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

October 2007

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Rich on Possible Google Verizon Partnership

October 31, 2007

Rich offers his take on the possibility of Google and Verizon partnering on some sort of Google powered phone to “take on” AT&T and Apple.   The battle for the hearts and minds of consumers continues.

Digium Offers SMBs A Free Edition of Switchvox

October 31, 2007

Not wasting any time when it comes to leveraging their recent acquisition of Switchvox, Digium today announced the availability of Switchvox Free Edition.   According to Digium VP, Bill Miller, the solution will be available for download from Digium’s Web site, starting immediately.   The company also announced the re-launch of its partner program today.   I have a full write-up here.

Rich on Possibility of Google Phone

October 30, 2007

Rich has some insight into the possible announcement of the overly pre-hyped, not yet delivered Google Phone. Apparently the Wall Street Journal is saying that Google will partner with T-Mobile as a network partner.   Check out Rich’s blog for more.

Covad Sold to Private Equity

October 29, 2007

The private equity trend keeps rolling on... Covad Communications Group Inc., announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Platinum Equity for $1.02 per share in cash. The company’s board has reportedly unanimously approved this transaction.   The purchase price carries a 59% premium as compared to Friday’s closing price of $0.64.   The deal is expected to close by the end of the Q208.   Los Angeles, CA-based Platinum Equity is a global acquisition firm uniquely specialized in the operation of mission-critical solutions and services companies   The majority of Platinum Equity’s client lineup is the result of acquisitions made with such companies as General Electric, Vivendi Universal, Hays, CompuCom, Alcatel, Kemper Services, Motorola, Lucent Technologies, Fujitsu, AT&T, and IBM.   Platinum Equity was the firm behind the 2005 acquisition of USRobotics, the well known maker of broadband and analog modems and networking solutions.

Quintum to be Acquired by NET

October 26, 2007

The consolidation in the VoIP equipment market continues. Network Equipment Technologies, Inc., announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Quintum Technologies, an enterprise VoIP access switching and gateway solutions provider.   Under the terms of the agreement, NET will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Quintum for a total equity value of $41 million, comprised of $20.5 million in cash and $20.5 million in NET stock.

Siemens OpenOffice UC Solution for SMBs

October 24, 2007

Siemens is introducing its latest unified communications solution, Siemens HiPath OpenOffice ME.   The solution is designed to help small to medium businesses (in this case Siemens defines SMB as the 20–150 employee space) increase productivity and efficiency by enabling them with a variety of communications, collaboration and mobility features.   Currently slated for availability in February of 2008, Siemens expects the solution to price at approximately $270 per seat, before channel discounts. Siemens is currently expanding their channel in the United States to address the market opportunity.   I had a great talk with Siemens U.S. vice president of product and service management (enterprise) Al Baker who shared the big news with me.   If you click over to my columnist page, you’ll find a full article with more information about this latest UC initiative from Siemens.

More Thoughts on Microsoft's OCS

October 22, 2007

Frank Stinson of Intellicom Analytics added his voice to the chorus of analysts deciphering what Microsoft’s entry into unified communications means to the marketplace.   Here’s what Frank had to say:   “Microsoft is attempting to paint the current mainstream IP-PBX as an architectural dead-end that will soon be viewed as obsolete and inflexible as the typewriter is in comparison to a modern word processing software package. But Microsoft needs to interoperate with these solutions today to provide the enterprise-class call control features that have not been as extensively developed yet in a software-based delivery model.   “Microsoft is pursuing a Trojan horse strategy by gaining entry to the customer today based on the interoperability of OCS with their existing voice infrastructure, a particularly compelling story in mixed-vendor PBX environments. Over time, as existing installed PBXs age and Microsoft adds more robust call control features on top of OCS on a customizable basis, they clearly intend to displace core telephony solutions as well. Existing IP-PBX vendors are in a bind as a result.

You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too EnThinnai...

October 22, 2007

Rich posted this blog over the weekend where he talks about a new venture called EnThinnai, which is essentially an “un-social networking” application whose (rather lofty) goal is to bring some order to the world of presence and managing your availability.   I urge you to check out the company, which does offer some cool, Web 2.0-like promise.   According to the company’s blog, posted by Aswath:   EnThinnai provides a simple way to store and share digital information with your friends and family, called buddies. You interact with EnThinnai via a simple unified UI to exchange with your buddies digital information like notes (think of whitelist based email), share files and contact information. At this point this description reads like any other social networking application. But EnThinnai has many differentiating features…

Merger Rumor

October 19, 2007

So I heard this rumor… and of course I have no way of substantiating it.   But I’m real curious so I call one of the major actors in this would be drama, a VP of Marketing in fact, who tells me he’s in a meeting. I ask him to comment on the rumor. He repeats that he is in a meeting and he has to go. Now.   Didn’t even say good bye.   So I go online and quickly ascertain that the Executive Chairman of one of the companies involved in this rumor is also on the Board of Directors of both companies, who are said to be merging.   The companies are said to be merging as equals.   I wish I hadn’t slept through investigative journalism 101.   I also wish it wasn’t Friday after 5pm, when no self-respecting rumor mill types are answering their phones.   I did reach a former Board member of one of the companies, who “couldn’t really comment” but noted the same thing I did, the part about the common ownership across the two companies.   So I can’t say who started this rumor, and I certainly can’t say for sure if it’s real, but if the rumor was that NexTone and ReefPoint were going to merge, and that David Walsh of One Equity Partners (the private equity investing arm of JP Morgan Chase) was on the Board of both companies as well as the acting Executive Chairman of NexTone, would that be too much of a stretch?

Social VoIP-Working?

October 16, 2007

Reuters is reporting that MySpace and Skype are working together to offer MySpace members free Internet calling services, in a bid “to expand their base of users and revenue.”   The deal is set to be announced tomorrow.   The timing of this announcement is… well, interesting to say the least.  Just this afternoon I heard rumors to the effect that Skype was working to make its voice services available to users of another social networking concern.   I’m not going to say which one, because I’m afraid someone might throw a sheep at me.   Nevertheless, the concept of converging VoIP with social networking is clearly happening. And if you ask me, it’s a good thing.   Stay tuned…  

Lots of Microsoft News

October 16, 2007

Wow. I almost feel stranded, away from the Microsoft OCS news that my colleagues are covering so admirably.   See Rich’s blog entries on the subject, Tom’s blogs and OCS 2007 product review, and the following articles from Erik, Mae, Tim, Brian, and Stefania. Stefania also covers the news of Dell diving into the Unified Communications space here. For the complete story click here.  I’ll have more to add on this later — there’s just so much news surrounding Microsoft’s launch.

Microsoft OCS Launch Day

October 16, 2007

  Well at last it’s finally here. The Quickening!   Ok, Ok.. now I sound like Tom with his Braveheart quotes. For those who recognize it, I was referring to the original Highlander movie…   No. What I’m really getting at is that today is the official launch of Microsoft’s OCS 2007 unified communications solution.   Much has already been written about this impending launch over the past year or so, so perhaps there will not be any real news in today’s news.

Broadsoft Connections: Guy Kawasaki and Microsoft’s OCS?

October 15, 2007

I’m out at the Broadsoft Connections conference in Phoenix, AZ and I’m trying to stay as productive as possible while meeting with senior-level executives at a number of Broadsoft’s partner companies.   The event kicked off with an introductory keynote by Broadsoft president and CEO Michael Tessler. The theme of this year’s conference, Scaling New Heights, was brought to life by a series of BMX bikers performing acrobatic feats — twists and turns and flips and jumps — on an indoor series of ramps set up for the event. Very exciting, and very fitting given Tessler’s subsequent comments.   Tessler spoke about the growth of the market, as well as the growth of the opportunity. He broke the market down for the standing room only audience, and settled on three key areas which will bear watching over the next few years.   He cited industry stats that show the potential size of the market as follows:   Hosted Voice/Hosted Applications: Infotek said that by 2010 marketplace for hosted voice and services would be $37 Billion, and the hosted voice part of that would be approximately $10B.   Business Trunking: Frost & Sullivan stated that connecting customer premise-based equipment to the network was an opportunity approaching $11B in 2006.   Residential Opportunity: Back in February, Ovum announced its view that the 2010 worldwide voice/residential opportunity would be equal to about $40 billion.   He summed up by telling the audience that the market is growing, and growing quickly.

Nortel Looking Forward to Microsoft OCS Launch

October 13, 2007

I just got back from Texas and had a great meeting with Nortel execs. We talked about SOA, and the evolution of convergence, and of course we spoke at length about unifed communications (UC). Check out my article here.

Also be sure to check out TMCnet's coverage in advance of Microsoft's official OCS launch by clicking here.

Huawei Visit

October 9, 2007

I’m visiting Dallas, Texas this week, and I was lucky enough to have a meeting with Huawei Technologies’ Edward Qian and Steve Hill at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Richardson (a suburb of Dallas).   We spoke about a number of topics, among them IMS. Qian told me that IMS is definitely one of Huawei’s major areas of focus. However, he said, IMS is a journey, and it will not happen overnight.

Oh Canada! Happy Thanksgiving!

October 8, 2007

To my family and friends from North of the border...


I'm bummed that I'm missing out on the Turkey and fixin's but I hope you are all enjoying your holiday.




Interactive Intelligence Releases v3.0

October 8, 2007

  Back in April I had the good fortune to visit with Interactive Intelligence CEO Dr. Don Brown, senior vice president of worldwide marketing Joe Staples, and director of product management, Rachel Wentink. They shared with me their plans regarding a major upgrade to their flagship Customer Interaction Center (CIC) and Vonexus Enterprise Interaction Center (EIC) solutions.   I wrote about it here.   Well today Interactive Intelligence has announced the official launch of version 3.0 of both CIC and Vonexus EIC.   The new version addresses four major customer concerns:
  • Increased security;
  • Broader integration;
  • Simplified deployment; and
  • Enhanced mobility.
  The software’s new security features include support of the secure real-time transport protocol (SRTP) and transport layer security (TLS) standards, providing end-to-end call encryption. Other new security features include recording encryption, stricter password generation requirements, the use of public and private key certificates, and the ability to handle communications between secure and non-secure devices.   Version 3.0 also includea new integration to Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging, designed to increase user productivity by embedding call control features into the Microsoft applications.

Happy 50th Sputnik!

October 3, 2007

It was 50 years ago, on October 4, 1957, that the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik-1 satellite, ignited the space race, and the rest as they say, is history.   According to NASA, the world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path.   Sputnik-1 preceded Sputnik-II by about a month. That second satellite also carried a more interesting payload, namely a dog named Laika.   In addition to sparking the so-called space race that has since seen men land on the moon and the construction of an International Space Station and is now entertaining thoughts of sending people to Mars, the Soviet launch of Sputnik set into motion actions that eventually led to the formation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) approximately oneyear later on October 1, 1958.   NASA happens to be the first organization that I ever worked at in an editorial capacity, back when I was the chief copy editor for the technology-transfer magazine, NASA Tech Briefs.

Make MONEY Selling VoIP!

October 3, 2007

Next Wednesday, October 10, 2007, join TMC for a Webinar featuring speakers from Speakeasy and Polycom. The event will take place at 11:00am PT (2:00pm ET).   The Webinar, entitled Making Money with VoIP — Selling to IT Decision Makers is shaping up to be lively and informative discussion of the future of Voice services and how selling VoIP can increase your bottom line. The discussion will also include why Hosted VoIP is uniquely suited to small businesses and the importance of selecting the right partner and controlling the customer experience.   Let’s face it, an opportunity to listen to industry thought leaders from Speakeasy and Polycom discussing how you can make money by selling VoIP services doesn’t come along that often.   Increasingly, small businesses are demanding the savings and productivity advantages of replacing traditional phone systems with Voice over IP. Gartner predicts the Hosted VoIP market will jump from 300,000 lines in 2005 to more than 6 million in 2009.   This is a tremendous opportunity for knowledgeable, prepared IT professionals.     Featured presenters scheduled for Wednesday’s Webinar include:   Tom Scearce VP of Market Development, Speakeasy   Jeff Dixon Worldwide Vice President – VoIP Products & Strategic Alliances, Polycom   Erik Linask Associate Editor, Technology Marketing Corporation   Mark your calendars: October 10, 2007 11:00am PT (2:00pm ET).   Register now!    

Welcome to our Newest Contributors!

October 2, 2007

I’m very happy to welcome several new contributors to the extended TMCnet family today.   Tony Rybczynski is Director of Strategic Enterprise Technologies, Nortel, and he has been a long-time contributor to TMC’s print publications through his work as a columnist — first in Communications Solutions magazine, and currently in Internet Telephony magazine. Tony’s blog is entitled The Hyperconnected Enterprise. It’s great to welcome Tony to our online world!   Alan Percy, Director of Business Development at AudioCodes, is a thought leader who has contributed in many ways to TMC, be it via article contributions, opinions, conference content… indeed Alan was instrumental in helping TMC create the first ever VoIP Developer conference program back in 2004.

Microsoft Announces Response Point Availability, Pricing

October 2, 2007

Back in March, Microsoft announced a small business phone system named Response Point, and said the system would be generally available to manufacturing later this year.   Well, it’s now “later this year.”   Today, Microsoft is announcing the general availability of its Response Point phone system and has set this Friday, October 5, as the first day for customers to preorder systems from manufacturing partner Quanta Computer.   According to Microsoft, Quanta-based packages will cost approximately $2,500 for a base unit with built-in analog telephone adapter (ATA) and secure gateway, plus four phones. Additional phones can be purchased for $159 each.   In addition, Microsoft announced that systems from their partner D-Link would be available starting in Q4 2007. The D-Link VoiceCenter system will include a base unit, ATA and five phones for approximately $2,999. Additional phone lines will cost $149.   Also announced today was Microsoft’s newest hardware partner Aastra Technologies.

VoIP, Mobile Growth in North America

October 2, 2007

Paul Budde Communication has released a report entitled, 2007 North America — Telecoms, Broadband and Mobile Statistics providing information on North American telecommunications.   Below are several stats from the report’s executive summary focusing on Canada and the U.S.   Canada
  • During 2006, mobile subscribers increased by approximately 10%, compared with a 17% increase during 2005.
  • Broadband subscribers reached 7.7 million by end 2006, placing Canada ninth in the world in terms of broadband penetration.
  • Drivers include the rapidly increasing growth of VoIP services: Cable VoIP experienced significant subscriber growth in 2006, growing from around 270,000 to nearly 1.1 million subscribers.
  • Broadband continued to experience strong growth, with broadband penetration exceeding 50% of households.
  • At current growth rates, the number of DSL subscribers is expected to exceed the number of cable subscribers during 2008.
  • Verizon is leading the deployment of FttH networks, with the number of U.S. communities being connected by fiber growing at approximately 100% per annum.
  • VoIP continues to grow rapidly, reaching approximately 16 million subscribers by end 2006.
  For more info, check out Budde online.

Report: 435 Million Mobile SIP Users Projected By 2012

October 2, 2007

Informa Telecoms & Media has released a new report entitled, Mobile Converged Devices: Enabling IMS, SIP, UMA &VCC Services. This report forecasts 435 million mobile SIP users by 2012.   The research points out that sales of mobile phones with active SIP functionality will reach 275 million units in 2007, with an inflection taking place between 2010 and 2011.   Within the mobile handset space, SIP is essentially split into two main variants of IETF SIP, also known as Naked SIP, and 3GPP SIP, which is also called IMS SIP.   IETF SIP is believed by many to be the better choice to use as the basis of a convergence platform due to its acceptance in both the fixed and mobile camps and for its ability to enable access to open Internet services including wireless VoIP.   Malik Saadi Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and lead author of the report says “…growth will be mainly driven by the strong will of device vendors to get involved in the content space but also by the increasing number of new entrants among VoIP and Internet content providers who are determined to challenge the mobile operator walled-garden service offering”.   In terms of devices, sales of handsets with active SIP were as low as 4 million units in 2006. Nokia currently enjoys the largest SIP enabled product portfolio of all leading handset vendors, with over 35 SIP capable devices among its E-Series and high end N-Series.   For more, visit Informa’s Web site.  

Webinar: Leverage Your Support Organization & Set Yourself Apart

October 1, 2007

  Customer satisfaction is your mission — are you using the most effective processes and tools? Learn how to unleash the full revenue potential of your support group, significantly cut costs, increase your ability to resolve customer issues on the first attempt and deliver exceptional customer service.   TMC’s Webinar series continues with an installment titled Leverage Your Support Organization as a Competitive Weapon and Set Yourself Apart, which will take place on October 17th at 2:00pm ET (11:00 am PT).   Attend this Webinar to hear Guest Speaker Matt Healey, Senior Analyst at IDC, share industry research on remote support.   You will also hear from Andre Angel, President and CEO of NTRglobal, a leading provider of remote support solutions for over 10,000 organizations talk about the advantages of remote support and how these technologies can improve customer experiences and help differentiate your organization from the competition.     You will also learn:
  • How remote support can reduce support costs while delivering a better support experience for your customers.
  • How to maximize the productivity of your technical consultants while gaining a competitive edge.
  The Webinar will be moderated by Erik Linask, Associate Editor, Technology Marketing Corporation.   Register now!  

Zennstrom Out as CEO of Skype

October 1, 2007

Niklas Zennstrom has stepped down as CEO of Skype.   According to a news release posted at, Zennstrom, who co-founded Skype in 2003, will become non-executive chairman of the Skype Board of Directors. Michael van Swaaij, eBay's Chief Strategy Officer, will become acting CEO until a permanent successor is found.   Henry Gomez, Skype's President, who remained a Senior Vice President at eBay during his two-year tenure at Skype, will return to eBay as Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, reporting to President and CEO Meg Whitman.   eBay also announced that it has paid roughly $530 million to settle its future obligations under the earn-out agreement signed with certain Skype shareholders when eBay acquired Skype in 2005. At the time of the acquisition, the earn-out agreement called for up to $1.7 billion based upon specific targets that were to be achieved in 2008 and the first half of 2009.

Nokia Maps Out Future With NAVTEQ

October 1, 2007

Nokia and NAVTEQ have announced a definitive agreement whereby Nokia will pay $78 in cash for each share of NAVTEQ including outstanding options for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $8.1 billion (euro 5.7 billion).   According to a company press release, the acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company.   NAVTEQ is undeniably a leading player in the field of electronic mapping, which enables in-vehicle navigation devices and a new generation of mobile-phone applications used for shopping, emergency services and advertising.   As Nokia looks to expand its business into the services arena, the acquisition of NAVTEQ makes sense, especially in light of the Finnish mobile phione maker’s stated desire to expand into services.   Nokia still derives most of its revenue by selling handsets — in fact Nokia reportedly sells one out of every three handsets in the world today. The move towards adding such critical applications as GPS or location-based services is clearly designed to make Nokia the “stickier” choice for consumers looking for a mobile device that can deliver context and geographical information to the company’s growing stable of Internet services.   "Location based services are one of the cornerstones of Nokia's Internet services strategy. The acquisition of NAVTEQ is another step toward Nokia becoming a leading player in this space," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, President and CEO, Nokia.   NAVTEQ is also the owner/operator of the Web site, an interactive service that provides traffic information and related content to consumers.   Upon completion of the transaction, NAVTEQ's current map data business will continue to operate independently, but will be folded into the Nokia corporate organization as a Nokia Group company.

3Com to Offer Customers Asterisk Appliance

October 1, 2007

Further evidence that Digium is growing up comes in the form of this morning’s announcement that 3Com will offer their customers a solution based on Digium's Asterisk  Appliance, which runs Asterisk Business Edition 1.4.   The solution is targeted at deployments constituting five to 30 phone users   When I spoke with Digium’s Mark Spencer and Bill Miller regarding this development, we laughed that in the timeline of Digium’s maturity, the relationship between 3Com and Digium is akin to Digium finally dating an 18 year old girl.   In other words, it’s getting serious.   Last week Digium announced the acquisition of Switchvox.   As I reported at the time, I viewed the deal as integral to Digium’s goals of making Asterisk easier to use and deploy, as well as expanding the company’s reach to new customers across the globe through a growing channel.   3Com, while not the same company as it was back in the heyday 90’s, still has a robust channel and still enjoys good brand recognition within the small and medium sized business market it strives to serve with this latest offering.   As Miller said, “Open source is taking over the SMB world.”   3Com has been in the news a lot these past few days, with Friday’s announcement that the company is being acquired by Bain Capital and Huawei and this morning’s announcement of two new VCX-based solutions for the SMB market.  
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