Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

August 2006

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Packet8, TMC Launch VoIP Services Community

August 30, 2006

TMCnet has teamed with Packet8 to launch the VoIP Services Community.   Packet8’s VoIP Services Community contains news, feature stories, whitepapers and product reviews helping SMBs and consumers sort through the various choices available for IP communications services.
You should definitely check out the site, and in fact bookmark it, and check back often for information and analysis.

First, they came for the financial editors...

August 30, 2006

We’re doomed.   To those poor misguided souls who share my profession, I offer this advice: Run! Run hard and run fast and run far, and whatever you do - don’t look back.   The robots aren’t coming… they’re already here.   An article in Sunday’s Daily Herald (that’s Snohomish County’s Online News Source, by the way) told of a new service from Thomson Financial that issues articles generated by computer software, using templates and a “rich” thesaurus.   Quoting from the article:   Two types of stories are currently being produced. After a company issues its quarterly earnings report, a human types in the raw data, and the computer compares the information with analyst forecasts compiled by Thomson Financial's First Call service. Software then produces a story stating whether earnings exceeded or fell short of expectations.

Acme Packet Expands SBC Offering

August 29, 2006

  I was reminded of one of my favorite old jokes this morning. The great explorer Johnson was very curious to find out the real cause of Mozart’s death, and after much political wrangling, he received permission to unseal Mozart’s crypt and exhume his body for an autopsy. Well, you can imagine his surprise, when, upon opening the crypt, he saw Wolfgang Amadeus himself, sitting at a table, furiously erasing reams and reams of musical notation.   “My Lord!” cried Johnson. “What in heaven’s name are you doing?”   “Why my dear Mr. Johnson… Can’t you see?

IT EXPO EAST Speaker Deadline!

August 28, 2006

Attention all Conference Speakers!   It’s time again to submit your speaking abstracts in order to speak at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO, 2007 in Fort Lauderdale.   The event takes place January 23 –26, 2007 at the Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and it promises to be the largest IP Communications event on the East Coast, since… well… ever!   Time is Running Out! If you are interested in speaking at the event, now is the time to submit an abstract. The deadline to submit a proposal is September 1, 2006. That’s this week, so hurry up and send in your proposals!   Please send the following materials by e-mail to callforpapers@tmcnet.com  
  • A short abstract (several paragraphs should do it). Please include a working title.

Inter-Tel Rejects Mihaylo Bid

August 25, 2006

Reuters is reporting that Inter-Tel has rejected a bid led by Steven Mihaylo, its founder and largest shareholder, to buy all company shares he does not already own for $23.25   The company will instead continue to explore strategic options.   Earlier this week, TMCnet reported that Inter-Tel shareholder Millenium Management LLC was applying pressure to the company to sell quickly in order to obtain the higher bid.   According to the report, last Monday, Mihaylo raised the offer from $22.50 per share, provided Inter-Tel publicly commit to selling itself within 30 days. But Inter-Tel said the higher bid is not "sufficiently attractive" to warrant an end to the strategic view.   Mihaylo in April publicly began efforts to buy Inter-Tel, two months after the company announced his resignation as chief executive. Inter-Tel shares closed up 3 cents at $21.71 on the Nasdaq Friday.  

Verizon Finds New Fee to Offset Expiring Fee

August 22, 2006

Whew! That was close. In danger of having to actually charge customers less due to the expiring Universal Service Fund fee, Verizon has discovered a new fee to charge their DSL customers.   Verizon is imposing a new surcharge on its DSL high-speed Internet service just as the Universal Service Fund fees are expiring.   Coincidence?

Cisco in Deal for VoD Vendor Arroyo Video Solutions

August 22, 2006

Those folks at Private Equity Week apparently know their stuff.   In a July 21 article, editor-at-large Dan Primack wrote that Motorola was close to acquiring television-on-demand company Broadbus, Inc. for approximately $186 million in cash, and that that move would set of a flood of M&A activity in the space.   Several days later it came to pass that Motorola scooped up Broadbus.   People started talking about what moves Cisco might make to counter that acquisition by one of its main rivals. At the time, conventional thinking held that Cisco would partner with or flat-out acquire Arroyo Video Solutions, a Pleasanton, California-based provider of solutions for the burgeoning video on demand (VoD) market.   Well, it appears that the good folks at Private Equity Week must have an uncle in the M&A business.   Late Monday evening, Cisco announced an agreement to acquire Arroyo for approximately $92 million in cash.   Arroyo creates video networking software designed to intelligently pool and load balance servers based on industry-standard hardware to deliver unlimited network scalability and non-stop service availability at the lowest total cost.   Arroyo has a global assortment of service provider customers, including U.S. cable giants Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Charter.   Cisco’s Mike Volpi, senior vice president and general manager, routing and service provider technology group, hopes the integration of the Arroyo platform into their IP-NGN (Next Generation Network) architecture will help carriers accelerate the creation and distribution of network delivered entertainment, interactive media, and advertising services to any device in the ever growing array of media-capable endpoints, including televisions, PCs, handheld devices, and the like.   “The entertainment industry is going through a major shift while consumer desire for personalized on-demand service is on the rise,” said Volpi.

Missed Connexion

August 18, 2006

    Looks like those who thought they would be able to make Skype calls, send instant messages or e-mail from high above the mid-Atlantic will have to wait.   Upon completion of a detailed business and market analysis of their in-flight Internet service — Connexion — Boeing announced that they have decided to exit the high-speed broadband communications connectivity markets.   Boeing reportedly spent about $1.5 billion over six years to provide in-flight Internet service to passengers.   According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Boeing's service cost passengers $29.95 per flight for unlimited Web access and live television through their laptop computers. The charge had been reduced to $26.95. Foreign airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa and El Al Israel Airlines, installed Connexion on some aircraft. It also was used by maritime and corporate aircraft customers.   Peter Pollack, blogging on ARS Technica, believes there still may be hope:   “That's not to say that the concept of surfing the 'Net from an airplane is dead.

Making Sense of Reuters

August 17, 2006

Earlier today I had the occasion to find myself in Times Square, and I took advantage of the opportunity to learn something new. Now Times Square has changed a lot since I was in my early teens and I had the opportunity to learn new and interesting things then. I digress…   The purpose of today’s jaunt into the city was to visit with representatives from Reuters. And so in the course of the first few minutes of the meeting I learned two new things: one was the term “infobesity,” the other thing was that news or media makes up only 10% of Reuters business.   A quick note on infobesity.

Retail VoIP Subs Up 83%

August 16, 2006

According to a just released study from Point Topic, the number of subscribers to retail VoIP services rose by 83% during 2005, from 10.3 million at the beginning of 2005 to over 18.7 million subscribers worldwide by the end of the year.   The study points out that Japan, France, and the USA continue to dominate the VoIP market in terms of subscriber numbers. But other European nations, notably Germany, the Netherlands and Norway are poised to post strong growth.   According to John Bosnell, Senior Analyst at Point Topic, "Although Japan has the highest number of VoIP subscribers at the moment current growth rates are slowing and there are other markets coming up," Bosnell adds. "The U.S. is very strong and France is the leader in Europe by some distance."   "The retail VoIP market in China has yet to develop however" continues Bosnell, "there are government restrictions and some observers think fixed line revenues are being dented which may affect the regulatory environment there.   For more information, visit Point Topic online.

Quintum Announces Survivable Tenor

August 15, 2006

In a special edition of the company’s newsletter Tenor Notes, Quintum Technologies today announced the launch of a new Survivable Tenor to support all legacy equipment, local PSTN connectivity, and survivability of all VoIP endpoints of the local IP telephony network. It’s designed for enterprises deploying VoIP in IP-PBX branch offices, or service providers deploying hosted IP-PBX services CPE and IP Centrex CPE.   If you wish to subscribe to Quintum’s product newsletter, it’s as easy as clicking here.

Dittberner: Cisco Maintains Router/Switch Lead; Alcatel Gains

August 15, 2006

Dittberner today released their Quarterly Multiservice Switch and Router Market Analysis, and Cisco remained at the head of the pack with a quarterly increase of 13% in revenues. Most of Cisco’s growth was driven by success in the cable space and IPTV deployment.   The report points out that “...all market categories grew, notably the Service Provider Edge Router segment, which remained the fastest growing, with a 20% quarter-over-quarter change. Cisco leading the pack increased its Edge Router revenue by 24% over the last year. This increase was due partly to the success of Cisco’s MSO customers’ VoD services which require a great deal of bandwidth.

Leaving San Jose

August 10, 2006

By now everyone’s aware of this morning’s sobering top news story and the widespread reports of airline passengers experiencing massive delays at the nation’s airports.   For what it’s worth, I just arrived at San Jose’s Mineta Airport and truth be told I didn’t need to wait very long at the security lines at all. Airline personnel told me that earlier today, the lines were indeed very long — up to 90 minutes or more, and they cautioned that as this evening’s flight schedule neared, they expected the lines to grow longer than they were when I got here (3:00pm).   //////////   Part 2 of the story, the very reason I find myself traveling at this time, is that today marks the end of VoIP Developer Conference 2006. By all accounts the show was successful, and as always I was glad to be a part of the experience. I have to admit that the VoIP Developer events are among my favorite conferences of the year.   With that I leave you with these final thoughts as I prepare to take off from San Jose: Travel safely!

VoIP Developer Thursday Keynote: Intel

August 10, 2006

Kicking off the keynotes this morning, Michael Stanford, Director, VoIP Strategy, Digital Enterprise Group at Intel began by addressing the issue of yesterday’s acquisition of Intel’s media and signaling division by Canada’s Eicon Networks.   His presentation was constructed as a timeline of the past 12 months in review, ending with yesterday’s sale of the division.   He clarified what exactly goes to Eicon: the (former) Dialogic voice boards, the Host media Processing solutions, and Intel’s complete line of SS7 technologies (former DataKinetics) and PBX integration and gateway solutions (from the VTG acquisition).   Stanford reiterated that, “We (Intel) are still very much in the VoIP business.”   Intel maintains several VoIP related business lines, including network processors, and supporting components as well as solutions based in the modular communications products division (CompactPCI, ATCA, and rack mount servers).   Stanford spoke of three trends that he feels have been developing over the past 12 minths. Among those he named the following:  
  • Unified Communications are being woven into every application and Web site.
  • The “Webification” or better stated, the “Web-2-ification” of voice communications, and
  • The advent of regulation coming to the Internet
  Stanford spoke of the theory of “architectural franchising,” a term coined by Charles H. Ferguson in his book Computer Wars.   To his point, Mr. Stanford pointed out the efforts that Microsoft has been making recently in the unified communications space, including the highly touted announcement of their unified communications strategy, and subsequently announced deal with Nortel, which looks to accrue to $1billion over the next four years.   Furthermore, Microsoft’s plan to combine their real-time collaborations group together with their Office group, further points out the value the company has placed on the space, and underscores their oves to establish dominance and claim architectural franchising over the market area.   Who else has an eye on an architectural franchise of VoIP?   Well, let’s see what else transpired over the past year. eBay bought Skype. Skype announced their API roadmap at an eBay Developer conference, making it easy to create plug-ins to the Skype platform, and embed Skype into third-party apps and Web pages   Skype took the complexity upon themselves, making it easy for users to use.

Intel Sells "Dialogic" to Eicon

August 9, 2006

Eicon Networks has agreed to purchase Intel’s Media and Signaling business.   According to the press release:   “The acquisition is expected to allow Eicon to become a leading player in the media processing and signaling market segment. The sale will enable Intel to focus its investments on its core communications and embedded businesses, including Intel Architecture and network processors, modular communications platforms and optical modules. The transaction is expected to close in approximately four to six weeks and is subject to regulatory review and normal closing conditions. Financial terms are not being disclosed.   “Intel's media and signaling business includes all of the product lines from Intel's Dialogic acquisition, as well as Host Media Processing (HMP) software and HMP-enabled blades.

Sangoma Kicks Off Day 2 Keynotes

August 9, 2006

Wednesday’s keynotes at VoIP Developer Conference were kicked off by Sangoma President and CEO David Mandelstam speaking on the subject of Open Source Telephony 2006.   As Rich Tehrani introduced David, he engaged the audience a bit, and it was determined that at least one developer had “stayed up all night working on the pigeon problem.”   (See yesterday’s entry for more on that.)   Mandelstam began with an overview of the state of the Open Source Telephony market today. He pointed out that we are in the midst of a transition from legacy TDM-based telephony to ‘all VoIP,’ and that there was no question that it’s going to happen, it’s just a question of nailing down a specific time frame.   “The transition,” he said, “is being driven by the feature set that VoIP offers; a feature set that is difficult to reproduce by other means.”   Other drivers of this transition include the fact that IP PBXs are becoming ubiquitous, wireless is increasingly replacing copper (e.g., Toronto’s omnipresent WiFi coverage), and PC power is getting more powerful and less expensive. Mandelstam said that the cost per MIP of PC processing power is declining, which makes it easier to throw more power at applications like VoIP, which are very demanding applications indeed.   So where then, does the Open Source Telephony market find itself today?   Currently, according to Mandelstam, Open Source Telephony is a $250 million a year business and it’s enjoying 100% year over year growth.   Why the explosion? Unlike with the battle between Linux and Microsoft, Open Source Telephony developers are fighting a single entrenched incumbent.

Sphere to Open its Platform

August 9, 2006

Tomorrow's news will feature an item from Sphere Communications: the news will concern CSE or Communications Services Engine. The gist of the announcement is that Sphere is opening their software platform for OEMs and ISVs.

This announcement is pretty much in keeping with the theme I see unfolding here at VoIP Developer Conference. That is to say that vendors are increasingly opening their platforms for third-party developers to create those applications that will drive this industry forward.

AudioCodes Kicks Off VoIP Developer Keynotes

August 8, 2006

This evening’s keynote sessions were started with Rich Tehrani’s traditional opening remarks. Only this time Rich provided the audience with a slight twist. Working off a news item this morning that told of a plan to enable pigeons to act as smog sensors by outfitting them with some sort of technology, Rich wondered aloud if it was possible for the developers in the room to come up with a way to use pigeons, perhaps VoIP enabling the birds to act as some sort of mesh network.   It was of course meant as a joke, but I have to wonder if some of the enterprising minds in attendance won’t come up with a solution by Thursday!   ***   Kicking off the program at this year’s VoIP Developer Conference was Ron Romanchik, vice president of Sales North America for AudioCodes’ blades business line.   In a presentation entitled “Application Development tools” Ron addressed the standing room only crowd by speaking about change. “Change is inevitable,” he said.

VoIP Developer Day 1

August 8, 2006

One of the best things about trade shows and conferences, like VoIP Developer Conference, which began today, is that there is often a fair amount of news generated at the event.   Sometimes, however the event becomes the news. Fox 2 News out of Oakland was here at the conference today, looking to find out what the buzz was. Reporter Pam Cook spoke with a couple of people about what they were doing in the space as well as why they chose to be a part of the VoIP Developer event.   She interviewed Ragui Kamel, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Voice Services for AOL, and she spoke with Andy Abramson, who you all know from the blogosphere (VoIP Watch) and his PR work for a number of industry players (Comunicano.) The story looks set to air later this week.   I’ll have more scoop from the show as things develop. I had a great meeting today with Todd Landry of Sphere, and if you come back later tonight, I’ll be happy to share tomorrow’s news with you today.   Oh, and hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of an upgrade to Prosody S, Aculab today announced that their Prosody X CompactPCI (cPCI) card has been released to general availability, following the success of recent evaluation trials.

VoIP Developer Day 1

August 8, 2006

One of the best things about trade shows and conferences, like VoIP Developer Conference, which began today, is that there is often a fair amount of news generated at the event.   Sometimes, however the event becomes the news. Fox 2 News out of Oakland was here at the conference today, looking to find out what the buzz was. Reporter Pam Cook spoke with a couple of people about what they were doing in the space as well as why they chose to be a part of the VoIP Developer event.   She interviewed Ragui Kamel, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Voice Services for AOL, and she spoke with Andy Abramson, who you all know from the blogosphere (VoIP Watch) and his PR work for a number of industry players (Comunicano.) The story looks set to air later this week.   I’ll have more scoop from the show as things develop. I had a great meeting today with Todd Landry of Sphere, and if you come back later tonight, I’ll be happy to share tomorrow’s news with you today.   Oh, and hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of an upgrade to Prosody S, Aculab today announced that their Prosody X CompactPCI (cPCI) card has been released to general availability, following the success of recent evaluation trials.

Aculab Upgrades HMP Software

August 7, 2006

In advance of their participation at tomorrow’s VoIP Developer Conference, Aculab today announced the availability of software version 2.1 for Prosody S, its host media processing software. This build includes support for several new audio codecs, including G.723.1, G.726, G.729AB and iLBC which has broadened the number of endpoint types the Prosody S server can be connected with.

 

Speaking on this development, Mike Matthews, Head of Product Marketing at Aculab said, “We continue to listen to our customers’ feedback and have incorporated a whole range of new functionality into this version of Prosody S. HMP software allows the development of a wide range of applications like IVR auto attendant and call centres, without the cost of dedicated hardware. We are so confident of this product’s appeal that we are offering an extended trial period to customers.”

 

For more on this news, check out Aculab online.

Yankee's Kerravala on VoIP Apps

August 7, 2006

Developers of third-party applications that run atop VoIP networks have a tremendous opportunity ahead of them. Developers need to not only create applications, but help work to raise awareness of what is possible with VoIP.   This morning’s opening remarks from Zeus Kerravala, vice president of Yankee Group to the assembled developers at Avaya Developer Day 2006 addressed the emerging market for VoIP applications. Kerravala likened the current state of the VoIP industry to the earliest days of PCs when they were just emerging from the mainframe era.   Kerravala spoke of the perception held by many end users that VoIP is still primarily a cost-cutting play. Relying on research conducted by Yankee Group, he underscored a vast lag between the number of people who have partially deployed or are testing VoIP with the number of companies that have “fully deployed” the technology.

Avaya Developer Day Kicks Off

August 7, 2006

And so this entry marks the start of my 2006 VoIP Developer Conference experience. After a 14-hour trip that began in Portland Maine yesterday, I’m here in Santa Clara eagerly awaiting the start of the conferences.   Today Avaya is hosting Developer Day 2006, a day-long conference geared at Software Developers, Systems Integrators, and End Users in conjunction with their DeveloperConnection Program “DevConnect.”   The conference program consists of conference sessions spread out across three diverse tracks, featuring the following session topics:  
  • Developing Speech Enabled Self Service Applications Using Avaya Dialog Designer
  • Introduction to Programming with the Avaya Interaction Center 7.1 Client SDK
  • Avaya Application Enablement Services (AES) Overview
  • Developing TSAPI and Telephony Web Service Applications
  • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and DevConnect
  • Optimize Your Applications for Avaya IP Phones
I’m especially looking forward to the opening session, which features guest speaker Zeus Kerravala of Yankee Group who will discuss The Emerging Market for VoIP Applications.   The event promises to be a valuable educational experience, so if you happen to be in Santa Clara or the surrounding area, stop on by the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara and head up the escalator on your left. Registration for the Avaya VoIP Developer Day is free.

Ubiquity's Gary Gray On VoIP Developer

August 2, 2006

I had the chance to interview Gary Gray, Sr. Director, Corporate Marketing at Ubiquity Software Corporation in advance of their upcoming participation at TMC’s VoIP Developer Conference. Ubiquity is a platinum sponsor of the event.   Remember folks, VoIP Developer Conference starts next week! For a full overview of the event, including dates & times, exhibitors, conference tracks, and more, please check out www.voipdeveloper.com.   ////////////////////     Greg Galitzine: Who is Ubiquity Software? Gary Gray: Ubiquity Software develops and markets SIP-based communications software used by service providers to deliver telephony services, including VoIP, IP conferencing, and a range of next-generation converged voice, video, and data services.

Zultys - Back in Business?

August 1, 2006

Robert Liu has done an admirable job keeping up with the ups and downs of Zultys and founder Iain Milnes this past week. It appears that Zultys is indeed open again, having secured an unspecified amount of funding from an unspecified source that will allow the company to stay open for at least a few more months.

Check out Robert's reportage on Zultys' Reversal of Fortune.

Let it be known that reports of Zultys' death, while technically true at the time, are at this point in time -- premature.

Here's hoping Zultys is once again headed in the right direction.

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