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


Black Box To Sell ShoreTel VoIP Systems

August 21, 2007

ShoreTel and Black Box announced an agreement today, whereby Black Box will sell, install, and support ShoreTel’s IP telephony solutions to its large enterprise customers across the United States and Canada   The two companies have already completed several large multi-site installations at FORTUNE 1000-class enterprises.   According to Rick Gannon, regional general manager at Black Box:   “ShoreTel is a natural fit for our portfolio of products. There is a clear demand from our customers for ShoreTel’s solutions, and we are very impressed with the overall performance and reliability.”    

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.

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.

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.

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!    

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.

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.

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…  

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?

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.
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