’s Top 6 Posts for October 2010

by Matt Klassen on November 9, 2010

We here at Digitcom’s TheTelecomblog have always worked tirelessly to bring you the latest news, the best stories, and most interesting gadgets in the tech and telecom world, but every once in awhile a little shameless self-promotion finds its way in. So while October was a month that saw the release of the first real enterprise ready tablet device and the announcement that Rogers Wireless is developing a LTE 4G network, this month the exciting news was all about Digitcom.

In case you missed the email that we sent a couple of weeks ago, Digitcom was honoured with the Avaya SME (Small Medium) Business Partner of the Year Award at Avaya’s Dealer Conference in Las Vegas in recognition for its continued excellence, its unrivalled customer satisfaction rating, the ongoing outperformance of its strategic goals, and its role as an industry leader in Canada.

I would like to thank our talented employees whose unwavering commitment to our company has allowed us to build a world class organization delivering best in class solutions. Our success is a by product of the combined effort of all the people at Digitcom.

So while we don’t mean to boast, October truly was Digitcom’s month.

1. Digitcom Canada awarded Avaya’s SME Canadian Business Partner of the Year Award

It’s been a banner month for Digitcom as we received the prestigious Business Partner of the Year Award. As one of only a small handful of companies honoured at the conference among more than 1,300 Avaya Business Partners who represent Avaya products and services in North America Digitcom was recognized for its continued excellence, its unrivalled customer satisfaction rating, its continued outperformance of its strategic goals, and its role as an industry leader in Canada.

Further, Digitcom has made a strong commitment to the Avaya product as company President Jeff Wiener is currently the only Canadian to sit on the Avaya SME Advisory Council, while Digitcom itself is one of only a few select Avaya “SME Expert” dealers in North America.

2. A Retrospective on the Avaya Dealer Conference, Kennedy’s “Fit for Purpose”, and the New Avaya

While for many it may be a particular kind of torture to be in Las Vegas and not have the time to partake the city’s many attractions, for those attending the Avaya Dealer Conference it was the farthest thing from many of our minds.

Instead, for all of us in the Avaya family the conference was an invaluable resource, not only for the telecom information it delivered, but even more so for the glimpse it provided into what has happened with Avaya since the Nortel acquisition and, more importantly, where Avaya is headed in the future.

Avaya President and CEO Kevin Kennedy pointed to the new Avaya Flare as a transformational business device connecting voice, video, and business collaboration all in one simple-to-use hub. But it’s not just about Flare, Kennedy made clear, as it is merely one medium in the business communication market. The new business communications market is about bridging all communications, providing solutions to all of a business’s communication needs, and Avaya is going to lead the way.

3. One Phone to Rule Them All? WinPho7 Bridges the Corporate/Consumer Gap

Corporate IT departments across the continent are facing a crisis of sorts, the invasion of the consumer phone. For years IT departments have stuck with business oriented mobile devices like the Blackberry that are known for their security; but there’s only one problem with these devices, no one wants to use them when they go home. This has led to an annoying trend among mobile business users, as many people—including high level corporate managers—are forced to carry multiple phones to suite different purposes: One phone for work, one phone for home.

To add to this problem, much to the chagrin of those IT departments, employees are taking matters into their own hands by bringing their iPhones and Android phones to work and using them for business purposes. The problem with this, of course, is that those phones aren’t designed for that.

So in steps Microsoft with its new mobile operating system Windows Phone 7, the first OS designed to bridge that corporate/consumer gap. If you want a capable business phone that’s still fun to use when you get home, you want a WinPho7 device.

4. HP Launches Slate 500 for Business Users: Wins the Enterprise Race

For months the tech world has been figuring out how to unseat the iPad from its lofty position atop the relatively paltry pile of tablet devices. The problem most companies face is that they lack the marketing chops that Apple has, meaning that any device they produce will most assuredly not sell as well. This has led most companies to focus on the enterprise market instead, producing tablet devices that cater to the business community instead of to the consumer market in general.

With this in mind, it looks like HP is the first to the enterprise tablet dance, releasing the HP Slate 500, a fully capable business communications hub that still sports a number of fun-to-use features. The only problem with this device is its price tag, a staggering $799 for the base model. But if you’re looking to get your hands on a business oriented tablet device, to date HP’s Slate 500 is the best of the bunch. 

5. Rogers Steps Up the Speed Game with First LTE Technical Trial in Canada

Already holding the distinction of being the first carrier on the continent to release an HSPA+ network with speeds up to 21 Mbps, Rogers Wireless is now trying to be the first in Canada to roll out a next generation LTE (Long Term Evolution) network, otherwise known as 4G. But truth be told, Canadian network providers are actually lagging behind in the great 4G experiment, with American carriers already set to unveil their own LTE networks in the near future.

For its part, while the Rogers 4G experiment is still in its infancy, the company has announced its imminent plans to begin trials in the Ottawa area, meaning that lucky Ottawa residents may soon be enjoying the fastest network speeds in the country.

6. TELUS Opens New Flagship Store in Vancouver

In a move that had many in the Canadian telecom world scratching their heads, TELUS announced that it was unveiled a line of stores called Caya, short for “Come as You Are,” specifically catering to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community (LGBTQ). While the concern for reaching marginalized groups is laudable, questions were raised regarding whether TELUS was really promoting inclusion or simply trying to capitalize on extant cultural tensions to try and make a quick buck.

What confused many of our readers was why the LGBTQ community would need a specific telecommunications store to meet their needs, as if perhaps the regular old’ TELUS store down the street were somehow unfit or unable to provide the LGBTQ community quality communications services. Financial motives aside, it is nice to see companies reaching out to the various communities that make up the diverse mosaic of Canadian life.

7. A Cure for Autism? Apple’s iPad has an App for That

While it is the Top Six of October, honourable mention had to go out to the one story that caught people’s attention around the world. There’s no question that technology has changed our lives. It has revolutionized the way we communicate, the things we purchase, and the way we live. But beyond changing our lives, it’s nice to see that technology can be used to improve the lives of those that face additional challenges as well.

If you’re one of those that thought the iPad was just the latest and greatest tech gadget, you’ll be surprised to hear that it’s changing the way people with autism are able to communicate, helping them learn skills and providing them with interactive tools that turn the popular tablet into the perfect companion device.

So how does it work? Currently the iPad supports several different types of applications aimed at assisting people with autism, from facial feature recognition apps to pictorial scheduling and routine creation apps and everything in between.

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