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

September 2007

You are browsing the archive for September 2007.

Fonality's FtOCC Certification Hits the Road!

September 28, 2007

  Ok, while I don’t imagine I’ll ever be voted “most likely to install an open source PBX for his cousin’s small business” I do have at least a basic appreciation of why being certified to do so might be a worthwhile endeavor.   Fresh off the heels of a successful stint at ITEXPO, Fonality is talking their trixbox training to the people. With three distinct certification tracks (administrator, engineer, and technician) under the Fonality trixbox Open Communication Certification (FtOCC) banner, there is something for everyone.   The FtOCC (pronounced “F-talk”) road show will be traveling to the following cities around the world: London, England; Boston, MA; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Toronto, Ontario; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Dallas, TX; Atlanta, GA.   To see a list of when FtOCC will be visiting a city near you, click here.   The best part is, I’m happy to offer the readers of my blog a special $50 discountif they sign up for the FtOCC training course.   So if you want to learn the ins and outs of trixbox Pro and CE, and save 50 bucks while you are at it, be sure to follow this link to register! And if anyone asks, tell them the VoIP Authority sent ya!     Here’s some more info on the FtOCC training:   FtOCC Administrator (trixbox CE & Pro) FtOCC Administrator is a three-day course designed to teach the basics of trixbox installation and administration. Taught by Kerry Garrison, trixbox Community Director, with support from Andrew Gillis, trixbox Founder, FtOCC Admin is a great opportunity to roll up your sleeves and learn the ins and outs of trixbox Pro and CE.

WSJ: 3Com to Announce Sale to Huawei, Bain Capital

September 28, 2007

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that 3Com Corp. is set to announce its own acquisition by Bain Capital and Huawei Technologies for more than $2 billion.   According to the report, the cash deal values Marlborough, Mass.-based 3Com at more than $5 a share, the person said. Huawei Technologies, the Chinese networking giant, will take a minority stake in 3Com as part of the deal.

Digium Nabs Switchvox

September 27, 2007

Tom Keating reports on Digium’s acquisition of Switchvox and highlights Mark Spencer’s comments that Digium plans to take some of the proprietary SwitchVox code and offer it back out to the community.   I was on the call with Tom when Spencer and Bill Miller shared the news. I see this news as underscoring Digium’s stated mission to make Asterisk easy to use and expand the company’s reach to new customers across the globe through a growing channel.   SwitchVox brings to Digium over 1,400 existing customers. These customers absolutely love the Switchvox GUI and the ability it gives them to manage their own phone systems. Switchvox, which was founded in 2003, offers a rich feature set for the SMB market or for enterprises with distributed offices.   Said Miller, “Open source is taking over the SMB world.”   Certainly with this announcement, Digium is doing their part to bring simple, functional open source telephony solutions to that market.   Financial terms were not disclosed.    

Managed Services Survey Results

September 25, 2007

A recent TMCnet/Intellicom Analytics survey explored how many enterprises are looking to engage a third party to provide managed services support in areas such as network performance optimization or configuration management.


Of the 1,734 global respondents, the overwhelming majority — 68% — are not currently using any externally provided managed services. Within this segment, more North American-headquartered businesses (72%) have chosen a non-external management approach compared to their Global Region counterparts (63%).


Judging by this data it would seem that there is a tremendous opportunity for managed services providers to fine tune their marketing efforts and make efforts to win business in this market.

Former Jasomi CEO to Lead Ditech

September 25, 2007

Ditech Networks, Inc. has announced that Todd Simpson will be the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer going forward.   "I am excited about working closely with employees and the board to extend Ditech's position as a voice quality leader in the communications industry,” Simpson said. "I'm also eager to work with Ditech's customers and partners as we further serve mobile and VoIP markets around the world.”   Simpson came to Ditech through their acquisition of SBC-maker Jasomi Networks, Simpson served as President and CEO of Jasomi.

Is Facebook Worth $10 Billion?

September 24, 2007

For anyone who has ever been “super poked” or had a sheep thrown at them, or wished they didn’t write on their ex-boyfriend’s wall while in the midst of a Chablis induced bad night, odds are you never wondered what Facebook is really worth.   I mean everything has a value, but sheep-throwing super pokers might not ascribe a value of $10 billion to the platform that allows them to stay in touch with their online friends.   Now if you’re Microsoft or Google, you pay more attention to thee financial matters, and virtual hugs and drinks and yes – flying poultry – might actually add up to a two-digit number followed by nine zeros.   Rich Tehrani sent me a link to the latest Wall Street Journal article discussing the potential of Microsoft buying a stake in Facebook. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is possibly mulling an investment (reportedly up to 5%) in Facebook. What’s 5% worth? According to the article, it might be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $300–$500 million.   Just to make things interesting Google too has reportedly expressed an interest in the social networking site.   Alas, it’s too soon to tell which potential suitor’s wall Mark Zuckerberg will post a message on.   To quote the Journal article:   The people familiar with the matter said that the discussions are still preliminary and Facebook could wind up not taking an investment from either Microsoft or Google.   Last year I wrote about Yahoo’s interest in purchasing Facebook for a cool billion.   If only the real estate market appreciated as much as the potential valuation of Facebook did this year.   Watch this space…    

ITEXPO Recap Part 1

September 14, 2007

I’m back in the office today after a long week prepping for and subsequently attending Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO and Green Technology World Conference.   The advance team hit the ground running last Saturday, and it seems we didn’t stop ‘til we got back to JFK Thursday afternoon, and even then a quick scan of the accumulated e-mail showed there was more to do. As concerns e-mail, there’s ALWAYS more to do.   My overall impressions of the event (I’m sorry I don’t do impressions… ) are as follows:   Exhibit Hall: The exhibit hall was abuzz from beginning to end. There was a constant flow of attendees, and my informal polling of exhibitors showed that they were happy  with the number as well as the quality of leads they were receiving.   Anecdotal evidence suggests the hall was full of service provider attendees, but I heard exhibitors talking up the end user community as well as resellers who were in attendance. As expected, there was a bit of something for everyone who attended and for those who came to showcase their wares.   Conferences: The quality of the sessions was high.

The Greening of the Datacenter

September 12, 2007

I moderated a panel yesterday afternoon called “The Greening of the Data Center,” at the Green Technology World Conference. The panelists were all excellent, with a thorough knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing data center administrators as well as the market conditions in general.   The speakers were Jim Smith, vice president of engineering at Digital Realty Trust, Bill Ryan, product marketing manager, high-end and service provider systems business unit at Foundry Networks, Bob Wooley, director of technical quality management at Lee Technologies, an APC partner, and Lawrence Vertal, senior strategist at AMD.   The conversation ranged from what administrators and managers of data centers need to know in order to be more efficient to government regulation to the hottest products to the future of the industry.   In the end the panel agreed that the trend towards greening the datacenter is unstoppable. The financial benefits are too compelling to be ignored and the benefits to the environment are huge.   TMC has taken up a leadership role online and launched a Web site dedicated to covering next-generation, environmentally friendly technology in telecom and beyond. Bookmark Green Technology World and keep an eye out for much more on the subject of the trend towards green technology.


September 12, 2007

ABP Technologies is a distributor of IP Communications products and services. I stopped by the ABP booth at ITEXPO to speak with Robert Messer, president of the company, about the products and companies that were on display on the exhibit hall floor in Los Angeles this week.   Messer was very excited by the recent addition of the Mobotix SIP-based surveillance camera to the ABP stable. He described the IP endpoint as having “state-of-the-art monitoring software that interfaces with the new Asterisk-based appliance from Digium. The camera has audio capabilities, and can pick up audio signals, and can even use event-based triggers to start recording.

The Future is Video

September 12, 2007

I attended the session entitled Future Trends at ITEXPO. Seeing as it was the dreaded “early session” I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of audience numbers, but I was happy to find a session room with lotsof eager attendees filling the room. The session was moderated by Matt Clark of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services and featured Richard Birckbichler of Solacom, Aron Rosenberg of SightSpeed, and Jim McLoughlin of Worldgate, makers of the Ojo video phone.   The general feeling among all the panelists was that video was the key application that will dominate the future landscape of communications.   Before jumping in to talk about video, Solacom’s Birckbichler spoke at length about the evolution of the communications lifestyle and his belief in the future of voice over instant messenger (VoIM).   “Voice over IM should be considered a major element going forward,” he said.   He noted that there are up to 11 million VoIP users and somewhere from 850 million to 1 billion IM users today.

Trends in Dual Mode

September 11, 2007

I moderated the session entitled Trends in Dual Mode, but for all the preparation, I can only lay claim to managing the time. The speakers were all so well prepared and so thoroughly professional; I had only to help field and direct questions from the audience.   The speakers were Alan Johnson, vice president of business development at HelloSoft; Shahadat Khan, CTO of Eyeball Networks; and Peter Thornycroft, VoWLAN Product Director, at Aruba Networks.   Alan Johnson began by listing his David Letterman-style Top 5 list of trends in dual mode.   Number 5: “Retiring the Holster” — this trend is all about the shrinking of the handset and the changing ergonomics of handheld devices. Number 4: FMC Deployment — major operators are increasingly offering dual mode services. Handset choices have increased, just look to new offerings from Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, and others. There’s a long list of major trials completed. Number 4B: Enterprise is the first deployment arena.

Digium's Mark Spencer on Growing Up

September 11, 2007

Mark Spencer is founder of Digium and creator of Asterisk.   Spencer delivered a keynote speech last night entitled, Mysterious Keynote, in which he spoke about the changes at Digium, and how Digium is growing up.   He cited major changes such as new management team, a new facility, and a new focus on broader customers and increasing the channel.   Of course, Spencer being Spencer, he quickly dismissed Digium’s transition to “adulthood” with an “Okay. But not completely.”   Truth be told, Spencer did come across as a more serious, more mature business leader than the quirky offbeat open source evangelist that he’s better known as.   He spoke about Unified Communications as a hot trend.   “Amazingly,” he said “it seems that people think it’s all new, but as most people understand it, UC has been around for a long time.”   Spencer believes UC encompasses how one could use communication to change people’s business process.   Spencer cited an interesting example of an outfit called Botanicalls. This NYU project essentially devised a system whereby your plants can call you when they need water or if they’ve been over watered, etc… He mentioned an initiative called QueueGames, which is essentially a trivia game callers can play while on hold. The point Spencer was driving home is that even silly concepts such as these serve to get people thinking about the possibilities of communications. Initiatives such as this serve to expand the definition of UC.   He mentioned the evolution in the open source world, where things have gone from a simple “good versus evil” debate (open source vs.

The New Mitel: Stout Delivers ITEXPO Keynote

September 10, 2007

Norman Stout is the CEO of Mitel US, the company formerly known as Inter-Tel. Norman delivered a keynote address at ITEXPO during Monday’s evening session in Petree Hall in the Los Angeles Convention Center.   The speech, entitled The New Force in Business Communication, A Look at the New Mitel explained the thought process behind this summer’s merger of Ottawa-based Mitel and Inter-Tel, the Phoenix, AZ-based enterprise communications solutions provider.   Stout addressed the state of the business communications market today, and characterized the industry as “primed for upheaval.”   Whether you are a business, or a vendor or an analyst it’s a very exciting market today.   “Technology has been commoditized,” he said, “and resellers are facing reduced margins. The market is ever shifting, with new players poised to enter the market and legacy provides looking to force-feed enterprise solutions to SMBs.”   “Customers are demanding more than technology,” Stout said. “Technology — ten years ago — sold itself. Customers want several things.

Things To Consider Before Deploying UC

September 10, 2007

This morning, I attended the session Things to Consider before Deploying Unified Communications, moderated by Jim Burton. The session featured three speakers: Jeff Ridley of ShoreTel, Inc., Bud Walder of Dialogic, and Lior Moyal of AudioCodes.   The speakers spoke about the various considerations one needs to look at when deciding whether or not to deploy a unified communications solution.   First up was Jeff Ridley, who defined unified communications as the convergence of rich communications media and presence with a company’s business information and processes.   His presentation focused on the top five things users need to look at when selecting UC:  
  1. Your overall user and business objectives
  2. Open systems for business integration
  3. Capabilities, features (collaboration, mobility), end user ease of use
  4. Manageability and training requirements
  5. Network infrastructure requirements
Bud Walder of Dialogic asked if UC is an all or nothing proposition (his answer was no) and how closely does a UC solution need to be tied into VoIP Infrastructure (not necessarily tied in).   Walder explained that unified communications is a set of applications coming together in a much better, more integrated fashion than ever before. And while VoIP infrastructure can help enable that, it’s not necessarily a must have.   Burton added that infrastructure is an enabling part of the equation. In fact, he said the hardware might even be irrelevant.

Moderating The State of SIP

September 10, 2007

I just finished moderating a session on the session initiation protocol, entitled “The State of SIP.” Joining me as panelists for this speaking engagement were Simon Millard, Head of Professional Services at Aculab, Jon Young, vice president of software engineering at Inter-Tel, and Cullen Jennings, Distinguished Engineer, Voice Technology Group at Cisco.   Together the three speakers answered questions — from me as well as from the audience — and spoke at length on a variety of subjects related to SIP, including security, presence, interoperability, and the future of SIP.   The audience was made up of attendees who had differing levels of SIP knowledge and the speakers did a great job of addressing their comments to folks across the spectrum. Indeed the group fielded questions from people who were brand-new to SIP, who needed a basic overview, to tech-savvy individuals who were wrestling with their own SIP deployments. One thing is for certain: The learning curve never ends, and the questions from all these attendees were compelling and drove the conversation in this interesting session.   One question that I had for the panel was about the future of SIP. Ten years ago, many readers of this blog will remember that H.323was all the rage.

ITEXPO Starts in 10 hours!

September 10, 2007

I’m really looking forward to the kickoff of ITEXPO tomorrow morning.    Among the highlights on the schedule for Monday…  
  • Keynotes from Digium’s Mark Spencer and Inter-Tel’s Norman Stout
  • The IPTV Evolution track, in partnership with our friends at FierceMarkets
  • Reseller Solutions Day
  • The SIP Trunking seminar
  • The opening of the ITEXPO Exhibit Hall at 4:15pm
  • The networking reception in the exhibit hall
  I’ll be checking in regularly throughout the event, so if you’re not lucky enough to be in LA for the next 3 days, be sure to check my blog often for a taste of what’s going on.   Of course feel free to log on to TMCnet to keep up with the stream of all the news announcements coming out this week.   And if you happen to be at ITEXPO feel free to stop by and say hello.
Featured Events