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Unified Communications: The Future of Technology

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

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Today on Tom's IT Pro: Cisco Chief Futurist: An Interview and Making It in IT: Take a Cert Step Up from MCSA/MCSE.

Chief technologist for Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, Dave Evans, says unified communications, something his company is putting a lot of stock in, is an entry point into a much, much broader conversation about the future of technology. Tom's IT Pro senior contributor William Van Winkle recently had the opportunity to speak with Evans about the where technology is headed and how unified communications is impacting today's corporate environments. Evans' background is in IT, computer science and computer engineering.

Literally a highly-connected executive, Evans maintains 38 persistent interconnections from his own devices running off of a 50 Mbps personal Internet connection. As William notes, Evans future thinking ranges from automobile interfaces to the blending of human and machine into a new species. Cisco created his current role, where he spends a lot of his time as an outwardly-facing futurist helping the company's customers understand what's happening in the world of technology, about four or five years ago.

When speaking to companies, Evans explained to William that he tends to keep his talks about the future more near-term for customers, "like the next set of three to five years. I’ve found that as you start going much past that, it becomes too subjective and less relevant. Companies tend to make their business plans for the next two to three years, so I keep it more grounded. However, I have a presentation I’m doing lately called 10 and 10. It’s ten technology trends over the next ten years, and I’ve found that that’s actually a fairly good horizon to get people thinking about."

Catch Williams complete interview and in-depth conversation with Cisco's chief  futurist here.

Also today on Tom's IT Pro, IT training and certification guru Ed Tittel guides a reader to additional Microsoft credentials beyond the  (pretty much) now obsolete MCSA/MCSE certs to help move his career in IT forward. Ed explains to the Australian IT pro, who is at the beginning of his career, that his inclinations towards Microsoft certification is sound. However, he needs to keep in mind that the MCSA and MCSE certs are now essentially defunct, as they will end with Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

"What you want to go after are the MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist) and MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) credentials, on Windows 7or 8 on the desktop side, and Windows Server 2008 R2 or perhaps even “Windows Server 8”– a code name for “the next upcoming version of Windows Server,” due out sometime early in 2013)," Ed writes in his Tom's IT Pro Making It in IT blog. 

Read here for all of Ed's advice to this IT professional.    

James Alan Miller is Managing Editor of Tom's IT Pro. He is a veteran technology journalist with over seventeen years of experience creating and developing magazine and online content. Founding editor of numerous business and enterprise computing sites at the network, James headed up the After Hours section at PC Magazine, as well as hardware and software sections of various Windows publications.