joe.schurman

Recovering My Start-up…and My Life!

I had a great idea after leaving Microsoft Research.  Build applications that sit on top of UC (Unified Communications) platforms to provide organizations with real ROI (Return on Investment) by enabling them to use their UC client software for all their business communications and collaboration, not just conference calls!  The point of UC is to consolidate communications and collaboration to a single, “unified” interface, so we thought, let’s extend that to applications that organizations actually use on a daily basis like Web Chat for any organization with a website who are paying web chat providers a monthly fee for all their representatives when they are now enabled with a UC client application like Microsoft Lync.  Furthering this concept with specific industry use such as with patient care in hospitals by enabling communication and collaboration with existing HMS (Healthcare Management Systems) and EMR (Electronic Medical Record) software platforms, online education for K-12, universities, community colleges and training providers, and to build features we found to be critical when implementing a new software-based UC platform, like enabling organizations to re-use their existing hardware-based phones.  So that was the concept and we prevailed!  To generate funding for applications, we provided UC infrastructure deployment services and deployed over 50+ UC installations for Microsoft with Office Communications Server 2007 R2 with Enterprise Voice, coincidentally becoming one of the Top 10 global UC services firms for Microsoft…and that was not in our business plan:).  We used that revenue with some friends and family funding and built SmartSIP, to connect the Microsoft UC platform to organizations’ existing hardware-based phones.  When seeking funding to build our Web Chat application further, SmartChat, we were approached for acquisition by leading Contact and Call Center providers in the marketplace at a $7.5M valuation…after only putting in $750K plus profit from services revenue.  Instead, we sold SmartSIP via IP acquisition (Product was still in Beta) and used the funding to build out SmartChat.  We were even showcased on a CNN and FOX business series called, “The Today in America Show”!

All was going great…and then…I got sick.  Really sick.   Read More

The most significant ROI in the UC market is about to come!

If you have not heard of Dr. Sandy Pentland (http://web.media.mit.edu/~sandy/) and his team at MIT in Cambridge, Mass, lend an ear! After over a decade of research and development, Pentland, his team at MIT, and one of the many companies that he has founded, Sense Networks, has been developing and perfecting a science that has been considered one of the top 10 most innovative technologies by the likes of Dr. Stephen Hawking, who also showcased Pentland and team on his new series covered by The Science Channel called, “Brave New World with Stephen Hawking”.  The science is called Human Dynamics and Reality Mining.

So why is this science, when applied to Unified Communications technology, going to provide organizations with the ability to enable their organizations with the highest level of productivity and in return, the largest ROI of any UC platform investment? Read More

@CompTIA #AMM12 Event (Chicago, IL)

I will be posting and tweeting from the annual CompTIA AMM event in Chicago this week. Stay tuned for relevant information regarding Unified Communications, Cloud, and Mobility trends. Join AMM today to help shape the future of the UC Marketplace including the creation of a new UC Trustmark for members.  Join via http://www.comptia.org/membership/communities/Unified_Communications.aspx.

 

Evangelyze Communications (EC) announces SmartChat R3 release!

See press release for more details via http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9273063.htm or the EC company website via http://www.evangelyze.net.  Great job team!

Top 10 Enterprise UC Concerns for 2012

Based on a 5-month research study involving 15 Enterprise Customers/Organizations, 4 Enterprise UC Resellers, and 2 Enterprise UC MSPs (Service Providers), as well as taking a recent poll at the UC3 Summit in Phoenix this past week, I have solidified the most focused concerns for the enterprise for UC in 2012 so vendors, channel partners, MSPs, and customers please take note. I welcome your comments and feedback as well to keep this content fresh and clear. Read More

Microsoft takes the Cloud by storm with Office 365 and Lync Online!

Regardless of my previous comments related to Lync On-premise voice services being “enterprise ready”, you cannot deny that Microsoft has definitely punched a hole in the sky with Office 365 Cloud services. Taking the leading desktop collaboration solution in the market with Microsoft Lync, Lync Online delivers 100% dependability for organizations of any size. Realizing Lync’s dominance on the desktop, leading UC vendors have fallen suit in a convergence path offering enterprise-scale voice and video solutions providing co-existence capabilities which now provide customers with flexibility in order to offer onsite and remote users with a choice of client and a fit-for-purpose solution.

Read More

UC Symposium & UC3 Summit Event

If you’re in the Unified Communications market, you definitely need to attend the upcoming CompTIA UC Symposium and DiscussUC.com’s UC3 Summit from February 6th – 9th at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Read More

Unified Communications in 2011 Review

In short, 2011 was a very interesting year.  With the global market still affected by economic downturn despite small surges of profitability in select, niche areas, the result we are left with is an economy comprised of more intelligent buyers and a sifting of providers like that of one panning for gold in a previously tapped basin, with those remaining in business, weathered, but still standing.  Yes, 2011 was a true test to many industries and many of us in the Unified Communications market were not shielded by this blanket of continued strain.  What is really happening here can be compared to any other systematic cycle where the system resets itself and makes way for the new, leaving lessons learned in hopes for preparation for the next cycle to occur.  I know I have learned more in this past year than in many years combined, having to make tough financial decisions and spending more time analyzing the right strategic next move as most executives have this past year.

Read More

Avaya ACE Discussion via VoIPNorm’s Blog

If you haven’t read this blog post and commentary already, I heavily encourage you to do so as the responses from representatives from Microsoft, Avaya, and independently via the industry were very informative and provide good insight as to what’s going on with respect to Avaya / Microsoft coexistence and integration as well as information related to key pros and cons regarding both Microsoft and Avaya’s UC Application API architectures with Avaya ACE (Agile Communications Environment) and Microsoft’s UCMA (Unified Communications Managed API).

Click here to read the discussion

Hello, again!

Hallo, yes, I’m Dutch, not a typo!  It’s been a while since I have posted literally anything of my own accord so I’d like to start this, my first personal blog since 2002, with a simple greeting.  This is definitely something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now in an effort to offer non-biased analysis and comment via a forum that is entirely my own production and would have published this earlier, but due to a very chaotic 2011, it was not possible.

Read More

%d bloggers like this: