TheTelecomblog’s Top Six Posts for April 2012

by Jeff Wiener on May 7, 2012

1. Understanding Network Security in the Age of Unified Communications

In this “always-on” age of connected everything it can be a nightmare for enterprise IT departments to manage the exponential proliferation of hardware and employee devices connected to the corporate network. The current trend in mobile technology is seeing corporate users moving away from traditional business mobile devices like Blackberry to consumer friendly (and often less secure) devices like the iPhone, meaning that IT departments need to be increasingly vigilant to ward off potentially devastating security breaches.

To better manage this connected everything future, where every workplace device from security cameras, to air conditioning, to computers and phones will soon be networked, unified communications (UC) promises a brave new world of connectivity and integration, where users can use any device they choose to fulfill most any communications need.

2. Avaya’s New Ethernet Switches: Thinking Big for Small Businesses!

This month Avaya formally launched the Ethernet Routing Switch 3500 Series – a series of compact Ethernet switches designed for small and medium enterprises, branch offices, and open environments requiring silent operation.

The company says the 6 new 3500 Series switches are also optimal for open environments as classrooms and hospital suites. All these switches support plug-and-play capabilities for Internet Protocol (IP) phones and can be configured using just a single command to automatically provision the switch and enable all IP phones on an Avaya IP Office system. Some models also offer enhanced Power over Ethernet (PoE+) capabilities for powering such devices as IP phones, wireless access points and video surveillance cameras.

3. Nortel Bankruptcy Mediation Commences

In what is one of the saddest stories of Canadian industry in recent memory, Nortel’s liquidation appears to be reaching its final stages. We’ve covered a few elements of this tale here, from the patent auction to Ottawa’s non-review of the auction and the fall-out for pensioners.

The multinational telecommunications equipment manufacturer has also been going through some legal entanglements associated with some less-than-legal accounting practices. Former CEO Frank Dunn, ex-CFO Douglas Beatty and ex-controller Michael Gollogly are charged with cooking the books and essentially defrauding Nortel of roughly $12.8 million in bonuses.

And now, mediation over the $9 billion in assets remaining in the fold is proving to be more than a little complex.

4. Google Drive Assumes Proprietary Control over your Information

This month Google finally unveiled its long awaited cloud storage service, Google Drive. With the age of third party cloud storage already well underway, Google’s new service has once again raised long standing privacy issues related to ownership, control, and usage of information stored in the cloud.

While several large cloud storage services do allow users to retain control over their information, following the release of Google Drive yesterday many have found the Terms of Service agreement to be particularly disconcerting, as with its new cloud service Google lays claim to everything you own.

5. Era of Low Cost Chinese Labour at an End

For years now technology companies have been outsourcing the manufacturing of our favourite devices to countries like China, countries where labour costs are lower and working conditions, as we’ve heard recently, are absolutely abhorrent.

Amazingly, however, voices louder than the siren song of the almighty dollar have been heard of late, voices drawing attention to the ethical atrocities being committed in the production of our favourite gadgets overseas, voices calling for meaningful systemic change to current labour practices. In response both Apple and Foxconn pledged to tackle the issue of substandard working conditions in Chinese factories, changes, analysts predict, that will invariably dethrone China as the world’s “lowest-cost producer of everything.”

6. Wind Mobile Loses Roaming Appeal (Again)!

As the upcoming spectrum auction inches closer, Wind Mobile has time and again threatened a boycott claiming the rules do not provide a level playing field for smaller players with enough spectrum to launch LTE. And that’s not all; rumours suggest a management shuffle at Wind is likely to happen sooner than later in response to the recent changes to the foreign investment structure in Canada’s telecommunications industry.

And just when you think it can’t get any worse, Wind Mobile yesterday lost an appeal to the CRTC regarding its request to review an earlier decision on seamless roaming.

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