MFP Article Brief………Are Smart MFPs the workplace of the future?

May 17, 2007

MFP Brief

It’s Monday 28th, 2009.

You’re at Heathrow, at the start of what promises to be a nightmare press trip.

These occasions are never enjoyable, but for the next three days you’ve got to babysit the two biggest winkers in IT journalism (and that’s up against some pretty stiff opposition!). Let’s call them Don Cher-Know and Hugh Whyam. Put them together, and it’s murder.

The press trip’s off to a terrible start. Don’s forgotten his passport. And Hugh’s lost the lead to his laptop, and desperately needs to file his urgent story, for his blog “Comments Nil, Trackback Nil” right now.

Luckily, there’s a number of Smart MFPs in the airport. Hugh refuses to use the one in McDonalds, and Don won’t patronise Starbucks. But finally, you find a free one in the airport lounge.

Through the MFP’s browser, you manage to locate a copy of Don’s passport (on an Al Qaeda site, where they’re mass producing them) and print it off, In astonishingly good colour.

Meanwhile Hugh is handwriting his enormously important blog. This can be scanned into the MFP, which then uses OCR to turn the characters into text, which can then be posted onto Hugh’s blog.

How did we get here?

That’s the question I want to answer in a feature for Microscope.

How did today’s dull MFPs become tomorrow’s exciting new workplace environment?

What work was carried out, by the various printer manufacturers, to create this new generation of what Gartner calls Smart MFPs?

The key here is: how do you enable MFPs to run networked applications. I want yo to think about that this week-end. And come up with some answers.

What were the challenges in creating an efficient interface between networked applications and MFPs.

What were the different approaches taken by various vendors?

Xerox, for example, uses web services to create a development platform for partners to work on. Whereas HP relies on Java.

Most importantly of all, what are the money making opportunities that were created for Microscope’s readers, the legions of resellers, dealers, ISVs, developers and systems integrators.

Can anyone help?

In future, MFPs will be smarter. The workplace will be even more complex. And journalist will still be winkers.

But what’s your client’s vision of the future?

You can never win an argument with an idiot

February 19, 2007

Click here to hear a man making death threats to me

http://www.spymac.com/details/?1813867

the funny thing is, he’s into ‘word of mouth marketing’

Networking Industry Consolidation

February 19, 2007

Cisco recently bought IronPort, and the Alcatel Lucent merger has finally gone through. But does all this acquisition activity mean less choice for VARs and end-users? Or does it mean more integration plug and play style technology? What are the major mergers of last year and what mergers or buyouts had the greatest effect on the networking channel? What will happen this year in mergers within the networking sector?

Do you have a network industry expert, who could give me a breakdown on all the acquisition activity that Cisco has been involved in during the last two years?

And could comment on what Cisco’s strategy appears to be? They seem to be invading all the territory of all the companies (service providers like IBM, and security vendors like Symantec) that used to be their partners.

Meanwhile, how will their rivals, at Alcatel/Lucent shape up? They shed a load of staff recently, but are there any encouraging signs for them?

What does all the acquisition mean for the channel? Should resellers look for new, niche partners, who will give them higher margins? But where are they?

What technology areas are the involved in? And how long will it be before Cisco neutralises them too?

What are the hot new technology areas, where niche players can offer high margin alternatives to Cisco? SSL VPNs? Wan Acceleration? Network security?

Are you an IT integrator, or networking reseller? Have you been shafted following a merger between two vendors? What’s the typical chain on events?

If you have any experts who can comment on this, it would be great.

Or any market reports that identify any exciting new areas.
The Three Stages of a new invention:

Every new technology area has three stages of reaction from Cisco:
1. It’ll never work. 2. It might work, but why would you want to. 3. We’ve said this was a god idea all along.

The Five Stages of Hot technology:
What is DataGrab?
Get me DataGrab
Get Me a Datagrab lookalike
Cisco’s Bought DataGrab
What was DataGrab?

Whiteboards: Are they a waste of time and money?

February 5, 2007

Here’s a top line extract from a report from London’s Institute of Education said: “Although the newness of the technology was initially welcomed by pupils any boost in motivation seems short-lived. Statistical analysis showed no impact on pupil performance in the first year departments were fully equipped.”

Are whiteboards a waste of money?

Do teachers really believe whiteboards are useless?

How many more do we expect to sell?

How should resellers overcome those objections?

How much more of a market is there?
(quote some analysts stats)

Business Continuity for the Channel?

January 29, 2007

Before Xmas, Array Networks was telling a great story about its new Flex License business continuity plan.

These SSL Virtual Private Networks were going to automate disaster recovery. Which would not only save enterprise customers millions, it would make business continuity affordable to SMBs. And it would make a lot of money for IT resellers.

But Xmas is over now, and Array don’t have a UK office any more.

There’s continuity for you!

Do you have a better business continuity story to tell? I hope you. Please answer the questions below.

What are the top ten (or seven or five) threats to business continuity? (in order of importance)

Which sectors are particularly prone to stoppages? Which are particularly threatened?
(Banking? Retail? )

Are SMBs worth offering business continuity services to? Or are they just too small, and unwilling to pay?

Is anyone attempting to offer them BC services?

What are the major disciplines in business? Technology? Back Ups? People management? Logistics?

What types of service can resellers offer?

Are you a vendor? Outline your business proposition for your partners?

What are the dangers of offering business continuity? Could you be sued if your continuity service doesn’t deliver, even if it was for reasons outside your control?

Case studies:
Has anyone got any great business continuity stories? Can you strip out all the adjectives and tell them in less than 50 words?

FACTS AND FIGURES:
Got any interesting stats?
The cost of downtime? The dangers of downtime? The likelihood of a terrorist strike?

Box:
What are the questions we should ask about business continuity?

I can quote you in a magazine article on this subject if you include the following:
Name, job title, company name, company switchboard number, company web address.
A picture (jpeg of 300 DPI) is always helpful.

Traditional Phone Systems

December 6, 2006

These days, there’s not much to choose between various phone systems.

The one differentiator is the service you get from your supplier.

Has anyone ever bought any of the following systems. If so, what sort of company are you, and how did the service cater to your needs? And what were the limitations?

Aastra Intelligate 150

Aastra Intelligate 300

Aastra Intelligate 2025

Aastra Intelligate 2045

NEC INFRONTIA NX120

PANASONIC KX-TDA15

PANASONIC KX-TDA30

PANASONIC KX-TDA100

SIEMENS HIPATH 3300/3350

SIEMENS HIPATH 3500/3550

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX 100

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX 200

Aastra Intelligate 2065

ALCATEL OMNIPCX ENTERPRISE

ALCATEL OMNIPCX OFFICE

NEC INFRONTIA ASPIRE

PANASONIC KX-TDA200

PANASONIC KX-TDA600

SIEMENS HIPATH 3800

TELEWARE IP EXTENSION SERVICES

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX670

Internet telephony: is it worth the risk?

December 6, 2006

Is it worth opting for VoIP? I’ve heard some horror stories about Internet telephony.
Anyone got any experience of the following:

BT BUSINESS BROADBAND VOICE

Aastra Intelligate 150

Aastra Intelligate 2025

Aastra Intelligate 300

Aastra Intelligate 3025

AVAYA IP OFFICE

GRADWELL CENTREX
Gradwell is one of the better IP Centrex providers. They can give you all kinds of numbers, one for every town in the UK, if you want to impress people that you’re company has UK coverage. For me there is still a question over IP Centrex, but if you’re feeling brave you could enjoy some benefits here.

NEC INFRONTIA XN12

SIEMENS HIPATH 2000

SIEMENS HIPATH BIZ IP

SWYX SWYXWARE COMPACT
This is a pure software-based phone system. The handset apart, there’s no specific hardware needed. It integrates with any other software application on your network. So you can route a call by clicking on a number, whether it appears in a Word document, a spreadsheet, or it’s on a web site. Very convenient.

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX 100

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX 100 (?)

Aastra Intelligate 2065

ALCATEL OMNIPCX OFFICE

ALCATEL OMNIPCX ENTERPRISE

CISCO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

MITEL 3300 IP

MKC 7000 CS SIP

NEC INFRONTIA ASPIRE

SIEMENS HIPATH 5000

SWYX SWYXWARE ESSENTIAL
The great thing about these softphones is that adding an extra line is as easy as plugging in a USB cable. These are 100 per cent customisable too, through a graphical user interface. Which means you can personalise the phone to you’re your preferences.

TELEWARE INTELLIGENT EXCHANGE

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX 670

Internet telephony: is it worth the risk?

December 6, 2006

Is it worth opting for VoIP? I’ve heard some horror stories about Internet telephony.
Anyone got any experience of the following:

BT BUSINESS BROADBAND VOICE

Aastra Intelligate 150

Aastra Intelligate 2025

Aastra Intelligate 300

Aastra Intelligate 3025

AVAYA IP OFFICE

GRADWELL CENTREX
Gradwell is one of the better IP Centrex providers. They can give you all kinds of numbers, one for every town in the UK, if you want to impress people that you’re company has UK coverage. For me there is still a question over IP Centrex, but if you’re feeling brave you could enjoy some benefits here.

NEC INFRONTIA XN12

SIEMENS HIPATH 2000

SIEMENS HIPATH BIZ IP

SWYX SWYXWARE COMPACT
This is a pure software-based phone system. The handset apart, there’s no specific hardware needed. It integrates with any other software application on your network. So you can route a call by clicking on a number, whether it appears in a Word document, a spreadsheet, or it’s on a web site. Very convenient.

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX 100

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX 100 (?)

Aastra Intelligate 2065

ALCATEL OMNIPCX OFFICE

ALCATEL OMNIPCX ENTERPRISE

CISCO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

MITEL 3300 IP

MKC 7000 CS SIP

NEC INFRONTIA ASPIRE

SIEMENS HIPATH 5000

SWYX SWYXWARE ESSENTIAL
The great thing about these softphones is that adding an extra line is as easy as plugging in a USB cable. These are 100 per cent customisable too, through a graphical user interface. Which means you can personalise the phone to you’re your preferences.

TELEWARE INTELLIGENT EXCHANGE

TOSHIBA STRATA CIX 670

Internet Telephone Systems

December 5, 2006

Should small and medium sized businesses avoid Internet telephony?

There are some dodgy suppliers out there, aren’t there? Can you name any good ones.

There are some quality issues with Internet Telephony aren;t there? I say (oooh, this is annoying) THERE. ARE. SOME. I Say SOME.QUALITY PROBLEMS with some services, are there not?

Is there a businesslike Internet Telephony service provider out there?

Do SMEs really need all these millions of fancy features? Can you name anyone who uses Internet telephony in a creative way?

Has anyone been stiffed by an Internet telephony, or VoIP, salesman? Anyone who forgot to tell you that you’ll have to re-print all yor stationery and marketing collateral, because you won’t be keeping your original phone numbers?

Has anyone had to take an Internet Telephony ‘expert’ to court? (Apaprt from me)

Mobile Contentment

December 5, 2006

Do you think the newspapers get it right about the mobile phone industry?

Do you want to put your side of the argument?

Is anyone making money out of mobile phone content, apart from porn merchants? Who?

Are there enough mug punters out there who want to watch slow motion action replays on their mobile phone?

Have you heard the joke about 3G? it’s the technology of the future: and it always will be! Do you think that’s a little unfair?

Do you know anyone doing anything clever on the ‘mobile internet’?

Do you know of any clever applications for mobiles?