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September 2007

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Skype Kills Hotel Internet

September 29, 2007

Emerson buys Motorola ECC

September 29, 2007

Emerson recently picked up the embedded computing division from Motorola. This is a good move for Motorola as the company can put more of their focus on handsets and other core areas of their business. Right now Nokia and Apple are major threats and one less distraction always helps.   I am very impressed with the Motorola embedded team and the Emerson team (although I haven’t known this group for very long). Here is an article I wrote about Emerson Network Power a few months back.   I always felt the embedded team was lost at Motorola -- a small division with lots of potential that couldn’t get the corporate parent’s attention.   If Emerson can continue their increased branding and awareness and stronger PR push while not losing their technological edge and great engineering team, this acquisition will be good for all parties involved.

Switching to Optimum Voice

September 28, 2007

This was a big week for me personally as I switched service providers. I should mention I have free VoIP accounts coming out of my ears. I often test them but I haven’t switched to any of them because to be quite honest, what I have works fine. I have been using AT&T CallVantage for years and the service has been great.

Alcatel Lucent Emergency

September 28, 2007

3COM Sold

September 28, 2007

The Wall Street Journal reported that 3COM will be acquired by Bain Capital and Huawei Technologies. TMC’s Greg Galitzine has a call into 3COM for comments but what we know so far is the transaction is at $5+/share meaning more than $2 billion. Huawei and 3COM have been business partners in the past and my impression was this relationship didn’t result in the sales progress either company hoped for.   Interestingly Huawei hasn’t made a huge dent in the US as of yet and this is surprising. Then again, I recently read an article discussing the idea that Chinese automakers will be slower to enter the US market in a serious way because their home market shows so much promise.

Motley Fool on Vonage

September 27, 2007

Sunrise Shots in CT

September 27, 2007

ITEXPO West 2007 Scores Big in L.A.

September 26, 2007

Here is my Publisher’s Outlook from the October 2007 Internet Telephony Magazine. It is rough and needs some editing but should give you a good idea of why you should be subscribing and reading every issue of the magazine.   ----   The most recent Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, California demonstrated to me (and everyone in attendance) just how strong the IP communications market is. We had a tremendous number of resellers, enterprise customers and service providers at the show. What perhaps caught me off guard most was just how high the energy level at the show was.

More Nice ITEXPO Comments

September 26, 2007

Paying More for Green

September 26, 2007

Packet8 Win

September 26, 2007

I have to admit, the press release (see bottom of page) I received this morning from Packet8/8x8 may be among the most unique I have ever received as it details how Packet8 is the service provider of choice for a VoIP service provider who is closing its doors. The question is who is this provider who has 12,000 subscribers who is exiting the space?   This news is not surprising however to those of you who read Russell Shaw’s take on Packet8 based on the conversation he had with 8x8 CEO Bryan Martin at ITEXPO.   Here is a salient quote from this article:   SunRocket is not the only company having problems. We know of about three or four major players in the space that have significant customer bases, they’re both into both business and residential applications, and we’ve heard rumors that they’re interesting in exiting the market as VoIP service providers.   TMCnet’s Richard Zippy Grigonis also has some thoughts on the Bryan Martin keynote at the show. Here is a quote from this article:   “Differentiating services is key because it contradicts all of the metrics that Wall Street is complaining about right now about why VoIP is a four-letter word.”   By the way, Bryan said specifically if someone on Wall Street steps in something they look down and say “Oh VoIP!”   This of course is in response the Vonage and just how poorly this company’s stock has performed over the years.

Political Mashup

September 26, 2007

I am fascinated by Yahoo’s Candidate Mashup as it allows you to do something never before possible. For the first time you can click on the candidates you are interested in and the issues you are interested in and see the views of each candidate. This is a use of technology which is truly fantastic.   The idea while great is in its infancy. Why?

Vonage Loses to Sprint Nextel

September 25, 2007

These are mighty difficult times for Vonage as the incumbent providers have ganged up against them and have decided to compete on patents as opposed to technology. A federal jury has ruled that Vonage has to pay $69.5 million in damages to Sprint Nextel for using its patents. This is ultimately terrible news for consumers. I continue to be amazed at phone companies who say they have patents for VoIP and related technologies yet haven’t rolled the technology out to customers.

On The Road Again

September 25, 2007

Blyke: Free Mobile Calling

September 25, 2007

I just can’t believe how much cheaper it gets over time to use communications services. When I was a teenager we paid somewhere around 25 cents per minute just to call one state away. Before we had fax machines we had to spend around ten dollars to get a document across the country. IP communications has changed all of this.   But things keep getting better and better in the telecom world.

Latest ITEXPO West 2007 Photos

September 24, 2007

Armani, Samsung, Google and Microsoft

September 24, 2007

I am traveling today – and most of this week in fact. As I get ready to go, there are a few stories that have caught my eye this morning and may be worth a read. The first is the collaboration between Armani and Samsung who together will design a credit card sized phone. Will this be an iPhone killer?

Would you like VoIP with that Order?

September 23, 2007

Sun Reenters Telecom

September 23, 2007

With all the fanfare surrounding Microsoft’s reentry into telecom, I thought it worth mentioning Sun is doing the same thing. Microsoft has integrated their applications into communications (or vice versa) and even designed new devices such as phones and even a state of the art videoconferencing device named Roundtable.   Back in March I wrote a bit about Sun’s entry into the call center space around the year 2000. What I didn’t mention is in the nineties the company really pushed their servers as ideal platforms for computer telephony integration. The company was not very successful in this endeavor and part of the reason may have been the vertical focus the company had.

Best of Show ITEXPO West 2007

September 21, 2007

Congratulations to the best of show winners at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo last week in Los Angeles, CA. A list follows below and here is the detailed press release.   Best Service Provider Solution

Best Large Enterprise Solution
  • BlueNote Networks  (www.bluenotenetworks.com)
  • Instant InfoSystems (www.instantinfo.com)
  Best SMB Solution
  • Intuitive Voice (www.intuitivevoice.com)
  • Vocalocity (www.vocalocity.com)
  • Zeacom (www.zeacom.com)
  Best Consumer Offering
  • 8x8 (www.8x8.com)
  • T-Mobile (www.t-mobile.com)
  Best Development Tool
  • Aculab (www.aculab.com)
  • Sangoma (www.sangoma.com)
  Most Innovative Product
  • Sysmaster (www.sysmaster.com)
  • Telkonet (www.telkonet.com)
  Best Booth
  • Communicado (www.communicado-inc.com)
  • Fonality (www.fonality.com)
  Best Newcomer
  • 3CX (www.3cx.com)
  • Ixia (www.ixiacom.com)
  Best of Call Center 2.0
  • Contactual (www.contactual.com)
  • Oaisys (www.oaisys.com)
  • CosmoCom (www.cosmocom.com)
  Editors’ Choice

Call Center Quality

September 21, 2007

recently had a conversation with executives at TeleDirect International about how measuring call center quality is an important part of managing a successful call center operation. This is an important issue as IP communications has allowed contact centers to become truly distributed and subsequently more difficult to manage.   The first step in this move was distributed call centers and soon thereafter home agents allowed a more finely-tuned distribution of contact center resources. According to the company, implementing a proper quality monitoring solution can increase revenue by up to 15%. For this reason I invited the company to write an article on this topic to help educate those call center decision makers looking to make their contact centers more productive and ultimately successful.   ---   “An Integrated Application: Helping Your Contact Center Maximize its Investments” Written by, Rachel Sauerbrey, Marketing Manager at TeleDirect International   Businesses that have invested in contact centers have two fundamental areas they need to optimize- their sales and their people.

iPhones to Fail in Europe?

September 21, 2007

I have heard a number of analysts explain how the iPhone will face a tough sell in Europe and whenever I hear this news I wonder what substance the analysts may be ingesting to come up with such ludicrous ideas. If you haven’t encountered an iPhone yet, you will be blown away by it when you are.   At ITEXPO last week, IMS Forum President Michael Khalilian had his iPhone on a round table and everyone at the table wanted to see it and use it. This was at a communications show – I’ll grant you that. But I have seen this behavior duplicated at airports and train stations as well.   I have said before the lack of a real keyboard is a deal breaker for me personally.

2-Year Old Calls 911

September 19, 2007

Pika Asterisk-Based Device

September 18, 2007

ITEXPO West 2007 News

September 18, 2007

ITEXPO West 2007 News The staggering amount of news and analysis generated from last week’s Internet Telephony Conference & Expo is mind-boggling. Thanks to all the analysts, bloggers, members of the press and everyone else who covered ITEXPO.   Here are some of the stories I found. I am sure there are more and I will update this page as I come across new stories. Please forward any stories I missed to my e-mail address.   Thanks and happy reading.   ---   Internet.com   News from ITC West 2007   Ken Camp Unified Communications   ITExpo Podcast - Conversation with Todd Landry from Sphere Communications ITExpo Podcast - Conversation with Serge Forest from Paraxip
ITExpo Highlight Pictures

Update: 9/20/07
ITExpo Podcast - Conversation with Gurmeet Lamba from Clarus 
ZDnet
Russell Shaw   Packet8 CEO: in light of SunRocket’s demise, we’re hearing rumors of more VoIP market exits   Suzanne Bowen VoIP by Association   Internet Telephony West 2007 Witches' Brew Engineering Inc. (video included)
Update: 9/21/07

Businesses Receive Calls to a SIP Address, Tollfreeforwarding (video included)

Corporate Rat and Elusive Cheese   ITEXPO Presentation   The Gabby Geek   ITExpo Update   FierceVoIP   ITExpo extract   Current Analysis   INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & Expo West 2007: Comverse Launches   PR LEAP   YIWA subsidiary Vitelity to make Big Splash at IT Expo Show in Los Angeles   Tom Keating     CNNMoney   Zarlink to Discuss Voice-over-IP Quality at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO West 2007   Jon Arnold   TMC ITExpo - Show Highlights   Alan Percy/The SIP Invite   Recap and thoughts on Internet Telephony   Rich Tehrani (You think I’d leave myself off )     Dan York (passing mention)   Thoughts on some of the roles that I could fill...








iPhone UK

September 18, 2007

NY Times Goes Free

September 17, 2007

Two years ago I discussed how the New York Times would start charging for content. I gave the plan a 25% chance of working and said the company would change course in 18 months. Here is that blog entry.   I was wrong on one point. It took 24 months for the company to decide to go free.   What I have learned from my own experience is that people will pay for financial news online and independent product reviews from the likes of Consumer Reports.

SCO Bankrupt

September 17, 2007

In the 1980s I was MIS Director here at TMCnet. In case you aren’t aware I introduced desktop publishing to TMC around 1986 or so and we were one of the first publishing companies to standardize on PCs instead of Macs. At the time I saw no long term future for Apple. Boy have times changed.   Around 1990 I also upgraded our computer system from a proprietary Zilog-based UNIX to an Intel-based UNIX. At the time the two major players were SCO UNIX and Interactive Unix.   SCO was more expensive but the company’s sales team convinced me that SCO was spending on the marketing and would be around for the long haul.

Nokia Siemens Networks Interview

September 17, 2007

Ovum on Alcatel-Lucent

September 14, 2007

Steven Hartley, telecoms senior analyst at Ovum comments on: Alcatel-Lucent: There may be trouble ahead.   I referred to this news yesterday and Hartley’s comments don’t overlap with mine too much so I thought they were worth sharing. ---   “Another quarter and another profit warning from Alcatel-Lucent. The announcement is a continuation of the trends seen over the last two quarters and has worried already nervous investors, as evidenced by a 9% drop in the share price yesterday. It will undoubtedly increase the pressure on CEO Pat Russo.”   “Neither Ericsson nor Nokia Siemens Networks shares were markedly affected by yesterday's announcement, so this appears to be an Alcatel-Lucent phenomenon.

Single Volume Control

September 14, 2007

I have to wonder with all this video streaming around the internet if we don’t need a new way to control the volume of these various streams. When scanning for news I often will click on a news story and it will be a video instead of a written story. This is not always apparent before you click. The trouble is these streams are generally based on flash and have embedded volume controls which are sometimes hard to find.

Thoughts on Alcatel-Lucent

September 13, 2007

Wow. It has been quite a week. I am sitting here in Norwalk, CT – TMC’s headquarters and feel a bit under the weather. This is not a surprise as I haven’t slept since last Friday due the super-busy schedule at ITEXPO (photos and videos). It takes about 24 hours for the extra expo-related adrenaline to empty from your system which subsequently causes a bit of withdrawal.

Very good to be home - almost

September 12, 2007

Update on Flight Delay

September 12, 2007

Ran Out of Fuel

September 12, 2007

Heading back for the Holidays

September 12, 2007

I am heading back to the east coat to spend Rosh Hashanah with the family. As I mentioned we changed the dates of ITEXPO so people could get back home with family by the evening.

Thanks again to all of you who made ITEXPO West 2007 a resounding success.

As luck would have it I left my laptop power cord somewhere yesterday.

ITEXPO West 2007 Video

September 11, 2007

ITEXPO Day 2 Going Well

September 11, 2007

ITEXPO and Green Technology World

September 11, 2007

This morning marks the second day on Internet Telephony Conference & Expo and as I eat breakfast I can’t help but wonder if today will be an even better day than yesterday (photos and videos). What blew me away at this show so far was the buzz and amount of press in the press room. This year, our press list was the most impressive it has ever been. Still, we are working on getting even more members of the press for future events.   The conference sessions were virtually all packed (shot 1, 2, 3) and the buzz of buying in the exhibit hall was deafening.

The Standard Hotel View

September 11, 2007

Surprised But Happy

September 10, 2007

Norman Stout from Mitel

September 10, 2007

Mark Spencer Speaking

September 10, 2007

VoIP Peering at ITEXPO West 2007

September 10, 2007

SIP and IMS Session

September 10, 2007

Fonality Training is Very Engaging

September 10, 2007

Make Money Selling VoIP

September 10, 2007

  The VAR is Dead and Partner is Born   In a session titled how to make Money selling VoIP Robert Messer spoke today about how resellers need to evolve to become successful. Robert who works for ABP Technology a distributor of communications solutions mentioned resellers who embrace innovation are most successful. He says you must partner with your customers.   To be a reseller is the wrong paradigm he mentions. The most successful resellers reposition themselves as technology partners – not resellers.

Apple, Google and ITEXPO

September 10, 2007

I was up pretty early today and had a chance to take in lots of news while listening to CNBC, Bloomberg, reading Barons and any website I could get my hands on. Perhaps the biggest news in the telecom space today comes from Apple (disclosure I own Apple share) who announced today they sold 1,000,000 iPhones. That is quite a big number for such a short amount of time. In addition they will likely bid on the 700 MHz auction which CNBC commentators will tell you allows them to bypass AT&T.   What they don’t say is how complicated and time consuming it would be to develop a nationwide wireless network.

PerformanceEdge

September 10, 2007

For many companies with thousands of call center agents the concept of optimizing contact center performance is akin to optimizing the US government. In either case you must ask yourself how you know when you are truly optimized and the job is done.   If you pressed me, I would admit that optimizing a government is the more difficult task so in this article we will focus on optimizing the former.   In many call centers there are silos of automation with manual processes between them. These manual processes consisting of hand assembled MS Word or Excel Documents slow things down and are akin to Bondo on a race car. Sure, from the outside the car looks great but if you look below the surface you begin to understand that structurally the car is far from perfect.   You can imagine how happy I was to learn Aspect Software is committing tremendous resources to tackling the performance optimization problem and they have just launched a major initiative called PerformanceEdge which has the potential to truly revolutionize the contact center space.   The company is actually a melting pot of best-of-breed technologies such as inbound, outbound, customer service, workforce optimization and more.

ITEXPO West 2007 Car Giveaway

September 9, 2007

ITEXPO West 2007 Early Shots

September 9, 2007

Broadband Speed at Wilshire Grand

September 9, 2007

Walking in LA

September 9, 2007

ITEXPO West 2007 Coverage

September 9, 2007

Bloggers at ITEXPO

September 8, 2007

I have noticed this year more ITEXPO speakers have blogs than at any time in the past. We all know there are more and bloggers each day and I am excited to see how many of them are referencing their Internet Telephony presentations in their blogs. While I can’t do justice to every speaker/blogger referencing the show I recently came across posts from Alan Percy of AudioCodes and Leigh Fatzinger of Citel.   Alan’s latest post regarding the show is titled Still Getting Ready and explains a bit about his session regarding SIP trunking.   Leigh’s post talks about his panel regarding hosted IP and he also discusses the collocated event Green Technology World.   Leigh’s other comments are worth sharing:   Not enough time or effort has been spent on the environmental impacts of our industry, but this conference is a start. Citel will be publishing our own thoughts on the matter Monday on this blog.   Leigh, you are right on about the show.

P2P Identity Theft

September 7, 2007

Boy are those hackers are creative is all I could think when I learned a person used LimeWire to steal personal information such as tax returns from people’s computers. The hacker subsequently used this information to commit identity theft. Thankfully law enforcement including the secret service helped solve this case and as you might imagine it is very difficult to solve a case of identity theft via p2p file-sharing network.   Having your identity stolen in this manner is a really tough crime to solve and if you have a computer that others use, you may want to make sure that LimeWire and other file sharing software is not installed. If it is be sure to set it to only share files in directories that do not contain your confidential information such as passwords and tax returns.   Good luck and may the p2p firewall be with you.   Here is more from the Seattle Times.

Surf Communications

September 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Ilan Weizman of Surf Communications Solutions about the evolution of the IP communications space and the direction his company is taking.   Surf develops a suite of hardware and software products that drives a wide variety of applications for high-capacity distribution of voice and video. These applications are predominantly developed by media gateway, media server and IMS equipment manufacturers in the telecommunications infrastructure field.   To learn more about the company, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year.

Quintum News

September 7, 2007

TeamQuest

September 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to speak with TeamQuest Corporation’s director of communications, Keith Hanna, about the IP communications space, SIP and the overall direction of the company.   TeamQuest Corporation is a provider of IT Service Optimization, specializing in Capacity Management software. TeamQuest helps IT organizations consistently meet service levels while minimizing costs and mitigating risks.   To learn more about the company, read this article that appeared on TMCnet from earlier this year.   RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. KH: TeamQuest Corporation is the global leader in IT service optimization, specializing in Capacity Management software that helps IT organizations consistently meet service levels while minimizing costs and mitigating risks.   The company recently announced TeamQuest Performance Software Release 10 — the next evolution in enterprise-class Capacity Management software.   TeamQuest is focused on delivering software that meets the changing needs of the data center. The company is currently focused on extending its capabilities in the virtualized environment as well as providing TeamQuest software users with the ability to enjoy easy to use enterprise-class tools for investigating IT service performance.   Two new products, IT Service Reporter and IT Service Analyzer, are rich Web applications that provide a desktop-quality user interface accessible from a browser.   Release 10 also introduces the concept of IT Resources which facilitate customized views of IT infrastructure. IT Resources define relationships between hardware and software components, allowing users to view infrastructure components by tier, platforms, location, or in terms of the IT Services they support.

Nice Systems

September 7, 2007

Brian Spraetz, Senior Product Marketing Manager NICE Systems Inc., recently sat down with me (virtually over e-mail )to discuss IP communications and NICE’s upcoming presentation at ITEXPO.   NICE Systems is the leading provider of Insight from Interactions, offering comprehensive performance management and interaction analytics solutions for the enterprise and public safety and security markets. Read more about the company here.   RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. BS: We recently introduced the NICE SmartCenter solution to the market. This innovative offering is geared towards achieving and maintaining high levels of performance across the enterprise, especially in the contact center. A central SmartCenter technology is its interaction analytics capabilities that allow businesses to extract valuable business insights from unstructured recorded interactions such as conversations and screen activity.

NeoPhonetics

September 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask NeoPhonetics executives about open source/open standards-based on IP communications, cost effective PBX platforms, and more.   NeoPhonetics designs, implements and supports custom VoIP telephone systems for enterprises with a specialty in open source Asterisk installations. As I mentioned a few days ago, the interest in open source systems is growing nicely as evidenced how rapidly TMC’s fonality’s training session sold out. | To learn more about the company, read this article published in TMCnet from earlier this year.   Please outline your new corporate initiatives. NeoPhonetics continues to focus on the proliferation of open source/open standards based on IP communications through the use of improved multi-vendor VoIP management platforms and location based management services. Our unified management system for Asterisk provides enterprise grade, fully redundant and distributed PBX architecture and centralized management and monitoring of an Asterisk PBX system to many business locations. The ease of use this new system enables rapid deployment by resellers and integrators.

Business Solutions magazine

September 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Jay McCall, VoIP and Wireless Editor with Business Solutions magazine, about the evolution of SIP-based communications, the future of the market and more.   Business Solutions magazine is a publication geared toward executives of IT channel companies such as VARs, integrators, and solution providers.   To learn more about the publication, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year.   RT: How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy? We are currently evaluating an Asterisk-based IP system at one of our branch facilities.   RT: What pains does your company solve for customers? Business Solutions magazine helps our customers increase awareness in the channel.   RT: How has SIP changed communications? It has changed very little so far, but will likely change how we communicate within the next 12 to 24 months.   RT: How do you think the future of the market looks? SIP and VoIP are the future.   RT: How does the growth rate in the U.S. compare to the rest of the world? Because of the U.S. has a reliable traditional telephone infrastructure we have been slower to adopt wireless and VoIP technologies compared with Japan, China, and other countries.   RT: What do you think of Google and Apple entering the telecom market? The more players, the better it is for businesses and consumers.

Free Phone Numbers

September 7, 2007

SIP Trunking Overview

September 7, 2007

Dan York Available

September 7, 2007

LiveVox

September 6, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Louis Summe, CEO of LiveVox, about the company’s on-demand contact center solutions, their customers, and the IP communications space.   LiveVox provides on-demand, voice application solutions integrated with existing systems. The company is a leading contact center carrier, delivering on-demand inbound and outbound voice solutions.   To learn more about the company, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year or check out the LiveVox snapshot page.     RT: Tell me a little bit about LiveVox. LS: LiveVox provides an on-demand voice portal solution that delivers unique capabilities for the billing and collections industry, and offers the only global, multi-site management capability. Companies are no longer restricted to viewing and managing resources within one physical call center location at a time. Rather, management can allocate and manage resources across all locations, including offshore centers and those managed by third-party partners, giving them tremendous flexibility for how they run and optimize their businesses.

Steve Jobs Apology Letter

September 6, 2007

I came across this letter Steve Jobs wrote in response to the many complaints about the iPhone price cuts. I am shocked consumers would be so upset. In the consumer electronics space price cuts are routine and Apple has never pledged to consumers they would not lower prices quickly. Sure, Apple has a history of not lowering prices until there is a product update but still, they are not locked into this policy.   So hats off to Steve for writing this letter and offering a $100 store credit.   Here is a link to the letter on the Apple website and here is a copy:  
To all iPhone customers:
I have received hundreds of emails from iPhone customers who are upset about Apple dropping the price of iPhone by $200 two months after it went on sale.

Thanks for Registering Green

September 6, 2007

SIP Trunking Course

September 6, 2007

Toshiba

September 6, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask David Fridley, senior product manager of IP Telephony at Toshiba America Information Systems, about the evolution of the IP communications space and the direction his company is taking.   To learn more about the company, read this TMCnet article published earlier this year. Interestingly I am writing this on a Toshiba laptop and I subsequently found the last answer very interesting.     RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives? DF: Toshiba has reinvented itself from a provider of key/hybrid TDM systems to a provider of IP communication solutions for enterprises.

HelloSoft

September 6, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Allan Johnson, vice president of business development in the wireless group at HelloSoft, about the evolution of SIP communications, wireless mobility and the direction his company is taking.   HelloSoft is a provider of VoIP technologies for wireline and wireless devices. The company enables mass deployment of low-cost, power-efficient, fully-featured multi-mode wireline and wireless devices by providing highly optimized RISC-based VoIP products.   To learn more about the company, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year.

Thanks Arjun

September 6, 2007

Rich Tehrani Blooper

September 6, 2007

Excendia

September 6, 2007

It is difficult to start this column without a reference to Wildfire the personal assistant launched in the nineties we all thought would take over the world. Of course by “we” I mean the people attending trade shows in the telecom space in the nineties. Wildfire was an auto attendant system allowing you to speak to the machine as if it was human. It would understand you and perform many functions for you.

Call Center Consolidation

September 5, 2007

There is more and more talk of call center consolidation and suites of products from single vendors seem to be what analysts and many companies are clamoring for. I came across an interesting twist on getting educated on this space via a webinar focused on a term I never heard before. Specifically: Consolidation 2.0.   As call centers have become more sophisticated so too have they gotten larger and more complex and especially difficult to manage. For example hiring agents may mean entering their information into myriad databases and disparate systems.

Allworx

September 5, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Sandra Gault, EVP of Marketing at the rapidly expanding communications product company Allworx about the evolution of IP communications in the SMB space, VoIP and the direction her company is taking.   Allworx provides businesses with all the mission-critical communications support in a single system. They combine PBX and Key phone functionality with PC network services, along with VoIP, secured Internet access, remote office, group collaboration tools, and messaging software such as email, voicemail, unified messaging, follow-me calling, and group calendaring.   To learn more about the company, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year. Be sure to read this interview to the end… The answer to the final question is pretty surprising.   RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. SG: Our initiatives continue to enable the 3.5 million small to medium-sized (SMBs) businesses in the U.S. to transition risk-free and affordably to the benefits of VoIP, replacing the aging installed base of TDM key telephone systems that are incompatible with VoIP.

Fonality FtOCC Training

September 5, 2007

Extreme Video Solutions

September 5, 2007

Affordable Telepresence
I recently came across a company offering video conferencing solutions at an attractive price using a leasing model instead of a direct product sale. The company is called Extreme Video Solutions and is based in Arizona. For about $3,000/month and a minimum 3-year lease you get a T1 line and a 61” monitor with unlimited video conferencing. You don’t pay extra for multipoint conferencing -- it is all included.   The company bills its solution as something simple and easy to use – a secure, private TV network at a reasonable price.

Good Bye Foleo

September 5, 2007

On May 31st, 2007 I mentioned the Palm Foleo was doomed. Specifically I wrote the following:  
It seems doomed to me but perhaps Palm can morph it to be something useful down the line. But then again, I can't see what that will be.
  I finished off the post with:  
Palm would have been much better off making a truly functional ultra-mobile PC as if there is a market here that is going to be it.
  In today’s news we learn the Foleo is now being discontinued making it one of the shortest product launches to failures in history. The company is going to relaunch Foleo II at some point in the future but this is a mistake unless it is an UMPC.

Business 2.0 Shuts Down

September 5, 2007

There have been rumors about Business 2.0 Magazine shutting down for a while now. I heard about them a month or so ago. Now it seems the rumors were true.   I am sad to see the publication go. I really did like it.   In a way the “2.0” publications, Business 2.0, Fast Company and Industry Standard signaled a shift in the technology publishing world.

Dvorak on Google and AP Content.

September 4, 2007

John Dvorak is so correct about how the syndicated news outlets and the newspapers who support them totally screwed up by virtually forcing Google to carry syndicated content on their site.   Here are some of John’s Lucid comments which to be honest are just so compelling and accurate it is difficult to understand why he was first to mention it all.


Here is an excerpt:
It's almost as if the whole episode was an elaborate trap that the newspapers fell into out of sheer stupidity. You'll notice that the more commercially oriented news services, such as Reuters, aren't involved in this deal, although Google may take its feed, too, "out of the goodness of its heart."

Watching the U.S. newspaper industry implode because of its inability to keep up with the times, combined with a complete lack of understanding of the Internet and its mechanisms, is something to behold.   As I witness this, I actually see it as a good thing that papers are failing. I say that because this exhibition of incompetence and stupidity tells me that, apparently, this group has no business informing me about anything.






Nortel on Microsoft/Cisco

September 4, 2007

The following comments are from Nortel’s Tony Rybczynski regarding the new relationship between Microsoft and Cisco. I found them interesting and worth passing along.   ---   I was on holidays in Eastern Europe when the photo shoot took place. During my travels I learnt that the Austrio-Hungarian empire was largely created by making love (through arranged marriages) not war.

MOBIVOX

September 4, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Patricia Tessier, vice president of Product and Marketing at MOBIVOX, about deploying Skype, the IP communications space and more.   You may recall I mentioned the company in a post about about wireless companies at ITEXPO which by the way is less than a week away. Where has the summer gone?   MOBIVOX provides voice related applications for the cell phone, bridging the gap between mobile phones, VoIP and Voice over Instant Messaging (VoIM) while connecting mobile, PC, or home phone to any network.   To learn more about the company, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year.     RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. PT: We are in the midst of extending the reach of our network to additional countries and improving the usability of our service.   RT: How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy? PT: We built a global origination and termination network by leveraging IP communications.   RT: What is the biggest request coming from your customer base? PT: Our customer feedback to this point is very encouraging.

Ulticom

September 2, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Steve Northridge of Ulticom about IP communications, his business and what the future possibly holds for the company.   Ulticom deploys service-enabling communications software for the telecommunications industry with signaling software that enables deployment of mobility, location, payment, switching and messaging services within wireless, IP, and wireline networks.   To learn more about the company, read this article published on TMCnet from earlier this year.   RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. SN: Ulticom has been the world leader in signaling products with our Signalware platform which supports SS7, Sigtran, SIP and Diameter allowing our customers to focus on the value they bring through the deployment of applications on the carrier grade Signalware platform. New corporate initiatives are centered on our nSignia product line which leverages our Signalware platform to provide gateway functions packaged on a computer platform ready for deployment with no customer development required. The nSignia product line is in response to changing the signaling transport environment combined with the desire from our customers to isolate the signaling component allowing the customer application to be agnostic to the signaling requirements for different deployments.   RT: How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy? SN: IP communications has become pervasive. Traditionally, SS7 is transported over lower level protocols specifically designed to support SS7.

VoIP Supply Thanks TMC

September 2, 2007

One of the most satisfying parts of my job is working with smaller and newer companies and helping them become larger, more profitable and eventually large. I like to help large companies as well of course but the small ones are always more grateful as they can more easily measure how you’ve helped them and subsequently give you credit. They also have more skin in the game.   Recently Garrett Smith was nice enough to detail how TMC and VoIP Supply have worked together over the years to help VoIP Supply become the successful company they are today. Of course TMC can’t take all the credit… We can only help with branding, thought leadership and lead generation.

Beautiful Day

September 1, 2007

Skype, SIP and Asterisk

September 1, 2007

Dan York Speaks

September 1, 2007

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