Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

October 2007

You are browsing the archive for October 2007.

Diamond iPhone

October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2007

Free Switchvox

October 31, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent Cuts 4,000 More

October 31, 2007

Skype/SIP Gateway

October 31, 2007

Toshiba Gains in IP Communications

October 30, 2007

Toshiba has great potential in the world of IP communications as it makes phone systems and a variety of computing devices. The company recently released Toshiba SoftIPT 2.1 which further connects the company’s line of Strata CIX IP business communications systems with software which runs on laptops, handheld computers and more.   The solution also works in conjunction with the company’s Video Communication Solution or VCS.   So while this announcement is not so revolutionary – Avaya has had similar software for at least five years, from a branding perspective, there is tremendous potential to put soft clients on Toshiba devices far and wide.   My point is the company is well-known in computing but virtually unknown in communications. What if they installed soft client telephony applications on all their computers and devices? And in addition what if these devices worked with a Toshiba-powered hosted communications system?

Google Negotiates with Sprint Nextel

October 30, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent May Cut More

October 30, 2007

Verizon, Google Discuss Partnership

October 30, 2007

How does Verizon fight back against the Apple iPhone and AT&T network? Simple… They call Google and discuss partnering with the world’s leading search engine in order to come up with a device which will potentially take some share from Apple.   The Wall Street Journal is reporting that talks are underway but nothing solid has come of them.   It seems that Verizon will be responsible for hardware and Google will supply the software. In addition there will be an advertising split of some sort.   According to the WSJ, one concern held by Verizon is whether the device will be secure enough.   My take? This device will have to be as slick and integrated as the iPhone to make any sort of dent in the market.

Skype High Quality Video

October 30, 2007

Let’s face it, when you have a paid product and the free alternative keeps getting better, you have to keep innovating. This is the situation many videoconferencing companies are now in since Skype raised the video quality bar. How you ask? Well, the company now has the ability to communicate via High Quality Video.   In order to have access to this functionality you will need Skype 3.6 for Windows and Logitech QuickCam software, version 11.5.

Google Phone

October 30, 2007

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is close to unveiling the plans for its much anticipated mobile phone. Apparently in the US, T-Mobile will be a likely network partner. What will make the phone different from other devices is not fully known at this point but it is likely safe to say the device will be great at mapping, searching and probably showing videos of the YouTube variety.   Speculation coupled with past comments from Google execs lead us in the direction of thinking the new phone will be open and have seamless access to Google services.   The article is interesting as it includes a quote from Microsoft which basically says mobile phones are already open and you can currently develop programs for them.   To some degree this is true but by the same token, Google has been quite an innovator in the arguably mature desktop software business.   Examples? Well there is Google maps and the whole mashup concept.

SPIT

October 30, 2007

NexTone/ReefPoint Merger

October 29, 2007

Foundry Networks

October 29, 2007

As the need for ever-more broadband capacity in data centers increases and space available decreases, what is a company to do? One option is to look to Foundry Networks, a company who has decided to focus on high density/low-power data center solutions. The company is one of the greenest technology vendors in the market and their recent sales success shows that being green brings in more green.   In a meeting with Bill Ryan the Senior Product Manager and Pavel Radda the Media/Analyst Relations Manager I got to hear about the company’s products which save space, power and money.   Now I could spend some time going through all the details of the company’s product line such as the newly released BigIron Rx-32 or the enhanced designs of the XMR 32000 and NetIron MLX-32 but it may make more sense to start off by telling you how much electricity the company can save you.   For example the BigIron RX-32 uses 8.74 Watt/Gbps while the equivalent Cisco Catalyst 6500 uses 14.41 Watt/Gbps meaning the Cisco product uses 65% more electricity. As you might have guessed, a product whose name starts with BigIron has a good deal of capacity.   For example this new switch can handle 1,536 10/100/1000 ports and 128 10-GE ports with a throughput of 2.2 Bpps.   Regarding the XMR 3200 and the NetIron MLX-32 both units have better cable management and air flow channeling.

SprintSecure Laptop Guardian

October 29, 2007

One of the more interesting features of mobile devices such as Blackberrys is the ability to have the device remotely wiped in the case of theft or loss. Interestingly, many laptops are filled with much greater amounts of corporate data but it is not always so easy to remotely wipe data on such portable computers. There are certainly technologies which can make this happen but they are far from widespread and are limited in scope. In a recent meeting with executives from Alcatel-Lucent and Sprint, I was shown a technology developed by the former and sold by the latter which makes laptops more secure in a number of ways. The solution the companies demonstrated is something many corporations need as it allows them to take control of their mobile assets in ways not previously possible.   In brief, the companies have developed a broadband wireless data card named the SprintSecure Laptop Guardian which contains a battery, computer, GPS transceiver, VPN, firewall, and more.

Agito Networks

October 29, 2007

The amount of companies pursuing the fixed-mobile convergence market or FMC continues to grow at a torrid pace. The latest company to jump in with both feet is startup Agito Networks. I had a chance to meet with Dan Spalding the Director of Marketing and Communications and Pejman Roshan the VP of Marketing for the company to discuss their approach to allowing the world of fixed and mobile lines to merge.   Before we get into technology it may be worth noting that the people behind Agito are from the top firms in the wireless and tech business such as Cisco, Trapeze, Proxim, Spirent, Motorola, Palm and Good Technology. This never guarantees success mind you but it is certainly better than hiring a bunch of people with no experience.   Certainly this is a market with competition which is evidenced by my recent article about DiVitas Networks.

Covad Acquired by Platinum Equity

October 29, 2007

Covad was recently sold to private equity and this could be a good thing. The company made a big splash in the business VoIP segment years back but more recently Covad seemed to stop focusing on offering converged services and instead shifted the bulk of its messaging to broadband.   Part of the reason for this shift may have been service issues as I have heard complaints of poor voice quality from some of my readers over the years.   As a point of comparison -- during the last year, when Covad stopped focusing on the VoIP market, a competitor who is in the pure-play hosted VoIP space Cbeyond saw its shares rise over $11 or 36%. Cbeyond is now valued at $1.18 billion dollars in fact while Covad is valued at $191 million.   The new owner of Covad is Platinum Equity and some advice to the new company would be stay consistent. Promoting yourself as the ultimate IP communications solutions provider and then going dark for over a year sends a poor message to potential customers.   I started off this entry by saying this purchase could be a good thing and this is why.

DiVitas Networks

October 28, 2007

If you take a long walk through lower Manhattan you could very well end up in Greenwich Village, SOHO, Chinatown, Little Italy, the Meatpacking district or any other area of Manhattan bearing an interesting name and unique culture. Indeed, you can notice distinct differences in each of the above neighborhoods. In most cases the people in these different areas even look different.   Although we refer to this little island as the Big Apple, it is really an assortment of small apples of varying varieties. These separate pieces could just as well be located on different continents.   This is exactly how I feel about the communications space.

Microsoft/Facebook Analysis

October 28, 2007

I recently wrote that the investment in Facebook by Microsoft is a great win for the Redmond-based software company. John Dvorak sees it differently. Mr. Dvorak is one of the best tech writers I know and I have been reading his work for decades. His recent article on how the Microsoft/Facebook deal makes no sense has some valid points to it.   For example the quality of Facebook users may not be so good and users are fickle – moving from social network to social network.   Dvorak also points out the service can’t get much bigger.   So here is my counter-argument.

Fall in New England

October 27, 2007

Communications Enabled Business Process

October 26, 2007

You may have heard the term Communications Enabled Business Process or CEBP. I always wonder where new acronyms come from so I did some digging. This particular term was developed by engineers who were bored by the current state of telecom terms. After all, there are only about 100,000 of them and it has been proven a single person can learn them all in a lifetime.   This of course was the impetus to develop CEBP as research showed most people will not even be able to remember what Communications Enabled Business Process stands for, let alone means.   Of course I kid and this is because I can’t believe we have yet another acronym to discuss, deliberate, explain, have conference sessions and webinars about, etc.

TMC Halloween Costume Contest

October 26, 2007

NET Acquires Quintum

October 26, 2007

On the face of it you might not see a merger between NET and Quintum as something predictable. NET is on the west coast, while Quintum is on the east. Quintum has had a consistent branding message over the past decade or so and NET has not.   But there is an area where both companies do play and that is in unified communications and specifically how UC relates to Microsoft. You see, both companies are working closely with the Redmond-based software company.   This is where there is some overlap.

Phone Calls without Subject are Rude

October 26, 2007

Vonage, Verizon Settle

October 25, 2007

Today gave some great news for Vonage and its shareholders. Verizon and Vonage have settled the ongoing patent dispute for a maximum of $120 million. The company saw its stock close at $1.53 at the end of the day’s trading, down 4.38%. This news caused the stock to jump in after-hours a total of $1.12 or 73.20% (as of 6:00 pm EST).

Microsoft’s Facebook Stake

October 25, 2007

Did Microsoft make a good move investing in Facebook? The answer is definitely yes.   The $240 million price Microsoft paid for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook values the 3.5 year old company at $15 billion.   This is a small amount of money for Microsoft and gives the Redmond-based company access to Facebook’s 35 million registered users. According to Quantcast the social networking site has 25 million unique visitors per month.

Off to Interop

October 24, 2007

Verizon Wireless Settles on Deceptive Marketing

October 24, 2007

I have extremely favorable ratings regarding Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess. The speed of the system has been great over the many years I have used it. Lately, whenever I am on the service, I feel uncomfortable. Why?

Skype Mobile Phone

October 23, 2007

Skype will soon have a mobile phone on the market and more exciting VoIP news there cannot be. I would imagine it will be a dual-mode device which auto-senses WiFi networks and sends calls on its service. Why would you want such a thing?   Well for one thing, audio quality will be better with this device over a WiFi network when calling other people on Skype.

Polycom and Ekahau Partner

October 23, 2007

As the world becomes more interconnected (read: smaller), the need for increases in productivity grows exponentially. The reason is simple. The more countries get into the act, the more competition each company has to deal with.   Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue once again and to that end I would like to point out that WiFi telephony makes companies more productive in more ways than one. We all understand users can use a wireless LAN phone to hook into a PBX so as to not miss important phone calls.

NY Taxi Strike

October 22, 2007

It has been a busy day and although I tried to blog a few times today, nothing came out. It wasn’t writer’s block as much as there seemed nothing really interesting to cover. Many times I blog when I feel passionate about something.   So what caught my eye today is the taxi cab strike -- striking twice in 30 days, what is this France? The cab drivers are striking again because they are adverse to credit card machines and GPS.

Presence vs. Stalkers

October 21, 2007

Presence is a really great technology because it keeps people from playing phone tag – among other things. It is an absolute productivity accelerator as it allows people to know what people are up to 24x7. But therein lies the problem. I am not sure I am 100% comfortable with everyone knowing when I am online, on the phone, in a meeting, etc.   So the solution to this problem proposed by most people in the industry is to allow different people to know differing amounts of information about us.

Crowdgaming

October 20, 2007

Please read this post only if being humbled by technology is not something which will upset you. I must admit when I first heard about croudgaming I was a bit mortified. What has mankind become I wondered?   You see the history of pointing devices has been an interesting one. First there were the arrow keys, then the mouse.

Ooma Dialog

October 20, 2007

I wrote a blog entry titled Ooma Hysteria a few months back. A point I made in the entry is that ooma calls can potentially be tapped by users. Others commenting in the blog agreed. The company’s Chief Technologist Jeff Peck recently commented on their technology and didn’t share how they can keep calls from being tapped.

AT&T Sues Vonage

October 20, 2007

NexTone/ReefPoint Merger Happening?

October 19, 2007

Has anyone heard anything about this rumor? There is a small amount of buzz about it but neither company will substantiate whether it is true. I see positive reasons for such a transaction to take place and I can envision it happening for a number of reasons. The result of a NexTone/ReefPoint combination would be a stronger company with greater product depth.

Open Source Unified Communications

October 19, 2007

More Bad Motorola News

October 19, 2007

You may recall Motorola was a partner with Apple in developing the ROCKR phone which was supposed to be the best of Apple and Motorola technology in one sleek device. The only problem was the device was not the best of anything and subsequently didn’t sell. Oh and by the way – it wasn’t even sleek.   The experience taught Steve Jobs that Apple needs to develop its own phone if it wants to do the job (no pun intended) right. This is how the iPhone came to be.   Now, the iPhone is about to overtake Motorola’s best-selling RAZR phone.   This is sad because if Motorola had played its cards right it might still be an Apple partner instead of getting annihilated by the Apple onslaught.

Big Brother Service Provider

October 19, 2007

If I told you a book distributor with a virtual monopoly in most of the US was blocking the distribution of books it found inappropriate, what would you say? What would our government do if such a practice took place? I realize today this scenario can’t happen because we have open access to information on the internet but what if it happened fifteen years ago when the internet did not exist?   Wouldn’t you be horrified? Would you speak out against such practices?

Comcast Customer Support

October 19, 2007

This morning I went to Wikipedia to look up the formal definition for the term ballistic. Most of us know there is a term “going ballistic” which basically means freaking out in a potentially violent manner. Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry for ballistic in the singular form but they do have the plural – ballistics - and they describe it as the science of mechanics dealing with the motion, behavior and effects of projectiles, especially bullets, gravity bombs, rockets and the like.   Notice the definition has no mention of the word hammer. It has no mention of destroying your local cable office.

IP Communications News: October 19, 2007

October 19, 2007

Some of the interesting news of the week shows SMBs will not only be going down the road to purchasing IP communications solutions – they will also be purchasing and installing security solutions. In my research this morning I also came across a wonderful article by SIP legend Jonathan Rosenberg discussing social networking, SIP, VoIP and Web 2.0.   Avaya made some news as well when it announced it will be supplying IP communications solutions to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Of course, I am sure the fact that Avaya is located in New Jersey didn’t hurt this deal one bit.   VoltDelta made news as well by announcing AT&T is using the company’s integrated advertising platform for its 1-800-YellowPages offering in a number of southern states. The way the system works is simple… You listen to an ad and get free directory assistance information.   Rounding out this article but certainly not the end of the week’s interesting news is the fact the iPhone has been opened up to third-party developers.

Nokia N810

October 18, 2007

One of the best portable devices I have ever used is the Nokia N800. It was launched earlier than Apple’s iPhone and has many of the features the iPhone has but is better in many ways. It is not as portable as the iPhone but it does more and is a solid device for people who live in areas where WiFi is prevalent.   The one drawback was the Nokia did not have connectivity to any cellular networks. Another drawback was the lack of the keyboard.

Which PBX Manufacturers will Survive?

October 17, 2007

The following is a sidebar to the Publisher’s Outlook Column Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch in the November, 2007 issue of Unified Communications Magazine.   ---   There are many PBX companies – well over 25. I am surprised how many of these companies survive “under the radar” thanks to their strong dealer network. Telephony is an interesting business in that relationships can be more important than technology and, oftentimes, price.   Having said that, it is obvious that more and more companies will start looking for UC solutions and not just a plain vanilla IP-PBXs. This means every PBX company must immediately have ready UC solutions either capable of adding value on top of Microsoft’s solutions or else sold as a viable alternative. They must find a way to position themselves for the future and convince customers they are leading, not trailing, in UC technology.   From there, they need to start producing leading-edge software.

Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch

October 17, 2007

Please enjoy the Publisher’s Outlook from the November, 2007 Unified Communications Magazine.   ---   In the history of communications space there has never been a new product roll-out supported by over 50 other companies. Until October 16, 2007, that is. I write this article while on a returning flight from San Francisco, CA, where I got to hear Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and Business Division President Jeff Raikes speak about how Microsoft will change business communications forever through the introduction of a suite of unified communications software, products and services. And yes, over 50 other companies also announced related products and services.   Bill Gates explained to an extremely large audience that this announcement is about applying the magic of software to phone calls.

Swearing at Work

October 17, 2007

Interviewed by CBS 5

October 17, 2007

The 4:00 am wake-up call seemed louder than most – even though I went to sleep at 5:00 pm the night before. You see I just couldn’t sleep through the night regardless of how tired I was from the late-night travel from the prior day. I woke up at 7:00 pm and didn’t fall asleep again for many hours later.   This morning I called room service and they were closed so I looked at the coffee maker in the room. It looked like it hadn’t been washed since the hotel was built.

Skype, MySpace Partner

October 16, 2007

Just a few days ago I mentioned Skype should be getting more involved in social networking. I also said the company should be streaming audio and video through its client.   Interestingly, 48 hours or so after my post, Skype has announced they have worked a deal with MySpace to integrate its internet telephony software into this social networking phenomenon.   Voice communication is "a competitive advantage to us for gaining users and keeping users," said Kyle Brinkman, vice president of product development at MySpace.   This is positive for Skype but also makes it difficult for the company to become more of a social networking company themselves. The reason of course is the MySpace deal may be in jeopardy if Skype becomes an effective social networking company.   Getting back to the beginning of this article – it seems MySpace and not Skype has made the deal to stream content via their service. Hopefully Skype will do this soon as well.   By the way, if you look at the comments from the Skype post you’ll see Matt Giteau thinks the reason there has been no streaming deal was because Zennstrom didn’t want a competing product to Joost.

Telrex Unified Communications Call Recording

October 16, 2007

One of the main messages Microsoft is promoting to the communications marketplace is there is no need to replace your hardware – Microsoft Unified Communications will blend with your current communications infrastructure through gateways allowing you to keep the thousands of PBX features you need while being able to connect it to Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, Live Meeting and so on.   But why not replace your PBX while you are at it? After all, your company may not need thousands of features.   The reason may be that one of the areas where Microsoft’s unified communications strategy is light is in call monitoring and recording. You see if you want to record Microsoft UC phone calls you need a PBX.   Thankfully for those who want to deploy a Microsoft UC solution sans PBX and who need recording, Telrex has your answer. The company has just announced they will allow IP call recording and monitoring for Office Communicator 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007.   Company executives tell me one of the benefits of their solution is the ability to record calls on disparate IP PBXs within an organization.

October 16, 2007

Microsoft UC News Update Here is the news you should be aware of regarding Microsoft’s Unified Communications push so far:   Tom Keating   Drag-and-drop Conference Calls = OCS 2007 Success? SAP Duet to leverage Microsoft OCS 2007 Rich Liveblogging Microsoft UC Launch Dell Gets into VoIP Game with OCS 2007 Microsoft OCS 2007 Review XML VoIP API by Microsoft Live Meeting and Lypp Microsoft Unified Communications Client API SDK released + UC 2007 Launch VoIP Test Set for Office Communications Server 2007   Rich Tehrani (I always have something to say)   50 Microsoft Unified Communications Partners Initial Thoughts on Microsoft Unified Communications Event Keating?s Microsoft Unified Communications Review A Microsoft Unified Communications Gadget display Early Photo of Microsoft Unified Communications Launch Heading over to the MSFT UC Day Heading to the Microsoft Unified Commuications Launch Communication’s Biggest Week Ever   Greg Galitzine   Microsoft OCS Launch Day Broadsoft Connections: Guy Kawasaki and Microsoft?s OCS? Nortel Looking Forward to Microsoft OCS Launch   TMCnet   IBM Announces Integration of Lotus Sametime and Lotus Symphony for Unified Communications BT Ramps Up Unified Communications and Collaboration Portfolio Unisys to Offer New Solutions and Services to Tie into Microsoft Unified Communications Technology Maximizing The Benefits Of Unified Communications BroadSoft Announces Efforts to Promote Unified Communications NEC Ink Unified Communications Pact" href="http://www.tmcnet.com/unified-communications/articles/12495-unisys-nec-ink-unified-communications-pact.htm">Unisys and 'NEC Ink Unified Communications Pact 

Photos from Microsoft Unified Communications Event

October 16, 2007

50 Microsoft Unified Communications Partners

October 16, 2007

Initial Thoughts on Microsoft Unified Communications Event

October 16, 2007

Having Bill Gates initiate any new product launch is obviously good for your product. The energy so far in the room is amazing and the excitement about communications is absolutely incredible. It is quite amazing that communications has become a super strategic product officering at Microsoft.   The executive team at Microsoft thinks Unified communications will do to live communications what email did to asynchronous communications in the nineties.   It is tough to disagree.   Perhaps the most memorable moment about the event so far other than the dry ice smoke and blaring guitar at the start of the day is the fact the audience actually clapped when they saw how a conference call can be initiated with a simple mouse click.   If you are wondering if the market will resonate with UC you should have been in this room to see applause erupting spontaneously from a mouse click initiated conference call. This is something I have never seen before and I have been at this for quite some time as you know. So far I'd have to say this event is a lot more than smoke and mirrors.

Keating’s Microsoft Unified Communications Review

October 16, 2007

A Microsoft Unified Communications Gadget display

October 16, 2007

Early Photo of Microsoft Unified Communications Launch

October 16, 2007

Heading over to the MSFT UC Day

October 16, 2007

Heading to the Microsoft Unified Commuications Launch

October 16, 2007

Communication’s Biggest Week Ever

October 15, 2007

Tomorrow kicks off the biggest week in the history of communications. I have to be honest. After I wrote this statement I had to get up and take a walk and get some tea. I wanted a sanity check and sometimes meandering around one’s office and listening to water cooler conversations about various TV shows and celebrities helps put one’s views in perspective.   So while at the forefront of my mind is the big Microsoft unified communications news, in the background I wonder if indeed Lindsay Lohan is broke.

What eBay Should do with Skype

October 14, 2007

Please enjoy the unedited November 2007 Publisher’s Outlook column from Internet Telephony Magazine.   ---   OK, I was wrong. Really wrong. Over a billion dollars wrong in fact. Why?

Extreme Video Solutions Update

October 14, 2007

This past week I had a few minutes to spare while in New York City so I went to the Wall Street location of Extreme Video Solutions to see a demo of their technology in action. You may recall I wrote about this video conferencing company a while back.   Making a call was as easy as pointing a remote control at the MCU and pressing a few buttons. The video and full duplex sound quality was great.   The codec box allows myriad devices to be plugged in from a PC for a PowerPoint presentation to a DVD recorder.   Although the company will be releasing some new features in a few weeks I am not at liberty to disclose them at this time. What I can tell you is the single 61” monitor has been replaced by two slightly smaller ones allowing you to see what your camera is transmitting, a PowerPoint or another point in the conference.

Paetec Buys Allworx

October 12, 2007

Going to New York

October 12, 2007

Strategic Technologies for 2008

October 11, 2007

I was reading an article on Wireless News regarding Gartner’s top 10 strategic technologies for 2008. Here are those technologies with the analysis from Wireless News. Obviously I agree with the first two items on this list and I do agree with a number of others here as well.   Here is the full article.   Green IT. The focus of Green IT that came to the forefront in 2007 will accelerate and expand in 2008. Consider potential regulations and have alternative plans for data center and capacity growth.

Network Engines Buys Alliance Systems

October 10, 2007

If you have been in the telecommunications market for any period of time you are no doubt aware of Jon Shapiro the founder of Alliance Systems the company responsible for building bullet-proof communications servers. Alliance Systems has great industry partnerships with vendors like Interactive Intelligence, AudioCodes and Dialogic.   Alliance Systems was just sold to Network Engines for about $40 million dollars and according to the acquiring company, this addition of telecommunications products and services blends nicely with the company’s storage and security business.   As always, stay tuned for more.

Here is a letter Jon just sent out:
Dear Friends

I am very pleased to share some exciting news with you.  This morning, Network Engines announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire   Alliance Systems, Inc., a leading provider of server appliances and computer infrastructure that support telecommunications and enterprise communications solutions. 

This acquisition represents a major milestone for Network Engines and Alliance Systems. 




VooDooVox

October 10, 2007

I thought I had heard it all when it came to telecom. I have been doing this job long enough that I have seen probably ten thousand companies come and some go.   VooDooVox however has a new twist on telephony and will now allow people on hold to listen to ad-supported news and sports scores.   In addition the technology allows radio stations to actually answer the thousands of many unanswered calls they can receive each day. You can now easily poll these callers and/or you can get personal information and build an e-mail list.   In short, VooDooVox has a great idea in taking inefficiency in the telecom space and eliminating it.   I know the question you are likely asking – Rich, do they have a prayer at being successful (pun intended).   Are they guaranteed to be successful – no. But the company could do well in a few niches in my opinion.

Google Acquires Jaiku

October 9, 2007

Vonage Resellers Concerned

October 9, 2007

AT&T’s Alternative Spectrum Buy

October 9, 2007

Some Early October News

October 9, 2007

E-Mail Miscommunication

October 9, 2007

The End of Car Theft

October 9, 2007

RingCentral VoIP

October 8, 2007

The folks at RingCentral have had a great virtual PBX service for ages and it was almost a surprise to hear the company still didn’t have a VoIP module. Even if you weren't aware... Fear not as I've got your back and I mentioned it back in June of last year and again a few months ago. In my most recent article I ended it with the following:   The service has some big news coming soon which will make it even more useful but I can’t tell you yet what it is.

IP Communications News October 6, 2007

October 8, 2007

It’s been another busy week in the IP communications space as evidenced by the cornucopia of news from seemingly every sector of the market. If you happened to be on vacation this past week or just don’t want to deal with hassle of figuring out for yourself what is important in the world of IP communications, you came to the right place.   First off, you may be surprised to hear how fast VoIP is growing in the US if your sole source of news is your shareholder reports from SunRocket and Vonage. According to this article detailing North American VoIP and broadband growth – the rates are much higher than you may have thought.   Of course the odds are you knew this already because you probably use a VoIP PBX. What’s this you ask?

Share Music, Get Fined

October 8, 2007

Siemens Unified Communications

October 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark Straton the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at Siemens about his thoughts on unified communications and where the telecom market is headed. Straton spent the early part of the conversation talking about Microsoft’s vision.   This vision in his words is basically that the first generation of VoIP solutions were tied to hardware but now you can overlay the communications software and migrate to a fully software-based approach. It should be noted the Siemens VP agrees with this vision.   But he argues that Microsoft has started to put walls around their systems. He says other providers must operate within this environment.   Straton thinks there needs to be an open approach to UC and one vendor cannot provide everything – we need flexibility he says.   Straton mentions to scale such a solution is a very difficult task… He points to the decades of telecom development embodied in the HiPath 8000 from people who are communications experts.   At this moment he took the opportunity to explain the fact that HiPath sales are rapidly accelerating at a number of major Fortune class organizations including the deployment of a massive hosted solution provided by Global Crossing in the UK.

Taqua and Broadsoft Partner

October 7, 2007

Arbinet

October 7, 2007

I recently had a chance to speak with Steve Heap the CTO of Arbinet regarding what is happening at the company. Although I have known Arbinet for about a decade, it may be good to bring everyone up to speed on what this company does and where it sees things going. In addition, Heap gave me some ideas on how he sees the competitive environment and where the threats to his company may or may not lie.   Arbinet’s core business is a minute exchange where they take in calls from carriers and PTTs and determine the best way to terminate them.   The company has a few aspects to its business. Routing – it routes calls most efficiently, rating – it determines how much to bill for the call and money flow – ensuring the proper company gets billed and paid accordingly.   Heap shared the fact that his company is agnostic to interconnection mechanism as they handle PSTN and VoIP.

iCar

October 6, 2007

Will RIM Make your Next PBX?

October 5, 2007

In July of 2004 Avaya and Motorola explained to me how their new FMC partnership would be great for business users. They even launched a new phone called the CN620 in fact. I haven’t heard much about the initiative between the companies in awhile and this could mean it either didn’t go according to plan or I just missed the evolving news. The issue hasn’t been important enough for me to pick up the phone and call the fine people over at Avaya and ask them about it.   I was reminded of this old news today when I came across this article about how Avaya and Nokia are collaborating on dual-mode devices for the enterprise.

TMCnet Searches

October 5, 2007

I thought it would be interesting to see what people search on when they come to TMCnet. It should be noted these searches are on TMCnet proper which unfortunately at the moment does not include blogs.   These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because if a search is embedded in a web link and that link is crawled repeatedly by search engine spiders you come up with a situation where numbers may be skewed. Be that as it may, it is worth sharing some of the information from the last month if for no other reason than as a diversion from more important pursuits such as doing your (and my) job.   1 Avaya No surprise here but shouldn’t Cisco be more popular based on company size and product portfolio? 2 Witness+Systmes I get the feeling this is one of those odd pages (with a typo by the way) that gets crawled repeatedly.

Virtual World Investment

October 5, 2007

If you want to get an idea of just hot virtual worlds are these days consider there has been a billion dollars invested in this technology in the past year. More amazingly this amount of money has been divided and parceled into 35 companies. Some of these distributions of capital were acquisitions and others were investments. There is obviously a lot of money out there thinking virtual worlds will be huge.

Dialogic Buys Cantata

October 5, 2007

Dialogic has been gaining a great deal of momentum this past year and now this momentum has increased substantially as the company has just announced they will be acquiring Cantata. This deal gives Dialogic access to huge fax market share as well as the Excel and SnowShore product lines, significantly enhancing Dialogic’s position in the service provider market according to Jim Machi the company’s Vice President of Marketing.   Machi also explained this acquisition will be significant for Dialogic customers as there is a great deal of service provider know-how which Dialogic will now have access to. He further mentioned the company is extremely excited about this transaction.   In the nineties there were a number of companies in the DSP resource board market -- Dialogic, NMS, Brooktrout, Rhetorex, Aculab and Pika Technologies were some of these names. Through a series of acquisitions Rhetorex became part of Brooktrout which changed names to Cantata.

Call Center Flash Demo

October 4, 2007

Over a decade ago I came across Interactive Intelligence, a company who looked at the call center space as an area ripe with opportunity. They decided to market products which did exactly the opposite of what others were doing at the time.   While most companies were focusing on pushing box after box after box -- one for the ACD, another for the dialer, workforce management, etc… Interactive Intelligence decided to unify the communications mechanisms and deploy software as opposed to hardware. Their solution was to have a single configuration interface, navigation menus, etc.   I was thinking about the past decade in communications as I came across this interesting Flash demo from the company. It seems like more and more companies are now doing with Interactive is doing.   This demo talks a bit about the company and the Customer Interaction Center solution they provide.

Nokia Ferrari Phone

October 4, 2007

60 lucky people will be able to own the new Nokia Ascent Ferrari 60 phone. As is the case with the cars, if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it. Let’s put it this way. Assuming the average car costs around $30k and the Average Ferrari costs about $300k – you pay a 10x premium for the prancing horse.   The situation is similar with the phone where if the average smartphone costs around $250, you can pick up this new Ferrari phone for about $25k.

Freeconferencecall.com

October 4, 2007

If you are interested in how services like Freeconferencecall.com make money be sure to check out this article in the Wall Street Journal (paid content). In short, large phone carriers like AT&T and Verizon have to pay 5.3 cents per minute to terminate calls in rural parts of Iowa due to the way the telecom regulations in the US work.   So free conference calling services, chat and sex lines were set up with numbers connecting to rural Iowa. The rural carriers split the incoming revenue with the internet companies.   The large phone companies started to block calls, the free conference calling services complained to the FCC and now the large phone companies stopped blocking calls and instead refuse to pay.   If nothing else this article shows just how inconsistent the telecom policies are in the US and moreover how technologies like the internet and IP communications have been able to open up large business opportunities.

Reselling VoIP

October 3, 2007

Calling all consultants, VARs, systems integrators and other resellers… Be on the look out for information on how you can make money selling IP communications. Specifically hosted communications. Now that I have got you looking, please indulge me as I give s shameless plug to a web seminar sponsored by Speakeasy, Polycom and TMCnet.   Here are some of the details. As always the webinar will be archived for future viewing if you miss it live.

Unified Communications Gaining Momentum

October 3, 2007

In less than two weeks the communications market will be bolstered by the announcement of Microsoft officially entering the unified communications space in a major way. As a show of their support for the market, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will be speaking about the opportunity to a live audience.   To get an idea of what Microsoft will be rolling out be sure to read my recent article on the company.   The significance of this news cannot be underestimated as Bill Gates is not used by the company to push technologies which are not core to Microsoft’s strategy. If you need proof that Microsoft is serious about unified communications, imagine at a time when Microsoft is rolling out new music players and some of the most popular video games in the world, Bill Gates is taking time to talk unified communications instead of video games or music players.   I would imagine if there is nothing to slow the momentum down, 2008 will certainly be the year of unified communications. This will hopefully be good for the entire communications industry and give more choice for corporate customers.

Google Adds Security

October 3, 2007

The day’s news has been pretty steady and one of the most interesting bits coming across my screen is certainly Google’s decision to add security from Postini into their Google Apps Premier service. This is a great idea as Google has gotten into some trouble lately because their applications have some security flaws due to problems such as captured cookies and others.   Every vendor has to deal with security issues and the best way to handle such problems is to take them head on and add security. This is a positive move for Google.   Disclosue: The author is a shareholder in Google but thinks Google apps have a long way to go before he switches to hosted applications.  

Verizon Voyager: iPhone Killer?

October 3, 2007

With all the hoopla surrounding the iPhone it is not surprising that Verizon Wireless is touting a suite of new phones and one – the LG Electronics Voyager is being touted as an iPhone killer. The device runs on the faster Verizon Wireless data network (Probably EVDO Rev. A) and has a keyboard. These are the two Achilles heels of the current iPhone. The device is similar to Apple’s phone in that it has a touch screen and web browser built-in.   So will this device be an iPhone killer?

Kill the Paper Clip

October 2, 2007

Phil Hill

October 2, 2007

Welcome Phil Hill to TMCnet as a columnist. Phil’s column is titled Hosted Hearsay and his first article is titled Small Business VoIP: Is it an Elephant or Gorilla? Where he discusses the reason why all SMBs are lumped together.   Here is a salient part of the article:   Small Business is a Big Market While similarities between eating five-toed pachyderms and the small business market may seem a stretch, let’s remember that they have one thing in common: they’re both very large. According to U.S. Census data, there are 5,083,750 businesses in the U.S.

HTC Phones

October 2, 2007

It is times like this I get jealous of the smartphones the Europeans get. HTC makes a pretty good device in the 6700 and these devices are likely better as they are newer and have better processors and in some cases form factors.   The new smartphones—HTC Shift (available November), HTC S730 (available this month) and HTC P6500 (available November)—are aimed at the business user, featuring mobile computing features such as souped-up mobile messaging. HTC also announced a line of headsets intended for use with the new smartphones.   HTC described its Shift smartphone as a device that combines “the power of Windows Vista with always-connected 3G/HSDPA connectivity.” It features HTC’s new SnapVUE technology, which provides users with access to calendar, e-mail, SMS messaging and contacts without needing to boot up—thus extending battery life.

Response Point

October 2, 2007

For at least a decade PBX manufacturers would speak to me off the record about their trepidation regarding Microsoft entering the phone business. For those companies who hoped the day would never come, they should probably avoid reading this article from TMCnet’s Greg Galitzine detailing the availability of Response Point.   Microsoft has partnered with a number of companies to bring these systems to market. Some of the partners consist of Quanta Computer, D-Link and more recently Aastra. The cost for the systems is between $2,500-$3,000 for 4-5 users.   I have used Microsoft’s Response Point phone system both in TMC Labs and in Microsoft’s Redmond office.

3Com and Digium News

October 2, 2007

If you haven’t been watching lately there has been lots of activity in the IP PBX and networking space from 3Com and Digium. Here is a recap.   3Com was recently purchased and a minority investor was China’s Huawei. This could be good for 3Com as having improved ties in China for manufacturing and distribution is a good thing. This is also good news for Huawei, a company looking to grow more quickly in the US.   In addition, Digium purchased Switchvox and the goal of this acquisition seems to be making Asterisk as easy to use as possible.

Ixia’s New President and COO

October 2, 2007

Loyal TMC readers and visitors are likely aware of Atul Bhatnagar who was a keynote speaker about two years back at ITEXPO in Los Angeles, CA. The year Atul spoke was the first time Internet Telephony Conference & Expo was in the Los Angeles Convention Center and this was also the first time we had Michael Powell and Carly Fiorina as speakers so apologies in arrears to Bhatnagar if these two other speakers may have received excessive promotion by me at the time.   Lately though it hasn’t been Fiorina or Powell making headlines. If you haven’t been paying attention, Bhatnagar has been making some big news of his own as he is now the new President and COO of Ixia. I recently had some time to catch up with him and I was able to learn about his new position at the company.   Although he isn’t ready to preach strategy to me yet he is doing quite a bit of analysis of the business and is spending a great deal of time with current customers. So far he sees lots of opportunity in the business.

Beautiful October Sunset

October 1, 2007

Hyperconnected

October 1, 2007

About a decade or so ago I ran across Tony Rybczynski (Tony Ryb to those who know him and/or cannot pronounce his last name) at the COMNET trade show in DC and was so blown away by him that I thought he would be a great writer for TMC publications. Over the past decade, Tony has written many columns that always captivated the TMC community and made me think. Tony spends much of his day trying to figure out what’s next. In my opinion, Tony really gets it and while I don’t agree 100% with everything he writes, I always stop and think when his point of view is different than mine.   More recently, Tony has been invited and has accepted to blog on TMCnet. We could not be happier.

Trixbox Training

October 1, 2007

If you are looking for open source communications training, Fonality Trixbox training is going worldwide and is likely coming to a city near you. If you are looking for a discount on this training, be sure to click on the links below to save $50 per person. This can add up to quite a substantial savings and shows TMC’s commitment to open source. It also shows Fonality’s generosity to help the TMC community get less expensive access to the vital training needed to become a reseller of these very popular solutions.

Wes Hayden

October 1, 2007

Let’s congratulate Wes Hayden who was just appointed to the role of President, Nuance Enterprise Division. Hayden will report to Paul Ricci, Nuance's chairman and CEO.   As Nuance focuses more on selling integrated solutions I expect Hayden’s skill sets to come into play. After all, as President and CEO of Genesys Telecommunications --his former position, he had to deal with integration on a regular basis.   As you may recall, in the nineties, Genesys Labs (That is what they used to be called) was known as the middleware company and was a leader in the CTI space. If you wanted to integrate a Rockwell ACD (remember them – they are now Aspect) with an SER dialer – or were they EIS back then?

CommuniGate Pronto Goes Air

October 1, 2007

I have been using the latest version of CommuniGate System’s Pronto which works on Adobe’s Flash and Air technology. I think it is a great product. Adobe’s Air Platform was formerly called Apollo and provides a much richer interface than AJAX. Think of it as AJAX on steroids.   Pronto is a rich internet application tying in a myriad of applications such as email, calendaring, IM, media players, blog editing, IM, voice, music player, photo viewer and groupware.   I like the new version of the software as it allows much better handling of HTML e-mail.

Zennstrom no Longer Skype CEO

October 1, 2007

I just noticed Greg Galitzine wrote about Niklas Zennstrom stepping down as Skype’s CEO. 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.   In my last conversation with Zennstrom in spring of this year he had a definite sparkle in his eyes when he spoke about Joost.
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