As this blog post explores, what should you include in the market projections for unified communications? Voice? Instant messaging? Email? Mobile / wireless communications? Audio / video conferencing? Leaving one or more of those elements out of the equation could grossly shrink the potential market and revenue projections, but including them all may give a false sense of grandeur to the UC market.
How would you predict the size and revenue potential of a market made up of varying components with no set elements?]]>
There is a variety of information that can be gathered by an attacker just by sniffing network traffic and placing calls to your network. There are also tools available to enable attackers to conduct vulnerability assessments and penetration tests against your voice network to find the weaknesses.
Read Locking Down VoIP for more about the security issues facing VoIP networks and the steps you should take to proactively identify and secure any holes in your voice infrastructure.]]>
The blade of that sword cuts both ways though. The downside is that merging the traditionally separate voice and data networks exposes each to the risks of the other and creates new vulnerabilities and exploits unique to the merged voice and data infrastructure. Read Voice Convergence Saves Money, Increases Risk for more about the security issues you should be aware of.]]>
BT’s Finder utility allows users of Microsoft Unified Communications to determine how and when communications get to them. Finder can be configured to filter communications based on specified criteria and reroute them to other users or groups while a user is away on business or out on vacation. Urgent or critical communications can be automatically converted from email text to speech and forwarded to voicemail or to a mobile phone in order to communicate with users without immediate access to email.
Finder accelerates delivery of critical information to the right person at the right time. It allows users to focus on business issues while the system handles presence, preference and device attributes in the background. In addition, Finder is another illustration of the impact of software-powered voice and the potential that exists when communications can be managed in a way that improves efficiency and enhances productivity.]]>
Networking hardware and IP telephony hardware vendors like Cisco, Nortel, and Avaya have been holding their own and occupy a pretty good chunk of unified communications real estate right now. But, as the power of software-powered voice and the ability to extend and expand functionality with custom applications dawns on the world, Microsoft and IBM will leave those companies in the dust.
Last Spring IBM published a list of the five trends they felt would drive the adoption and growth of unified communications. The list still seems valid today. Here is a summary of those five trends:
Joe Schurman, Founder and CEO of Evangelyze Communications and author of Microsoft Voice and Unified Communications, talks about this philosophy as it related to unified communications in a recent ITWorld.com article. Schurman writes “The CEO of a company wants to know if he or she is saving money and will be impressed if the solution can integrate into the company’s business strategy…”
Read Driving Business Value with Unified Communications to learn more about the direction of unified communications and how to realize the value of increased efficiency and reduced operating costs rather than focusing on the technology itself.]]>
That said, attackers are still working on refining how to compromise VoIP for gain. Many of the VoIP weaknesss are proprietary, meaning that they vary from vendor to vendor and make it more difficult for attackers to determine targets. However, there are three VoIP threats that are consistent across pretty much all VoIP implementations and two of the three are actually just new twists on old attacks that were used against traditional voice systems as well.
The three most common VoIP threats are voice spam (sometimes referred to as SPIT (Spam over Internet Telephony), toll fraud (or theft of service), and denial-of-service attacks. For more details about these threats and what you can do to protect your VoIP network against them, check out The Biggest VoIP Securiy Threats – and How to Stop Them.]]>
Securing communications is critical for most companies and is mandated by various regulations and guidelines. UC complicates things further by blurring the line between voice, email, instant messaging, network data, voicemail, etc.. A recent article from Network World explores the cracks that UC introduces into corporate network security as well as examining some of the myths or hype around VoIP security issues.]]>