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Rich Tehrani
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March 2007

You are browsing the archive for March 2007.

Cisco's Real Strengths

March 31, 2007

Cisco’s incredible strength comes from being able to leverage its strong brand and enourmous salesforce to sell virtually every sort of product in telecom and datacom. This report makes it seem like the outlook for the competition is bleak.   It is worth pointing out however that if you focus on a niche, you can likely make better products in your specific area than a larger company with broader focus. This is basic business and has been shown time and time again to be true.   However the report should not be taken lightly. Cisco is a fierce competitor and as an acquisition machine – they do it better than any other company I have ever seen.   Having said that, the company is getting bigger and bigger and when that happens, invariably size works to the company’s disadvantage.   In addition I am beginning to hear stories about how the Cisco salesforce is inundated with new products to sell and just can’t do justice to all of them.

Intoxicating Tech News

March 30, 2007

Hosted Unified Communications

March 30, 2007

Recently Microsoft and Nortel expanded their efforts to bring unified communications to the world. In this case, they have tackled the tough job of bringing unified communications to service providers who will in turn be able to bring UC to small and medium businesses. This collaboration makes a lot of sense as I am seeing a tremendous amount of growth and interest in the hosted communications space.   Serving up UC backed by Nortel and Microsoft could be a relatively easy sell but there's a chance that service providers will brand the service exclusively as their own. Having these 2 companies working with service providers will be a great benefit to the entire market.

Latest JibJab

March 29, 2007

Vonage Bankruptcy Discussed

March 29, 2007

Many people have been asking me about the Vonage situation in light of a recent stock downgrade from Citibank analyst Michael Rollins, who said that Vonage probably has a couple of years to go and at that point they will undergo a financial restructuring or bankruptcy. Recently many have been asking me what I believe the future of this company to be.   The recent Verizon lawsuit regarding patents Vonage infringed upon is probably not final if my sources are correct. Many believe the patents Verizon has are not unique and were indeed awarded based on technology which was not invented by Verizon. This of course would have to be proven by someone.

Back from CTIA

March 29, 2007

I am headed back from CTIA and am on an airplane heading back to Connecticut. A look at my watch and out the window makes me think we are in Virginia along the coast. Sometimes you luck out and have the seat empty next to you. Today is not that day.

Yahoo! E-mail

March 29, 2007

One of the most interesting parts of the technology space is actually the hosted e-mail market, where Yahoo!, has recently done something amazing with their e-mail product allowing you to have infinite storage. Now there was a time when Google’s Gmail product was the underdog and they decided to allow 1 gigabyte of storage and was pretty big step above the 4 megabytes Yahoo! provided.   Google immediately upped the ante and now Microsoft and Google are offering somewhere in the neighborhood 2 to 3 gigabytes of free email storage. It is also worth noting that Time Warner’s AOL service has been offering unlimited storage since last summer.   I guess the scale of what Yahoo!

Packet8 and the Army

March 29, 2007

I recently learned that 8x8's Packet8 service was awarded a US Government contract and, there's going to be an installation of 15 Packet8 Virtual Office unlimited extensions at the US Army's, Yuma Arizona facility. It looks like the voice over IP market has gotten to the point where the government has really caught on to it and is beginning to roll out installations on a pretty widespread basis.   We've been seeing the Army, and other parts of the government coming to our Internet Telephony Conference & Expo shows since about 2001. It looks like now, the various branches of the government and military are taking voice over IP very seriously, and they see that IP communications is a great way to go in terms of communications from the stand point of reliability, redundancy, etc.   It's interesting to note that, the military has been a big user of voice over IP, in installations in remote areas that needed satellites for communications. Subsequently, what they've been able to do is use high powered compression equipment to send multiple conversations, first these conversations are encrypted and then multiple conversations are compressed into packets, and send up to satellites, and then sent back down to the receiving and calling parties.   So, this is not the Army's first foray, or the military’s foray into voice over IP, but it does show that the technology's continuing to grow in our military, and hopefully it will allow our soldiers and officers to be more efficient, and more productive, just like voice over IP has done for consumers and business users.

CTIA Day Two

March 28, 2007

I am here at CTIA Wireless and yesterday the show was quite busy. I saw many different things and I didn’t really spend too much time on gadgety things. What I have found is that mobile carriers are slow to adopt new technology. For example, IP Unity/Glenayre has had an application for over a year allowing mobile operators to send video clips to subscribers via voicemail and when the subscriber views this video they are able to purchase it.

Internet Fax

March 27, 2007

I just happened upon the Internet Fax channel sponsored by RingCentral and thought it worth passing on if for no other reason than fax seems to keep on chugging along and has if anything been revitalized by the internet. It seems the market also received a great deal of adrenaline during the housing boom as massive stores of faxes were sent from buyers to sellers to mortgage companies, etc.   As a reminder, a channel on TMCnet is a microcommunity of interest designed to educate on a certain topic. We have built over 100 of these and I continue to be amazed at the traffic levels they generate.   If you have an interest in IP fax, be sure to check the site out when you get a chance.

CTIA

March 27, 2007

Trolltech

March 27, 2007

I spent a few minutes on Wikipedia today searching for information on Norway. I wanted to learn more about this country I had never been to and while searching I discovered the country is a Kingdom in fact and was settled about 12,000 years ago. I really got into learning about Norway until a coworker told me that Wikipedia is about as accurate as the water cooler gossip you might hear at work.   Ever curious I asked for details and was told about a recent fiasco regarding comedian Sinbad who was inaccurately portrayed as dead on the site. If you don’t remember, Sinbad appeared in – well I can’t recall either.

Octware

March 27, 2007

Sounds Great, Less Filling   Octasic is well known in the world of echo canceling – a market which is not discussed too often but is important for enabling crystal clear, echo-free conversations. The company is known for providing echo cancellation for devices, IP PBXs as well as high-end echo cancellation boards with fixed function DSP-based hardware.   Recently the company realized there is a whole world out there of smaller companies who enjoy the benefits of echo-free conversations (sounds great) but who aren’t fans of paying for hardware which is basically overkill for their small company (less filling).   In fact hardware-based echo cancellers are typically 16 channels at a minimum and if you need less then you have basically wasted money. So a software solution makes a great deal of sense and this software-based solution will come from a new Octasic subsidiary known as Octware.   Software-based echo canceling is an economical $10/port and works with Asterisk-based systems. The only negative to this approach is for systems that are underpowered.

TrixBox Appliance

March 26, 2007

The rage these days seems to be that of communications appliances as installing software seems to be so last year and plug-and-play seems just so 2007. To that end Trixbox has a new – you guessed it – appliance for the masses. Formerly Asterisk@Home the Trixbox appliance is based on Asterisk open-source PBX software and as I just discussed, Trixbox marketing tells us this device makes installing an open-source PBX both fast and simple.   Now you may be confused about all these different open-source PBX companies – many of whom are based on Asterisk and at least one is indeed Asterisk. Chris Lyman the CEO of Trixbox likes to explain his products versus the competition as follows:   Asterisk is the raw materials – the hammers, nails and wood if you will.

Asterisk Appliance

March 26, 2007

  Once of the more interesting areas of growth in the VoIP market has been that of open-source appliances. I had a chance to see the Asterisk Appliance from Digium which they deem is a full-featured and cost-effective way to provide the under 50 user SMB with VoIP – or as their press release espouses, Internet Telephony. The appliance is about the size of a typical home router.   Some of the functions included in the $995 device include: 
  • Complete Asterisk server
  • Support for VoIP and analog phones to allow customers to use the legacy equipment they already own
  • Full-featured PBX, interactive voice response (IVR), voicemail, conferencing and automatic call distribution (ACD) software
  • Administrative features such as a setup wizard and autoprovisioning of Polycom IP phones
  • Call queuing functionality
  • Hardware-based echo cancellation
  • Compact flash card or MMC to support voicemail and wireless applications with no major parts
  • Craft port for debug for field technicians
  • Five Ethernet ports (1 WAN, 4 LAN)
  • Built-in router ideal for small offices
  • Eight analog ports supporting a mix of foreign exchange station (FXS) and foreign exchange office (FXO) interfaces to standard telephones
My take? This is a great idea.

ECA Webinar

March 26, 2007

If you just can’t get enough of Allan Sulkin – you will want to be part of an upcoming ECA/Internet Telephony Magazine webinar focusing on the latest market developments in the communications space. Allan has a unique style. He has been in telecom for decades and understands the nuances and trends that are lost on virtually all others.

This knowledge comes wrapped in a straightforward style that many find refreshing.

ITEXPO Video

March 25, 2007

Arris

March 25, 2007

I recently touched base with my contacts over at Arris and asked what was up with the acquisition of Tandberg Television.   Jim Bauer, ARRIS VP Investor Relations said, "As discussed in our press release of March 8th, ARRIS has decided not to extend or increase its offer for the shares of Tandberg Television. However, we will continue to look for opportunities to grow our business through internal developments, partnering with other technology leaders or through acquisitions. In the meantime, our core businesses remain very strong."   If you are interested in meaning more about the company you may want to check out the following releases:     Also check out this related article: IPTV faces vertical integration.

Verizon Vs. Vonage: Round II

March 24, 2007

This has been a strong news month for the VoIP market and perhaps the biggest news of all has been the Verizon Vs. Vonage patent case. While it is too early to know whether Verizon will ultimately be victorious, it is important to note the ruling may have ramifications for other VoIP providers.

If you play out this situation to its conclusion you realize what Verizon is doing may be illogical if it helps the cable companies. Why?

Vonage Shut Down

March 23, 2007

There are rumors flying that Vonage will be shut down. Unfortunately as this company is a poster child for VoIP, what happens to it could have negative impact on the industry at large. This is too bad. There are a number of companies in IP communalizations doing a great job and making great money.   For example Acme Packet is a publicly traded company who is doing well.   One thing worth pointing out is Vonage focused too much and still focuses too much on marketing.

Good News For VoIP

March 23, 2007

Recently the U.S. appeals court upheld a decision that exempted VoIP providers from many state regulations and oversight.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit backed a 2004 decision by the FCC that exempted VoIP telephone companies from rate regulation and from being required to seek certification before offering service.

MyTMCnet

March 21, 2007

Thanks to readers like you, TMCnet has been blessed with 1-2 million unique visitors every month and last month over 20 million pages were viewed on this site. We are truly grateful to our readers, sponsors and advertisers who support this site and all other TMC products and initiatives.   Of course hats off to the TMC team who nurtures the development of our beloved communications and technology portal.   At TMC we are always innovating. We always look for ways to serve our audience better.   A number of months back an advertiser came to us and said according to his research, TMCnet is not only the top communications site in the US but the world.   The interesting part of this conversation is it seemed that not everyone knew just how popular TMCnet was outside of the US.   To rectify this situation and moreover to make it easier for those people around the world to get access to news pertaining to their interests, we embarked on developing TMCnet for various continents.   But instead of hard coding this project, we decided it would be better to build a framework which was customizable.   This would take longer but what it would allow is a fully customizable news portal by specific topic or even specific keywords.   Once this project dubbed myTMCnet was launched and working we could then easily extend it to be continent specific, country specific, topic specific, etc.   Yesterday we rolled out the beta of myTMCnet.   TMCnet has 3,000-4,000 articles, press releases and other content pouring into it daily.   We have now given the world a custom interface so they can see this news in any way they choose.   For example, if you are interested in IMS news you can add a custom box dedicated to IMS. Or perhaps you want to track SanSay or Avaya or unified communications.   It doesn’t matter.   I have found MyTMCnet is an invaluable competitive research tool allowing me to see what they are up to.

Packet8 Virtual Numbers

March 21, 2007

Sylantro Systems

March 20, 2007

In the quest to integrate web services with hosted VoIP, Sylantro Systems today announced Synapps Server, a web services API platform that dramatically reduces time-to-market for carriers to create and deliver value added services. The goal is to take call processing and exposing this to the application layer.   More broadly, the point of this new entry is to allow voice to become a key part of the collaborative mix. Since the advent of IP telephony, voice, video and fax have learned to travel over internet protocol networks. It is only natural that the evolution of voice and the internet is to merge the two platforms via a web-based programming framework allowing voice to continue its integration with internet-based technologies with a focus on Web 2.0.   What services may we see as a result of Synapps Server?

TMCnet Sets Page View Record

March 20, 2007

Brookstone

March 19, 2007

About six months or so ago I purchased an iGo mobile travel adapter from Brookstone in the JFK Airport in New York. The device proved extremely handy allowing me to plug into airline power adapters as well as AC outlets. Then on Friday of last week my adapter stopped working. The blue light which used to be solid on the adapter started to flash. I realized the tip was the culprit because as soon as I removed the tip, the light stopped flashing.   Apparently my situation was a known problem According to my MIS department.

Mitel’s Next Generation Call Center

March 19, 2007

What will the call center of the future look like? I am not sure but I have seen some interesting Mitel product demos recently which may be the basis for some future call center applications in 2010 or beyond.   About seven years ago Sun came by TMC and was thrilled to show us their new smart card based terminals they thought would be a natural fit for call centers. Shortly thereafter Sun went silent and we at TMC didn’t hear much about these cards again. I haven’t seen them in any call centers over the years either.   Still, the concept of having a thin client for call center agents makes sense as there are no virus issues to deal with and no upgrades and new releases to add management time and cost to your call center solution.   When Mitel showed me their leading edge call center solution I was actually surprised to realize it is the same smart card I saw first about seven years ago.   It is called a Sun Ray Base Station and it accepts a smart card which authenticates the agent.

Ericsson

March 18, 2007

The holy grail of communications is being able to truly integrate the fixed and mobile phone worlds and in an ideal scenario users would have access to corporate resources such as directories from any mobile device they choose. As technology evolves corporate user’s brains must evolve as well using a variety of devices and interfaces. Telecom is really a mess when you think about it. Press 3 to delete voicemail in the office, press 7 to delete it on the cell phone, etc.

ObjectWorld

March 18, 2007

Recently I had a chance to meet with executives at Objectworld and I couldn’t help but walk away impressed with the technology the company has developed. Their two products consist of CallAttendant which allows you to connect your existing PBX to their unified messaging and unified communications solution. The company also develops UC Sever affording you all the features of CallAttendant with a SIP-based VoIP phone system thrown in for good measure.   The company feels it is positioned very well for the wave of convergence taking place in communications and they are quick to point out that VoIP in and of itself does not signify convergence but it is when applications become converged that convergence is truly happening.   UC Server is software based and since it is 100% SIP based there is no legacy technology to worry about. Since the system is hardware agnostic you can leverage Moore’s law to grow your company with ever-faster servers.   The company believes it is positioned well as it sells to IT VARs and its solutions are easy to configure.

Spirent

March 18, 2007

I recently had a chance to sit down with Andy Huckridge Director of Marketing, IMS Solutions over at Spirent Communications to discuss a variety of topics from the product line mix to thoughts on IMS. Spirent as you may recall went on an acquisition spree around the time of the telecom meltdown in 2001.   Since that time they have emerged as one of the strongest players in the testing market.   I asked about the current customer mix and Andy explained that 35-40% of customers are service providers. Ditto for equipment manufacturers. The rest of the company’s customers are enterpries.   I asked what 2007 will bring and Andy says he thinks 2006 was the year of hype for IMS and 2007 will be the year of RFPs. Andy says there are huge RFPs floating around the industry from the largest operators.

Skype is Innovating, Are You?

March 17, 2007

Dear VoIP Provider,   What have you done for me lately? You see Skype keeps doing more and more and you are farther and farther behind. Pretty soon your state of the art VoIP software or service will be considered legacy.   Sincerely, Rich Tehrani President TMC

----

It seems to me that Skype is one of the few companies that sits down and maps out the future in the communications space and in fact if other software/service companies aren’t careful Skype will end up using its voice platform as a way to disrupt their businesses as well.   Skype is the ultimate disruptor. Not because they invented VoIP or anything like that but the company understood that by providing a simple interface to VoIP they would stand out among the crowd and rise to the top of the VoIP crowd.   But when a company gets acquired it usually slows down the innovation.



Cantata

March 17, 2007

Cantata is a veritable conglomerate in the communications space. The company was formed a year ago through a combination of Excel Switching and Brooktrout Technology and has product lines for developers and service providers. The company is soon celebrating its one year birthday and company executives were kind enough to take a break from their birthday party planning and give me feedback on where the company is headed.   As the briefing went on I realized the company was onto something interesting. You see IMS is a complex architecture and no existing network can become fully 100% IMS-based overnight.

Cisco Purchases WebEx Podcast

March 16, 2007

Nuvoiz

March 16, 2007

Unified Communications for the Mid-Market



There is no question the unified communications market will increase the value of communications vendor offerings but there seems to be lingering questions as to which sector of the market – large—medium or small will be the fastest adopters of this state of the art system of communications.   CFOs of Fortune class companies are surely happy to shell out an aggregate of billions of dollars if they believe they will see ROI from UC. And certainly as we start to see more UC products on the market, companies of all sizes will likely start salivating at the opportunities to integrate this technology into their workflow processes.   The integration of communications and mobility may be the area of most excitement as it seems the knowledge worker population is growing greater every year. You know who I mean – the road warrior who is on the go 24x7 working his/her heart out for the company.   Recently I wrote about the growth of the SMB communications market and this article prompted a discussion with Chong-Jin Koh the CEO of Nuvoiz about his company and how he feels they are solving the pain of the mid-market company when it comes to unified communications implementation. Jin Koh tells me the company has truly integrated their messaging platform with communications through the use of SIP and unlike IM platforms such as Skype or MSN they have true unification of applications and media types.   He feels the mid-market really needs UC solutions such as those provided by his company and he sees the sweet spot for Nuvoiz as 50-1,000 people.

Verizon and Vonage Patent Dispute: What the Means to VoIP

March 15, 2007

One of the concerns some have for the future of Vonage is the recent patent dispute ruling requiring Vonage to pay Verizon one-time and recurring royalties for infringement on patents Verizon owns. This issue has ramifications perhaps for the entire VoIP industry and is by no means the only set of patents requiring communications companies to pay royalties. RTI or Rates Technology Inc. is another company collecting patent-related revenue in the VoIP space.   To turn this matter into an interactive web discussion you can partake in, TMCnet has set up a page devoted to the patent infringement lawsuit between Verizon and Vonage. The goal of this page is to get a conversation going within the VoIP industry and beyond about the significance of this news and the repercussions for our industry.

Vonage Patent Spoof

March 14, 2007

Microsoft Acquires Tellme?

March 14, 2007

On my way into work this morning I saw two things. An amazing sunrise and a flock of geese flying. As far as the sunrise goes, I tried desperately to get my phone to take a picture of it so I could share the beauty of it with my readers. By the time I set up the phone in camera mode the highway twisted and then when the sunrise was in range again a garbage truck blocked my view.

Dialogic & Aculab Focus on Growth

March 13, 2007

Please enjoy the April 2007 Publisher’s Outlook from IMS Magazine:   ---------   DSP Resource Board Vendors Expand Focus   The last few weeks has seen an explosive amount of news in technology and communications and trying to justice to it all in a single written piece is impossible. Still I saw many things this week worth pointing out and providing some analysis on the technologies that will ultimately comprise the world’s future IMS network. Instead of focusing on a random sampling I will set my sights more on a single phenomenon in this piece.   I would have to say the largest trend I have seen lately is that of development program and ecosystem growth. Ten years ago there were few choices for developers if they wanted to write applications for the communications space.

TMCnet Search

March 13, 2007

We are always trying to innovate here at TMC and recently we have been looking for a way to ensure TMCnet becomes even stickier than it currently is. Our goal is not only to be the primary destination for all things in the communications and technology space but also the same for communications and technology search.   At search.tmcnet.com you will find a beta version of our newest initiative allowing anyone to search not only TMCnet’s massive archive of articles but others such as Network World and PC Magazine. We will continually fine tune this initiative to make it more valuable to you and hopefully it will become the first place you turn when you are searching in the communications/information technology space.   Please try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Cisco Webinar

March 12, 2007

Did you know there is a link between air-blown fiber and unified communications? OK I realize this may not be a logical leap which is why of course TMCnet is going to be hosting a webinar with Cisco and Sumitomo Electric Lightwave focusing on how the Arizona Cardinals are leveraging the flexibility of air-blown fiber to enable their next-gen network to take advantage of unified communications, telepresence and more.   If you are interested in learning more, be sure to register now as the webinar takes place on March 28th, 2007 at 2:00 PM ET which is 11:00 AM PT. This of course assumes your computer recognizes daylight savings time by then. Mine still doesn’t.   You may recall I wrote about air-blown fiber in the past.

Verizon Vs. Vonage

March 12, 2007

Greg has done a great job analyzing the current situation of the Verizon versus Vonage patent lawsuit. It seems Vonage isn’t as concerned as others in the industry about this ruling. As far as Packet8 is concerned, the company does have a slew of patents and they are likely able to use this massive patent portfolio as a defense against Verizon and others. As far as I can tell, they are in the best position out of all the independent VoIP providers.   Of course this patent dispute seems to be a somewhat fluid process and many will speculate on likely outcomes until it is over.

Huge News Coming From Plantronics

March 11, 2007

I recently met with Plantronics executives and they were basking in the glow of being market share leaders in the bluetooth space. They were very happy with this achievement and were further excited to tell me about how they see the future of communications.   I meet with many dozens of companies per month and you get a sense for when a company seems to be onto something big. Of course this is easiest to spot when they tell you flatly, “Rich, we are onto something big.”   I couldn’t get anything out of the tightlipped management about what to expect. I even hinted at the company moving upmarket to potentially compete with Polycom in the IP phone space.   I did not get positive feedback to this comment but instead I was told Polycom is a great partner.   In past meetings with headset vendors and market research questionnaires I have seen – headset vendors always ask me my opinion of adding more intelligence to the once dumb headset.   So as I am flying on a fairly crowded airplane I have time to ponder what I would do if my headset had a powerful processor.   I suppose the first thing I would do is add speech recognition.

Xcerion

March 10, 2007

XML Development – Full Steam Ahead   I am astounded at how the open source community thrives on mostly volunteer work from a loyal fan base. Asterisk is a great example of how the power of a private company, Digium develops open-source software and the combination is this ever-expanding software community developing better and better applications.   But where Asterisk has its loyal communications developers a company looking to copy the Asterisk model in the operating system space is is Xcerion. The company will soon release an XML based operating system which lives in a browser. Its limitation will obviously be the sophistication of its graphics but it does have Flash support so it may not be as bad as you first think.   Tom Claborn at InformationWeek seems to think this product could be a threat to Microsoft.

ApplianX

March 9, 2007

Aculab Launches ApplianX Product Line   Aculab has just announced a new line of appliances and the product line is so different from any products previously supplied by the company I decided to ask some questions about the new ApplianX product line from Alan Pound, MD and CTO of Aculab. Here is the Q&A with Aculab about this exciting new initiative.   Aculab has been a strong player in boards and interfaces for some years, why the new product line?



The strategy behind ApplianX was set against the backdrop of a dramatically changing the market for hardware and software-based enabling technologies. A growing pool of solution providers are looking to take advantage of leading enabling technology but, for a number of reasons, do not wish to incur the associated development costs and time taken to integrate enabling technology or write C-based applications.

Packet8 and SunRocket Speak on VoIP

March 9, 2007

I just moderated a panel here at the VPF in Miami and the topic was voice 3.0 and when we will get there and what it would entail. My panelists were from 8x8 and SunRocket and in both cases the technical people within the organizations.   One of my goals as a moderator was to try to figure out from panelists just when VoIP 2.0 or even 3.0 will arrive and the answer seems – according to my panelists -- to be no time soon. The challenge here as discussed by Andrew Newton the Development Manager of the VoIP Platform Group at SunRocket is that consumers do not want advanced applications.   Andrew says consumers want some phone control on their PCs but not much. They are comfortable with the phone handset as the device controlling the phone.   Specifically the consumers the company targets do not want these services.

Living in the Third World of Communications

March 8, 2007

If you haven’t heard, a court decided Vonage needs to pay Verizon $58 million in past damages for patent infringement in the following areas:  
  • Technology used to bridge Internet calls to the traditional phone system
  • Features such as call-waiting and voice-mail
  • Wireless Internet phone calls
  Now I know many people at Verizon and they are very smart, well rounded and seem nice enough. From an investment perspective they did a good thing by using patents as a competitive weapon against a small provider who has revolutionized the telecom industry and made telcos wake up and realize they need to compete.   The question worth posing however is how is the consumer benefiting from this lawsuit?   My concern is with the government and the various agencies who are supposed to be protecting me, my family and friends’ from monopolistic practices such as this.   When I learn about large companies using the legal and regulatory systems, to flush their competitors down the toilet I have to stop and remember what country I am living in.   I am a US citizen. I was born in the US and I am proud of it. I want consumers to have the best of everything.

Explosive Small Business Communications Growth

March 8, 2007

Please enjoy my April 2007 Internet Telephony Magazine Publisher's Outlook. ----    You would have to be asleep to not realize how fast small business communications is growing. The reason? Small businesses didn’t have so many telecom choices a scant ten years ago. There was pretty much key systems and then some inexpensive PBXs came along thanks to AltiGen and other, similar players.   What is different now?

Browsegoods.com

March 8, 2007

I just found out about a service bridging AJAX/Web 2.0 and e-commerce. It is browsegoods.com and is similar to Google Maps for shopping. I played around with the service for a while and I looked at the watch section. At the forest view level you can see thousands of dots that become watches as you zoom in   You can select by style, type of watch or manufacturer name such as Tissot or Timex.

Voice Peering is Hot

March 8, 2007

At the Voice Peering Forum event here in sunny Miami Florida, the message is simple – voice peering is growing by leaps and bounds. Stealth Communications is the company who runs this event and attendees generally are people who have joined the Voice Peering Fabric (VPF) or who are thinking of joining.   Simply stated the VPF allows interconnection of voice calls and services. The founder of Stealth Communications is Shrihari Pandit and he kicked off the day’s meeting with his usual optimism which was backed up by staggering growth numbers.   For example the VPF carried 139 billion minutes last year and has seen 750% growth for the last three years.   In addition, Shrihari mentioned upgrades to the VPF such as the ability to utilize IPV6. Shrihari made a point to mention IPV6 is needed as the current addressing scheme IPv4 will run out of IP addresses in a few years.   In addition the VPF ENUM Registry will offer CNAM or Caller Name which will be a valuable service for CLECs or VoIP providers looking to match caller names with calls.

VPF Miami 2007

March 8, 2007

Jim Macci Playing in Safe

March 7, 2007

Sunset in Miami

March 7, 2007

Bubba Gump

March 7, 2007

Why I Love Miami

March 7, 2007

Dialogic Cruise

March 7, 2007

Musings for March 7, 2007

March 7, 2007

Now it has been a while since I was in the mood to muse as it were but when the muse mood strikes it is best to be by a keyboard so you can ponder the ramifications of world events.   In Turkey -- a world away from where I am today, it seems YouTube has been blocked because a video contained on the site is defamatory to the founder of modern Turkey. In the interest of keeping my loyal readers in the country I will refrain from mentioning his name in any fashion at all.   Unfortunately the court probably is not aware there is something new and interesting called the internet where the video can be downloaded from millions or even billions of other sites. Perhaps the thing to do is emulate neighboring Iran and just slow internet access so video is not even able to be seen.   It seems some countries are enamored to be thought of as third world countries by everyone else.   Again this gets us back to a blog entry I wrote back in December of last year titled YouTube as Political Barometer which discusses how we can gain valuable insight about a country depending on how they view YouTube.   If you made it this far you are probably in disbelief or laughing which brings us to the next topic of today’s musings – emotions. It seems technology has advanced to the point where you can now use your brain to play games with your emotions.

Telecommunications Magazine

March 7, 2007

I was quoted recently in great article in Telecommunications Magazine a publication devoting more and more space to the IP multimedia subsystem or IMS space. The article requires registration to read in full and was written by Frost & Sullivan analyst, Olga Yashkovato. Here is the quote:   “Technology is changing so rapidly and the merger of communications and entertainment is progressing at a very quick pace. In order for service providers to be positioned to take advantage of applications that consumers and enterprises will pay for, they need to have IMS-enabled networks that will allow rapid deployment of these applications.

The Lighter Side of Traveling

March 7, 2007

It has been an interesting trip. I have been meeting so many companies these last few weeks and I believe I have about 30 stories or so already to write up. Many of these companies have their information under embargo and this presents another challenge as I need to keep track of what is allowed to be published when, where and how.   Hopefully I can get to all of the news and add appropriate insight soon.

No Laptops on Planes

March 6, 2007

On Another Flight to Florida

March 5, 2007

FCC on Rural VoIP

March 3, 2007

This morning I was scouring the TMC FCC news page and I came across an FCC ruling which is helpful to the VoIP market. The story was written by InfoWorld Daily. Don’t I have something better to do on a Saturday morning? Apparently not.

Monsoon Day

March 2, 2007

Today was monsoon day here in Connecticut and we have had our share of cars breaking down and floods. It was a struggle to drive to work as the rain poured down when I got on the highway. It was almost like thick white fog coupled with large puddles that required careful navigation.   Thankfully I made it in and have been scanning some news sources today and haven’t noticed many earth shattering events. I was however pretty excited to hear Marriott is going to make their hotel rooms gadget friendly.

Attention Inventors

March 1, 2007


Thanks to many of the inventors and entrepreneurs out there I get exciting ideas to write about on a regular basis. Think about it… If there are no new ideas and products I would just wax poetic about my personal life– and believe me you don’t want that, you really don’t.

So when an opportunity comes along for me to help new entrepreneurs become successful and sort of give back to all of you nice people who invent things I can pontificate about – of course I am going to tell you about it.

Venture2 is sponsoring the Venture2 (seems redundant )Spring 2007 Inventor Search at The Launching Pad, an innovation incubator located in Delray Beach, FL. The contest is designed to find experienced and new entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, who are looking to commercialize their products or concepts with leading consumer product companies.

Inventors must submit an application by the required date of March 9, 2007; accepted applications will be invited to present their product on Thursday, March 15, 2007 between 1pm – 8pm. The four (4) finalists during the competition on March 15, must be prepared to return to The Launching Pad for the final judging on Friday, March 16, 2007 from 10am – 1pm.

The Grand Prize Winner of the “Venture2 Spring 2007 Inventor Search” will receive recognition and publicity, as well as 60 days of support from Venture2 (at no cost) in refining the concept and presenting the idea to leading companies for potential license or launch.

Both the grand prize winner and 2 runners-up will receive recognition through Venture2’s website as well as publicity.

OK so no promises to become a gazillionaire through this contest but what the heck.












Training it Today

March 1, 2007

I have been in meetings all morning and am now training it into the city for a meeting. I am normally the first person to charge all my devices reliugiously but I somehow forgot to do so last night and am running short on --- gasp --- juice.   Which of course leads me to wonder why Metro North trains have no power outlets like their Amtrak cousins.   The funny thing is that as I finished the last sentence the New York bound train arrived and I entered it and noticed there was a plug across from me. Apparently some seats on the ends have them. This is great news for me as I get to write my little heart out all the way to the city and back.   As an aside I did a brief news report on Costco’s return policy as a video.

Happy Birthday Mike and Greg

March 1, 2007

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