toni Alonso
VCI-Group President

Monday, July 22, 2013

Register for August VCIG-Alliance Spotlight-ClearOne

VCI-Group Alliance Member Spotlight Sessions provide our community with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the offerings of several of VCI-Group's Alliance Members. Register for these events and avail yourself of these education opportunities on the many products and services our industry vendors have to offer.

If you are currently not a member of VCI-Group you may qualify to become an Associate Member of VCI-Group free for one year and see what we have to offer.
Click Here for More VCIG Events! Membership Information

Upcoming Events

Date: Thursday, August 1st, 2013 - 1:00 PM ET
Organization: ClearOne
Session Title: Hard Facts about the Software Age – Video Conferencing Evolution
Register: Click here to register for this event

Adi Regev
ClearOne, Vice President, Video Conferencing Business

Description: Video Conferencing continues to evolve. Knowing today’s trends and tomorrow’s direction is the key to providing future-proof solutions. It’s all about the user perspective - the roadblocks to adoptions and the solutions to true ROI. Software-based solutions provide affordability and flexibility beyond hardware-based counterparts; opening the way future-proof scalability – the solutions ClearOne offers.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Register Today for VCI-Group's July SIG (Special Intrest Group) Sessions

Technical & Engineering Special Interest Group

Date: Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 - 10:00-11:00AM ET 
Register: Click here to register for this event
Anshuman Mukerji
Anshuman Mukerji
Video and UC Architect – Accenture
Guest Speaker(s):
Tom Doria
Tom Doria
TelePresence Technology Group – Cisco
View Biography
Description: We’re happy to announce the rebirth of our Technical & Engineering Special Interest Group! This is a great forum for personal interaction with other VCI-Group Members on T&E issues.
The first session will focus on the various video protocols available today and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Tom Doria, SMO Program Manager of CTG Solutions at Cisco, will be presenting based on his recent white paper on “The Great Codec Debate.” Tom’s presentation will also cover what the new Microsoft Lync 2013 video codec has to offer, in terms of Interop with other video systems. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

Distance Learning Special Interest Group

Date: Thursday, July 25th, 2013 - 1:00-2:00PM ET 
Register: Click here to register for this event
Julie Best
Julie Best
Communications Director for the Idaho Education Network, a statewide network that provides broadband and video teleconference systems in Idaho
Description: The Distance Learning SIG meeting in July will focus on BYOBP (Bring Your Own Best Practices). We will hold a round table discussion of VGIC DL sig members on what is the no. 1 thing working for your distance learning program. Discuss what is working in your program that can be replicated in other distance learning environments, is sustainable, and you feel is the appropriate use of technology (i.e. mobility, fixed unit room layout, etc.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 2013 VCI-Group President’s Message

July 2013 VCI-Group President’s Message

As our industry continues to evolve it becomes very difficult for us as End Users, Implementers and Strategists to determine where to go for information.  There are now hundreds of companies in the visual and collaboration arena and more are entering every day.  Also, more services are being developed and offered monthly.  The dilemma is “how to keep up?”

We are committed to be the organization that will help you navigate the industry and keep you abreast of all that is happening throughout the industry.  To that end we have revised the Buyer’s Guide and have named it the Industry Sourcebook.  This Sourcebook provides you with a list of organizations and the products and services they offer.  You can navigate this reference tool by clicking a particular product/service category and get a list of companies that provide or represent that interest.

We also deliver monthly VCIG Live! webinars boasting record attendance on topics which are timely and pertinent to the changes in the industry—our last webinar on “Managed Services in the Cloud” was well attended and provided a thought provoking discussion amongst the panelists.  You can still view this webinar in our archived files.

Our Industry Events Calendar lists all of the events that are happening in our industry, this list includes webinars from manufacturers, service providers and other organizations; as well as, conferences.  These webinars cover a multitude of topics from SIP, Unified Communications and Microsoft Lync – there is something there for everyone.  Also, don’t miss our highlights, such as the End User Member or Alliance Member Spotlights – find out what some of the vendors are doing or; more importantly, your peers.

We also have an active Distance Learning and Healthcare Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Virtual meetings are held throughout the year – this is a perfect opportunity to find out what is happening in your vertical and to network.  We will also soon begin the Technical & Engineering SIG – so stay tuned for information on that SIG meetings.

Lastly, I want to point you to the Education & Resources section of our website.  You will start to find White Papers in this section of the website with the first one on “The Great Codec Debate” submitted by Thomas H. Doria of Cisco.  You will certainly want to read this as it is well written and certainly provocative.  Be aware that this is an exclusively member benefit and only open to VCI-Group Members.   

We have two (2) End User memberships; a Trial Membership which is good for one (1) calendar year and a Principal Membership which is $99 per year and should your organization not reimburse you for this remember that it is a tax deductible expense.

Stay informed, stay educated and continue to be the expert in your organization.
Toni Alonso
President, VCI-Group