11 Green Scenes From VoiceCon

Maybe it's because Monday was St. Patrick's Day. Maybe green is just a nice color. Or maybe, just maybe, one of the main themes of VoiceCon Orlando 2008 focuses on what role new and emerging technologies play in the environment. Regardless the reason, there sure was a heck of a lot of green to be seen on the VoiceCon show floor as the event kicked off its 18th year Monday.

Another reason for the green could have a little bit to do with Nobel Laureate and former vice president Al Gore coming to VoiceCon via Cisco TelePresence to discuss how technologies can help in the fight against climate change, a topic Gore passionately chronicled in his global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

Either way, everywhere you turned something green was happening. The show itself even got in on it, offering recycling bins for discarded badges and lanyards (pictured).

Here are some of our favorite green scenes from the first day of VoiceCon Orlando 2008.

Driving For The Green

Nuance Communications had folks swinging for the green at its booth, which featured Nintendo Wii golf and a longest drive contest.

Aside from showcasing their skills on the links, or lack thereof in some cases, Nuance was demonstrating its Speech-Enabled Employee Directories and its Employee Productivity Suite (EPS), an integrated application suite combining auto attendant and director services with solutions for enhancing organizational communications.

Nortel Wants To Know 'Watt's Up?'

Nortel Networks kicked its green initiatives into high gear. Along with showcasing some of its latest solutions that feature networking components from Nortel and communications tools from Microsoft, Nortel showed off an energy calculator that can tabulate the power and energy costs to run a network based on location, cost per watt and inflation. According to Nortel's findings, one of their switches requires 71 watts of power while running an IP phone, compared to a similar Cisco model, which required 109 watts.

Siemens Sweetens Going Green

Siemens Communications demonstrated a host of new products, including its new OpenScape Unified communications Server and its new line of HD video systems and PC soft client, all of which can help enterprises cut their carbon footprint. But it was the sweet allure of green M&Ms that reminded everyone about the pleasures of environmental friendliness.

OnRelay Shows What Can Happen When You Don't Go Green

UK telecommunications software company OnRelay issued a wakeup call to companies that don't go green. The picture shows a mass of retired telecom equipment, thrown away to make room for the new breed. According to OnRelay, the IP desk phones sold in 2008 will create 47 million kilograms of e-waste, we're not sure exactly how many pounds that is, but it's still a pretty scary proposition.

I Hope That Coffee Isn't Really Green

While Sipera wasn't promoting any green initiatives, they were giving away these nifty green coffee cups to illustrate how the vendor's wares can secure VoIP and unified communications from remote workers and users on dual-mode Wi-Fi/cellular phones. The tagline "Take your VoIP for coffee," sounds like an odd proposition, but if VoIP and UC can be securely extended to mobile workers it's not completely out of the question.

INX Serves Up Solutions

Much like Nuance drew them in with Wii golf, systems integrator and Cisco partner INX brought the grass court to the VoiceCon show floor with Wii tennis. INX was serving up information on its business ready enterprise networks and the services it offers, such as collaboration, security, data management, voice and video and wireless.

Dimension Data Talks Going Green

Solution provider Dimension Data outlined its unified communications solutions, one of which creates a new level of interoperation between industry rivals Cisco and Microsoft, on the VoiceCon floor. But it was green initiatives that made the biggest impact. Dimension Data passed out literature on going green and offered insight on where enterprises should begin with their green initiatives.

Clarus Deals Voice Management

Clarus Systems announced a new version of its flagship ClarusIPC application, called ClarusIPC Plus 2.4 for end-to-end voice service management. The new version features enhanced monitoring and alerting features and allows administrators to view the number of active calls at any time.

Here, Clarus offers show-goers a little blackjack break (note the green felt on the table) only to prove that it's never wise to gamble with voice management.

NEC Flexes Its Green Thumb NEC Unified Communications demoed a host of new products including its new portfolio of business software for its Univerge SV7000 IP communications server and the new SV8500 enterprise server. It also unveiled its new line of modular IP and digital terminals, the Univerge DT700 and DT300 to support both enterprise and SMBs. The solutions can all help the enterprise get a little bit greener.

Here, NEC outlined why green it its favorite color.

Tandberg Embraces Going Green A Little Too Much

Tandberg on Monday unveiled a host of new solutions, announcing interoperability with Microsoft for video conferencing and a new pairing with Nortel. Tandberg also discussed the results of its own internal green audit.

"Our challenge to organizations across the globe is to try and find ways to reduce their carbon footprint," Rick Snyder, Tandberg's president of the Americas said. "This technology keeps people off of airplanes and out of cars."

Here, Tandberg manager of product engineering Jordan Owens shows just how important going green is to him.