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September 2008

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Get a Job on Tom Perkin's Yacht

September 30, 2008

James Bond: Forget Q -- Try eBay

September 30, 2008

Talk about an embarrassing situation. London's Secret Intelligence Services or MI6 lost a camera full of Al Qaeda names, fingerprints, academic records and a bunch of pictures of rocket launchers and missiles.

MI6 is the sister agency to MI5 made famous by James Bond movies.

Nikon Coolpix S51 8.1MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Vibration Reduction and Zoom

The camera showed up on eBay and was purchased for about $31. A casual Amazon search shows the camera if purchased new, wouldn't be worth more than about $400.

The question worth asking is which is more embarrassing? Having your agencie's camera full of top secret info lost or disappointing millions of people who would have hoped British Intelligence agencies would use a camera which is embedded in the agents fingernail with a viewfinder disguised as a contact lens?









Communications and the Economy

September 29, 2008

Please note this post was written approximately one week ago -- before the news of the bailout bill failing began to spread fear in the financial markets. Stay tuned to learn how the financial markets will affect communications and technology.

Many people asked me recently at ITEXPO West 2008 Los Angeles, what I see happening in the communications market from an economic perspective. Let's just say that on the way to the show, I was watching TV as the stock market plunged and there was talk of another Great Depression. When I got to the show I must say I was unclear how the financial markets would affect the communications space.

Help Save Internet Radio

September 29, 2008

If you aren't aware, traditional US broadcasters have done their best to kill internet radio. The reason is simple... Internet radio can be better than traditional radio and using the power of listeners, internet radio stations like Pandora allow a crowd to determine the best songs to play for others.

If you haven't tried Pandora, you should. It allows you to enter a song or artist to seed a station and then plays similar songs which you might like.

Financial Crisis = More IT Talent

September 28, 2008

Many people I know working in the financial markets are programmers and I knew as these people lost their jobs this past year, they would be looking for jobs in IT and telecom.

I am now hearing and reading reports that students who once avoided IT are now looking seriously at engineering as a major. This is good news for our markets as it means being able to hire IT talent at more reasonable prices which means less outsourcing to other countries. It also means more programmers dedicated to building new products which has to be good news for buyers.

I bet a bunch of the ex-financial types will even take up blogging - which of course is among the noblest of professions.





ITEXPO West 2008 Interviews and Keynotes

September 26, 2008

Find Those iPhone Apps With Apptism

September 26, 2008

There are thousands of iPhone apps on the market but if you use Apple as your main source for learning about these applications you are limited to what Apple lets you know about. In addition, some are not thrilled with the web and iTunes interface and are looking for alternatives.

Moreover, users looking for that specific application in a haystack could search endlessly without success. This is because Apple has the ability to restrict applications from getting into its App Store for a variety of reasons. One application, Podcaster has been restricted because of iTunes overlap -- but by many accounts it was superior in some ways to iTunes.

As an iPhone user you may want to know about all applications you could potentially download for your phone and alse see user reviews and other article links to the these apps.

This is where Apptism comes in.





Some News Updates of the Week

September 26, 2008

I am traveling today so blogging activity may be lighter than usual. In the mean time, here are some stories which my be worth reading. I don't know about you, but it seems the news flow in the communications and tech spaces has been greater than ever these past weeks. For someone like me this presents many opportunities to compare and contrast how companies see the future.

Astricon 2008 Digium/Skype Collaboration Photos

September 25, 2008

Asterisk and Skype Collaborate Update

September 25, 2008

Huge news out of Astricon 2008 -- Skype and Digium will begin to collaborate. I will have more details soon but for now this likely means easy integration between phone systems based on Asterisk and the Skype network. I have talked about Skype trunking before -- this news will likely mean that there will be native Skype trunking in all Asterisk boxes.

This could potentially give these open source platforms a huge advantage over companies like Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, Etc where an external Skype trunking gateway will be needed to communicate with the Skype community.

This can be huge news for telecom markets as the price to make calls will drop substantially from Skype devices and software to Asterisk-based open-source PBXs.

One other point -- the Skype gateway market may now become based on Asterisk appliances/software. This means we could see more interoperability between the Skype network and SIP and other standards.

Update:

My theories were accurate.









Huge Digium/Asterisk News Coming Soon

September 25, 2008

ITEXPO Best Show Ever for Microsoft Response Point

September 24, 2008

There was tremendous buzz about Microsoft's multiple announcements at ITEXPO West 2008 in Los Angeles last week and I was very happy to hear that ITEXPO was the best show Microsoft's Response Point team has ever been involved with. It is humbling... But we are just doing our job and as always we do our best to keep our customers and the industry happy.

I really think Microsoft's addition to the marketplace will mark a change in our industry and it is worth partnering with them where possible to add value to the company's various solutions.

Read Best Show Ever for Response Point from the Response Point Team Blog for more.

What is perhaps most exciting for me is how many ITEXPO exhibitors did business at the show. There were many deals taking place on the exhibit floor and exhibitors told me they were selling continent by continent as so many people speaking different languages showed up to buy products.

Going forward we are looking to Make ITEXPO in Miami, Feb 2-4 even better than Los Angeles.







Communications News September 24, 2008

September 24, 2008

I just had these links sent to me -- they are part of the latest unified communications newsletter and some of the stories are interesting. I thought it worth passing along. Hope you find it useful.

» Alcatel-Lucent to Deliver Advanced Communication Network in Chile

» InsideView Integrates SalesView to Oracle CRM On Demand

Steve Brubaker's Blog

September 24, 2008

Steve Brubaker has a blog which I have linked to in the past but has now moved to a new home on his company's site: Infocision. I thought this valuable resource was worth pointing out to those people who are interested in the regulatory side of call centers as well as people interested in teleservices and BPO. One of the hot topics in the space at the moment has to do with whether our industry needs self regulation. This is discussed in his first entry.

Generally this is a good idea if you want to keep the government out of what you are doing.

Astricon 2008 Photos

September 24, 2008

Look -- I know how you feel. So many things to do, so little time. Do you spend your day listening to government officials justify a $750,000,000,000 loan or do you go to Astricon to see what is happening in the world of open communications? Personally I struggled with the same question but thankfully, I had a big team of my best people already going to the show.

Contact Center Update

September 24, 2008

There are some very positive contact events worth sharing. The first bit of news has to do with how Voxify helped callers prepare for hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Voxify used its managed speech solutions to help hotels and airlines handle massive call volumes which peaked as the hurricane got closer. Callers not only made calls to reserve rooms and forms of travel, they also called to reconfirm reservations.

In other good news, AT&T has opened a call center in Detroit, Michigan to provide DSL service and support. This is an important move as it follows a pattern of other companies moving jobs from other countries back to the US.

iPhone Tip #1 Battery Life

September 24, 2008

To maximize your Apple iPhone's battery you need to be proactive. A few tips to ensure the battery lasts as long as possible are to disable the wireless networks you do not need. For example bluetooth and WiFi are naturals to turn off at first.

The next step is to turn off the 3G network and revert to the much slower but less power-hungry Edge network. Personally, I have never done this and I understand if this is too drastic for you to undertake.

The next step is to reduce screen brightness.



Big Mobile Week

September 23, 2008

Boy has there been tremendous mobile news this week. A few of the more interesting news announcements I have seen are the release of the Google T-Mobile G1 Phone which is based on Android/OHA. What is really interesting about this story in particular is that Android looks like it will find its way into many devices beyond phones.

This phone could be very interesting and it remains to be seen how Google competes with Apple in the UI game. While Apple has a simple but elegant design to its solutions, Google's solutions are simple and plain.

Satellite and Cellular Marry: Verizon Screwed

September 23, 2008

SkyTerra's Mobile Satellite Ventures, ICO Global Communications and Qualcomm have jointly announced they will work together to develop chips which will allow cell phones to rely on satellites when cellular networks are not available.

It will be a few years until we see the results of this collaboration and I imagine battery life will be an issue when communicating with satellites -- but if you put battery life aside, this agreement wreaks havoc on global cellular markets.

Why? Verizon decided years back to not carry the iPhone and one would imagine the superior Verizon network is one of the reasons they made this decision. They felt they didn't need to bow to the desires of Steve Jobs. They figured cutomers would not defect because they would not want to lose Verizon coverage. And of course they are partially right.

But, what happens if all cell phones can rely on WiFi, satellite and WiMax networks as backup networks?





Viral Videos and Religion

September 23, 2008

Apple Going Too Far on App Store Restrictions?

September 23, 2008

There are so many positive things you can say about Apple. The company is truly positioned to take over the computing and mobile worlds. They already seem to own the music and video businesses. But does Apple need to tell us what programs we should and shouldn't run on our phones?

SIP the Future

September 23, 2008

ITEXPO in Swahili

September 22, 2008

What Cisco Was Doing During ITEXPO

September 21, 2008

More On Google Buying Skype

September 21, 2008

You may have noticed some posts regarding Skype being for sale and possibly acquired by Google this past weekend. While a few people have speculated Google would be the only purchaser, Andy throws in Oracle and Cisco. I agree with Andy and would add IBM, Microsoft and SalesForce.com into this group as any of these companies would want to strengthen their subscriber bases and having Skype in their portfolios means a strong integration with a very popular software package which can be leveraged to provide a great unified communications solution.

Oracle and IBM especially would be able to leverage Skype in this fashion. Of course yes -- Skype is a consumer play but I hear over and over how often Skype is used in the corporate environment.

Discussion: Is Skype For Sale?

September 20, 2008

Toshiba Moves Upmarket With CIX1200

September 20, 2008

Back in NY From ITEXPO West 2008

September 19, 2008

This was an incredible news week in the world of communications with dozens and dozens of important announcements being made at ITEXPO West 2008 in Los Angeles. Over 50 countries were represented at this show making it a truly global event and attendees and conferees gave us many testimonials about how good the show was for them. Thanks for attending and thanks to the TMC team for successfully executing yet another world-class event. I have to be honest, between meetings, announcing keynotes and media interviews, I couldn't keep up with the news avalanche these past days. Soon, I hope to absorb all of the stories which were written and let you know what news is of importance and how it will impact you. In the mean time, have a great weekend and I hope to see you at the next ITEXPO - East 2009, Feb 2-4 in Miami.





ITEXPO West 2008 Toyota Prius Winner

September 18, 2008

Still Lots of Big Crowds

September 18, 2008

Fonality Booth at ITEXPO West 2008

September 18, 2008

The Ferrari of IP PBXs?

September 18, 2008

Telepresence Hot at ITEXPO

September 18, 2008

Fax At ITEXPO

September 18, 2008

APEX Voice at ITEXPO

September 18, 2008

I2Telecom at ITEXPO

September 18, 2008

Syspine Booth

September 18, 2008

Telematrix TMX 1170 SIP DECT Phone

September 18, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Some More Stories

September 18, 2008

Here are a few news stories I came across today to keep you up to date on show happenings so far. I didn't get a chance to read them all by the way but I wanted to share as soon  as I could.



ITEXPO West 2008 Best of Show

September 18, 2008

ITEXPO Press Coverage

September 18, 2008

I Stopped by the Sansay/Stealth Communications Party

September 17, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Day Two Over

September 17, 2008

Yamaha's Conference Systems Carried by cyLogistics

September 17, 2008

At a young age I was always fascinated by stereo equipment and in fact starting working at TMC at age nine putting stamps on envelopes in the summer and on holiday so I could save up enough money to buy a stereo system. I spent somewhere north of $2,000 in 1979/1980 to buy a Vector Research receiver, a pair of Bose 901 speakers and a cassette deck and turntable whose brands I cannot recall. I purchased the Vector Research receiver because I couldn't afford one by Yamaha but Vector Research was said to be founded by a team that left Yamaha so it would have to do. The receiver still works although Vector Research went belly up shortly after I made the purchase.

This came back to me today when I read Zippy write that Yamaha is going to be distributing their conference calling products through cyLogistics.

ITEXPO WEST 2008 Exhibit Hall is Open

September 17, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Outrageous Interactions Contest

September 17, 2008

Joe Staples Senior VP of Marketing at Interactive Intelligence is onstage at ITEXPO West 2008 in Los Angeles detailing the winner of the company's Outrageous Interactions contest. The winner was Tracy Roach who took a call complaining that a customer's PIN number was erased when the bank decided to paint the wall by the ATM machine.



Details:

Interactive Intelligence Announces Winning Customer Service Story in Outrageous Interactions Call Center Contest

Tracy R. of Tennessee wins contest grand prize of trip for two to Hawaii for most outrageous customer service story

 

INDIANAPOLIS - Sept. 25, 2008 -- The public has spoken and the winner of the Interactive Intelligence (Nasdaq: ININ) "Outrageous Interactions" call center contest is Tracy R., a customer service specialist for a Tennessee-based bank.







8x8/Packet8 and Microsoft SMB VoIP Collaboration

September 17, 2008

Breaking News

There is big news out of ITEXPO this week in Los Angeles. 8x8 and Microsoft just released the news that the two companies will be working together to offer Packet8 VoIP SIP trunking service with the Microsoft Response Point Business Phone System.

At a press conference held by Bryan Martin CEO of 8x8 and XD Huang General Manager of Microsoft, the two companies addressed a large crowd of analysts and press regarding the huge opportunity the two will take advantage of.

In order to maximize the relationship, the both will jointly market the combined solution through their respective VAR channels. In addition, they will jointly market this solution online and via other marketing channels.

For 8x8, this agreement further cements its position as an SMB IP communications provider who seems to be operating on all cylinders. The company was smart to focus on the SMB market years back when it became clear the consumer VoIP market was hard to make money in.







ITEXPO West 2008: Introduced by IP Man

September 17, 2008

IP Man Fight Evil IP Communications Villains
Having been speaking at conferences and other events for decades I can tell you that yesterday was a first for me. Why? Well, I was introduced by a cartoon character and even turned into a cartoon character. Many people mentioned how closely the cartoon character resembled me.

People I Saw at ITEXPO West 2008

September 17, 2008

I have had a chance to see so many people yesterday and this morning at ITEXPO -- here are a few photos I took.

Here is Brough Turner -- he is CTO of NMS the company which is in the DSP resource board market and has provided major building blocks which helped open up the telecom market over the decades. The company is to be acquired by Dialogic pending shareholder approval. According to many people at this show the terms should be more than favorable to NMS shareholders.



Andy Abramson was in town for the show and held one of his famous wine dinners which are becoming industry if not world famous at this point.



Art Rosenberg -- the man who coined the term unified communications many years ago was on hand in the press room to discuss the disconnect between where communications needs to be and presently is. One interesting point in our conversation was the increased need to assign tasks with deadlines and be notified if said deadlines are to be missed.









ITEXPO West 2008 Exhibit Hall

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Microsoft Keynote

September 16, 2008

X.D. Huang General Manager of Microsoft gave a very interesting keynote where he first focused on the many things coming out of Microsoft Labs -- in particular -- an interface which mixes real objects with virtual ones. Using cameras on your desk the system is able to recognize gestures, etc. This technology is not necessarily new for Microsoft -- but it is the first time I have seen this demo.

ITEXPO West 2008 Skype Keynote

September 16, 2008

IMS Forum Becomes NGN Forum

September 16, 2008

Just announced at ITEXPO: The NGN Forum and IMS Forum have merged and will also have an associated STP Forum and Diameter Forum. As you may know, these are key elements to provide applications and services to residential and business customers.

This means the IMS Plugfest is now not just IMS-based but will also focus on the following architechtures as well: STP, Diameter and IP OSS/BSS.

The new name of the furum will be the NGN Forum and Michael Khalilian will be the Chairman and President for the next three years.

There are now over 2,500 participants between the different forums with weekly additions to the technical working group comittee -- working on business development, marketing, technology and standards.

The focul point of the NGN forum is IP, IP structure, framework, architechture  and best practices. The objective of this group is to ensure interoperability of new revenue generating services via things like plugfests. As you may be aware, TMC's IMS and UC Magazines are sponsor of these plugfests and the next one is January 12th, 2009 in New Hamphsihre -- at the UNH-IOL (interoperability lab)

Expect the news of the new boards of directors to come out in the next few weeks.











Skypeoke Discussion at ITEXPO West 2008

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 SIP Trunking Update

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Trixbox FtOCC Certification

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Lunch Day One

September 16, 2008

It's All About Communications

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 SIP Trunking Workshop

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 IPTV Workshop

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Next-Gen Contact Center

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 OCS Training

September 16, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Prius Giveaway

September 16, 2008

Just Getting to ITEXPO West 2008

September 16, 2008

More Shots From Avaya Reception Last Night at ITEXPO

September 16, 2008

I had a great time at the Avaya reception last night where I met up with old friends and made some new ones. Photos below are of Jon Arnold, Luca Filigheddu and many others. Sorry about the quality - this is the best the iPhone can do at night. I may have some professional shots up later today in this same post so check back.

Also be sure to see Luca's post VON is Here, referring to the fact that so many of the people who were part of the VON community have moved over to ITEXPO.

ITEXPO West 2008 Avaya Workshop

September 15, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Map

September 15, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 News to Date

September 15, 2008

At the Westin Bonaventure in LA for ITEXPO West

September 15, 2008

Landed in Los Angeles for ITEXPO West

September 15, 2008

GIPS Gets Russian Win

September 15, 2008

In years past the competition between GIPS and Spirit DSP has been the stuff of legend. While the competitive situation has unwound over the past 18 months or so it is still interesting to see how the companies compete with one another.

For example, some news out of this week's ITEXPO is that exhibitor GIPS has just announced it has been selected by Mail.Ru to have its GIPS' VoiceEngine embedded inside the Mail.Ru Agent, starting with version 5.2 -- allowing affordable calls to stationary and mobile phones.

Of course the interesting thing here is Spirit DSP is based in Moscow -- so this is a win in foreign territory for GIPS and the company can look forward to having its solutions rolled out to about 50 million new Russian users.



Zippy's Thoughts on ITEXPO

September 15, 2008

I just came across an article by Richard Zippy Grigonis regarding the success of ITEXPO in light of the incredible competition over the years. Reading it, reminded me of shows of the past which I enjoyed going to. Zippy -- as many of you know is about the straightest-shooter there is -- he tells it as it is -- from his vantage point of course.

This is what makes his thoughts are all the more incredible (and humbling) -- and Zippy -- you are part of the team that allows ITEXPO and TMC in general to flourish. Of course while i am in thanking mode -- getting ready to head out to LA for ITEXPO myself -- let me extend a hearty thanks to the entire TMC team, our advertisers, sponsors, exhibitors and partners who have allowed TMC to keep growing.

I look forward to seeing you all and thanking you in person this week.



http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/greg-galitzine/podcasts/Zimmerman-Keynote-podcast.mp3

September 12, 2008

TI on Communications Development

September 12, 2008

Texas Instruments makes the DSPs which perform much of the heavy lifting in communications devices we commonly use. From cell phones to VoIP gateways, TI DSPs and other processors are likely to be in in the equipment we use.

To help us understand how TI helps deliver world-class voice and other solutions, we have invited Fred Zimmerman, Director, CPE VoIP Solutions for Texas Instruments' Communications Infrastructure & Voice Business to deliver a keynote address at the upcoming Communications Developers Conference taking place in Los Angeles at the LA Convention Center, September 16th to the 18th.

His topic will be case study focusing on the SMB market -- one which is really poised for growth. Zimmerman will give a call to action to VoIP vendors selling into this market.

The SMB has unique challenges -- and these extend into the infrastructure according to Fred. Zimmerman's case study discusses a small service provider and will delves into where the rubber meets the road in SMB VoIP deployment.

Here is a podcast with Greg Galitzine which has details and both Greg and Fred do a great job.

Hope to see you at the show.









Second Gates/Seinfeld Ad Better

September 12, 2008

The second installment of the Microsoft Bill Gates Jerry Seinfeld advertising campaign is surprisingly better than the first. It is just as confusing but there was something about it which compelled me to watch and have real interest in what the characters are all about. After a short amount of time I admit I threw in the towel as to trying to understand some of the characters.

I should also mention the ad was 2:30 long making it five times longer than a typical commercial.




I do agree the acting of Bill Gates was good and Seinfeld -- well he can't seem to be bad -- even if he tries. With the exception of course being the first installment of this commercial series.

I suppose the point of these commercials is to reposition Microsoft as hipper and more interesting without responding directly to the Apple ads.








Keating on Skype, Pika and Zune

September 12, 2008

You know what? I was looking at Tom Keating's blog today and there is some good stuff worth sharing. First he points to an Om Malik interview of Josh Silverman the CEO of Skype and then reminds us of how to get Skype to run on an iPhone (sort-of) until Skype releases an official version.

The interview is great -- it shows Skype is laser-focused on profit, mobility and embedding itself into other applications. Malik pushed Silverman on a few fronts -- explaining that the telcos aren't a monopoly (contradicting my thoughts and those of Silverman) -- he also pushed Silverman on why they are still part of eBay and finally on why Skype is boring.

Avaya Workshop/Reception at ITEXPO in Los Angeles

September 12, 2008



Next week is a huge week for the communications industry as ITEXPO will roll into Los Angeles, California with thousands of attendees looking to keep up to date on the latest in the communications market. If you aren't planning on being there, you really should... We expect this event to be one of the best ever held in communications and technology.

In addition to a great educational experience, the ability to network with the industry's best and brightest there will be tremendous keynotes and a number of great networking receptions. You can even win a hybrid car!

Perhaps one of the receptions I will be looking forward to most is being held by Avaya on Monday night, September 15 at the Westin Bonaventure.





View Larger Map

At 7:00pm, Avaya and The Yankee Group will have a workshop followed by a party with great views of Los Angeles and handcrafted ales.













Dialogic/NMS Acquisition Discussion and Analysis

September 12, 2008

On a recent call with Jim Machi, Senior Vice President Marketing Dialogic Inc.I had a chance to ask a number of questions regarding his company's pending acquisition of the platform division of NMS. The deal is subject to shareholder approval and comes a few weeks after NMS received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq exchange due to the company's stock price being under $1 for more than 30 days in a row.

Machi tells me the deal will allow the two companies to pool resources and as a result they should be able to get products out to the market faster than ever. He further cited the video and mobile value-added spaces as other areas where the companies will be able to compete more effectively as a standalone entity.

I asked Machi about the geographical ramifications of this deal and whether there are complimentary areas of the world which NMS brings to the table. According to Jim, Dialogic is very strong worldwide so this was not a reason for this acquisition.

I asked if the deal has been on the works for a long time and Machi commented it was a normal amount of based on prior acquisitions.





Dialogic Swallows up NMS Platforms

September 12, 2008

NMS Communications signed a definitive agreement to sell its NMS Communications Platforms business to Dialogic for $28 million in cash. This is a significant deal as it shows just how little value the platforms division has and it further marks a turning point in a rivalry which has been legendary for the past few decades.

Why the low price? Simply stated, Moore's Law which has in the past few years made it possible for Intel CPUs to do much of the DSP work which once required separate processors.

In the nineties, the fight for share between Dialogic and NMS was incredible and seemed to transcend business to become personal in many cases. It was a real slug fest and shows like CTI Expo, Internet Telephony and the Computer Telephony event were where these companies would traditionally try to outdo one another.

More recently however under the leadership of Nick Jensen, Dialogic has been much less of an in-your-face competitor and as such, deals like the purchase of Cantata and now this one have been made possible.

NMS for its part will become LiveWire Mobile -- the name of the company's subsidiary which focuses on providing ring tones and videos to mobile devices.







Solar Roofing Materials

September 12, 2008

CRG West Promotes John Savageau

September 11, 2008

John Savageau one of the hardest working people I know in the carrier hotel/data center business was just promoted to CTO of CRG West where he will get to focus more on the company's peering and ICT offerings. Perhaps no one is more deserving of a promotion.

John has been an instrumental part of CRG West's expansion from two to eleven data centers and John is a true thought leader in the space. In my many discussions with Savageau, he has explained in intricate detail what separates his data centers from the run of the mill and brimmed with pride when he gave me a tour of the company's famous One Wilshire building which is located literally a few blocks from where ITEXPO will be held next week in Los Angeles.

John was a career US Air Force officer and when you speak with him you get the sense of his military background. There is just something about the precision in the way he speaks.

Many people take for granted that interconnections in facilities like the ones John manages are responsible for supplying entire countries with internet traffic.





More IP Communications/VoIP Interviews

September 11, 2008

IP Fax on Mainstream News

September 11, 2008

Kanye West Arrested in LA

September 11, 2008

I realize this has nothing to do with my typical subject matter but as you know as I get closer to a trade show I do look for nice segues to help me discuss the show. For example, next week, ITEXPO will be held in Los Angeles and coincidentally about an hour or so ago, Kanye West was arrested in Los Angeles.

So coming to ITEXPO can not only be good for your career and help you supply your users with a better IP communications experience, you can come to the show in the city where Kanye West was actually arrested. If you come to the show via LAX, you can actually visit the airport and perhaps gate where Mr. West -- famous for the song Gold Digger and Stronger among others -- was handcuffed and taken away.

With any luck -- being LA and all -- you may get to see other celebrities arrested on your way to the show as well. If you do -- be sure to drop me a line.

Silliness aside -- we are all looking forward to seeing you next week in LA.





Telus Nabs Huge VoIP Deal

September 11, 2008

Congratulations are in order to Telus who won a $7 million dollar deal with an 18 month RFP to provide VoIP and call center solutions to Vancouver's 311 contact center which supports 200 sites including City Hall, the 311 Contact Center, the Vancouver Police Department, the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Department, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the Vancouver Public Library.

I really love Vancouver -- it is a beautiful place that seems to never get dark with amazing seafood and a good number communications companies.

Congratulations once again to Telus on this big win.

Here are some photos from my last Vancouver trip:


·         Vancouver Photos

·         Leaving Vancouver

·       








SIP Trunking Article

September 11, 2008

FierceVoIP has a great article on SIP Trunking which does happen to mention ITEXPO which takes place next week in Los Angeles. As you may have guessed -- it is written by Doug Mohney -- the smiling gentleman pictured to the left of this short entry.

As I have mentioned before, SIP trunking is one of the major growth areas of communications and will be for the foreseeable future. Resellers and businesses of all sizes should be at the SIP Trunking Workshop at the show which happens to be free and from what past attendees have told me, a fantastic learning experience which helps you increase your call quality and lower costs. For resellers/interconnects/VARs/VADs -- SIP trunking represents a recurring revenue stream which is welcome in an age of decreased margins.

I should also mention -- while on the topic of SIP, there is also a SIP certification class at TMC University focusing on building services with SIP.

Here are other TMC University courses to consider:

  Date Course Hosted by

Tuesday,
September 16, 2008

Microsoft OCS



Tuesday,
September 16, 2008

FMC/Mobility  

Tuesday,
September 16, 2008

Open Source  

Tuesday,
September 16, 2008

SIP in the Contact Center   Wednesday,
September 17, 2008
IP Network Security   Wednesday,
September 17, 2008 SaaS Thursday,
September 18, 2008
Unified Communications   Thursday,
September 18, 2008 SIP: The Foundation for Building Enhanced Services Thursday,
September 18, 2008 Next-Generation Call Center
Management
 
















iPod Touch: Your Next Office Phone?

September 11, 2008

Recently at a launch event, Steve Jobs had a less than earth-shattering presentation where it seems the news of his health was more interesting to most reporters than the products being rolled out. Having said that, there was apparently huge news unveiled at the show if you are a VoIP-head like me.

You see the new iPod can do VoIP because it has an extra wire connected to the headphone jack.

Do you remember in 1994 I predicted in Internet Telephony Magazine that Apple would come out with something called a VoIPod? Well I got the name wrong but the concept is still the same -- the new iPods can do do VoIP which means there is a chance these devices will become primary phones for college students and others who are in areas where there is ubiquitous WiFi.



Another application of course is in corporations where iPods could become primary phones for workers.







Phone.com on ITEXPO

September 11, 2008

I was just reading the Phone.com blog by Ari Rabban where he mentions:

ITExpo is arguably the largest gathering of the VoIP industry. The conference and expo is a great place for the industry to gather, network and exchange ideas about the industry.
As the founder of ITEXPO, it's been a long road since we first launched ITEXPO in 1999, but my team has worked very hard to make ITEXPO the premiere communications event in the industry.

Currently this show is the only one in the world we know of which attracts resellers, service providers and business decision makers. It has truly become the gathering place of the communications industry and we are busy this week putting the final touches on what we think will be the best show we have ever held.

Remember the show is next week -- September 16-18 in the Los Angeles Convention Center -- West Hall.

Ari I hope to see you at the show and the same goes for all of my readers.










ITEXPO West 2008 Show Daily #1

September 10, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 attendance for the upcoming Los Angeles, California event to be held September 16-18 is looking great and I just can't wait for the show to start. We are brimming with enthusiasm about this year's event and it will truly be the World's Communications Conference. Perhaps the most exciting thing about this year's show is the record number of companies making news at the show. We are absolutely thrilled about this and are doing our best to help you absorb all the news emanating from the show in an easily digestible format.

Why Wireless Carterfone is Needed

September 10, 2008

The Carterfone ruling is what allowed the AT&T network to be opened up to competition and basically was the result of AT&T trying to stop a company from adding a device which was acoustically not electrically to their network.

The 1968 Federal Communications Commission allowed the Carterfone and other devices to be connected directly to the AT&T network, as long as they did not cause damage to the system. This ruling (13 F.C.C.2d 420) created the possibility of selling devices that could connect to the phone system using a protective coupler, and opened the market to customer owned equipment.

Many companies including Skype have tried to apply this ruling to the wireless market and changing the practice of bundling service and device with long-term contracts consisting of early-termination penalties. I actually thought this matter was over.

But today I came across a press release from The Phoenix Center which says that if the FCC were to regulate the way the mobile industry operates, consumers would lose out. Their point is that the result of such moves will be higher costs for mobile devices with no guarantee of lower service costs.

This is why their press release is right:

Long-term service contracts do indeed partially include financing charges on the device which you use.









iPhone VoIP Banned in Germany

September 10, 2008

Dvorak on Bill Gates/Seinfeld Ad

September 10, 2008

AT&T Boosts GPS With A-GPS

September 10, 2008

AT&T just announed they will support A-GPS or assisted GPS which is a technology which utilizes the best of the GPS and cellular worlds allowing faster and more accurate postition tracking. GPS while fairly accurate, can take minutes to initialize and requires a fairly strong signal to work accurately. Quite often in fact, GPS does not work indoors or in areas where there is dense foliage.

A-GPS assisits GPS by allowing the cellular network to tell the device generally where it is located meaning the GPS receiver can narrow down its search for sattelites which in turn means faster and more accurate positioning results.

In a press release, AT&T explains it will further launch two new navigation applications in coming weeks -- MapQuest Navigator and AAA Mobile Navigator. The new applications add to the company's AT&T Navigator and AT&T Navigator Global Edition offerings.

Depending on how the public responds to this echnology, it is possible A-GPS will replace GPS as a technology meaning most GPS devices will have assistance from cellular towers.





Spy While You Talk

September 10, 2008

Let's face it. We are all busier than ever and many of us are multitasking quite often. In some cases, some of us email while we talk on the phone to get more done during the course of a busy day. Others will email on the train, plane, car, etc.

Esquire With E-Ink

September 9, 2008

ITEXPO West 2008 Show Guide

September 9, 2008

I have been looking at the show directory for next week's Internet Telephony Conference & Expo and am very happy to report this event will be one of the best we have produced. When I saw the draft of the directory on the way to the printer I immediately asked my team to have it turned into a PDF so everyone can see it in advance.

Most of the links below will get you directly to the PDF which is 17 MB in size so please don't download over dial-up or wireless where you pay per minute.


My show letter is a great place to start as it gives you the details of what is happening at the show.

All the top names are in the show... Cisco, Avaya, Time Warner Cable, Mitel, Interactive Intelligence and Dialogic. In addition, the most important open-source communications companies will be exhibiting.




Boost Your Smartphone Battery Life

September 9, 2008

As phones get smarter and we use them more to surf the web, send emails and other things, the batteries seem to get smaller. Some tips to get the most out of your battery are to turn off the radios you don't use. WiFi and bluetooth are prime candidates and on an iPhone you can even turn off the 3G network and use EDGE if speed is not so crucial.

In some cases where there is poor reception and you don't need the phone to work you can turn off the cellular radio altogether. Here is an article on the matter and some sites where you can go for more info on battery saving tips for your device:



Can Yahoo Get Out of its Own Way?

September 9, 2008

Obviously this past month has seen tremendous market volatility but I thought it important to point your attention to Yahoo! being near a fiver-year low. The company could have been taken over by Microsoft and returned shareholders over $13 billion more than their recent value. Ouch. This is a tremendous hit.

So many companies consider Microsoft to be an enemy and obviously, Yahoo has competed with Microsoft for a number of years and is no different. But why does Yahoo not seem like it is reenergized after this deal broke off?

Best Buy, iPhone 3G First Impressions

September 8, 2008

I had a very interesting day so far. A crying child had me up at 3:30 AM and I didn't get back to sleep. I figured I would take the opportunity to get ahead on my work. So iPhone, a bowl of cereal and coffee in hand I plopped myself in front of the financial news stations to see what the results of the weekend bail out of Freddie and Fannie would be.

Shortly after the cereal was done and a few sips into my delicious Elite Coffee, the internet went out.

Behavioral Advertising Hanging by Political Thread?

September 6, 2008

I have seen many industries flourish and die as a result of government regulation which changes at times like the wind blows. One of the latest casualties may just be companies who focus on behavioral tracking such as NebuAd. As Gary Kim spells out in this well-written article, "your wallet is not safe when Congress is in session."

Still, I must say I am quite worried the government may try to do what is in the public's best interest and at the same time hurt the public. You see, I believe the ability to target ads to match the needs of web surfers, TV viewers, etc is crucial in helping to monetize content while at the same time minimizing the viewing of ads which do not interest users.

In addition, the efficiencies gained by showing more targeted ads will likely be partially passed on to consumers.

This matter is especially important today as we are seeing the migration of video content from cable and satellite to broadband or TVoIP. As this happens, new companies are emerging, looking to monetize the viewing of such content.

Let's just hope there is a favorable environment for companies looking to maximize advertising revenue while providing free service.







Brian Ross Joins Acredo Technologies

September 6, 2008

Hosted communications provider Acredo Technologies recently hired Mike Ross to bolster the company's sales. Acredo is headed up by Mike Ross a veteran of the communications space having worked for Dialogic, Rhetorex, Aculab and many others.

Mike's son Brian worked with dad at Aculab for many years and while there did a great job selling DSP resource boards to a number of OEM customers making the communications equipment sold to business and service provider customers.

While I must admit this isn't the biggest news -- it does signal the continued growth of the hosted market (at least from this vendor's perspective) and it also brings two of the nicest people in telecom back to the same company where they will likely be successful again.

If you want to connect with Mike Ross, be sure to come to ITEXPO the week after next to hear him speak. Here are some details.





The Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates Commercial

September 6, 2008

When you have the opportunity to have Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld in a commercial, you expect something grand. After viewing this Microsoft ad below, I have to admit -- it is one of the worst commercials I have ever seen.



One of the goals of this commercial is to be viral and in that area it certainly works -- as people will talk about how bad it is and forward it around. As I watched -- I wanted to laugh. I was hoping it would be funny -- it just wasn't.

So I came up with some lines that I think are funnier than anything in the commercial.





Cable Content Blog

September 5, 2008




Be sure to check out one of TMC's latest blogs -- Cable Content Connection written by Dave Rodriguez -- TMC VP of conferences and publications. One of Dave's entries which caught my eye was titled McCain gets better rating then the Oscars and Obama?. If you are into election primary ratings it is worth a read.



Here are some of Dave's other recent posts:

Here is a link to the full TMC blog page as well so you can keep up with them all.










60 Crucial IP Communications Interviews

September 5, 2008

Whenever I go to a conference, I learn a tremendous amount from the people I meet at the show. I really enjoy the impromptu networking which takes place at events as it allows me to learn so much about what is happening in the market. Ironically, I generally learn things I didn't think I would learn ahead of time. Quite often, I wish I would have known more about peoples' experiences before I met with them as it would allow me to be better prepared to ask pertinent questions.

I further wish I knew who was coming to events and and moreover I wish I could get a "brain dump" from them before the event so I could have a frame of reference before our conversations take place.

Imagine how much better networking at a show would be if I had an idea what people were generally thinking about the market before I even say hello.

In less than two weeks the world with gather at ITEXPO -- The World's Communications Conference to help select products for purchase, learn about the latest events in the telecom market and network with peers.

It is this last area where this blog entry should be of maximal benefit.







ADC's Bob Switz on Telecom Growth and Commodity Pressure

September 5, 2008

ADC Telecommunications CEO Bob Switz appeared on CNBC this afternoon explaining his company's guidance for the full year is to be maintained. It would appear he was referring to revenue and not earnings. He also explained six weeks ago guidance was lowered. He further mentioned at the end of the second quarter, guidance was raised.

Yesterday, the company reported quarterly earnings.

TMC Editor's Week

September 4, 2008

In less than two weeks something extraordinary will happen. Not only will the global communications industry convene in Los Angeles for ITEXPO but there will be over 100 members of the media, analysts, etc meeting with the world's leading vendors in the communications and technology space.

In addition, well over a dozen TMC editors will be on-hand at the show for the first ever TMC Editor's Week. Close to 100 meetings have been set up by my team so far and counting.

If you are interested in having a meeting at the show with a TMC editor be sure to email Todd Keefe ASAP.

Here are a few of the TMC editors present and depending on scheduling, you can meet with them:

  • Greg Galitzine
  • Rich Grigonis
  • Bob Emmerson (European Editor)
  • Peter Radizeski (Reseller Channel)
  • David Yedwab (Unified Communications)
  • Tom Keating (New Product Reviews)
  • Brendan Read (CRM/Call Center)
  • Erik Linask
  • Michael Dinan
  • Tim Gray










Multi-Touch+Camera+Voice+Force = New Interface

September 4, 2008

Remember when I said the GUI would become the gesture-based user interface or GBUI? I mentioned Apple's patents in the blog entry and now a new patent application shows Apple is looking to fuse gestures, voice, the camera and motion sensors together to create a brand new interface.

Ironically last night I was showing some young relatives some photos on an iPhone and within a moment each of them took the phone and started to flip backwards and forwards through photos. This was the first time I remember not having to show someone how do what I had just done on a computer or phone. Apple's new GBUI is so easy, a 3 year-old and a 4 3/4 year-old were able to intuitively understand how to do what they wanted with no help from me at all.



It occurs to me the power of combining gestures and the above technologies if done correctly will transform how we interact with computers and as a result, at least two things will happen:
  1. We will use computers in brand new ways.







Fonality Gets More Funding

September 4, 2008

Fonality just received a $12 million financing round by Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund. This is a powerful statement by this top fund that they really beleive in the open source communications story and to be quite honest, it is tough to disagree that this is a great space to be in as most every vendor in the space is doing well.

I have covered Fonality before -- the company makes quality PBX products and I have had a chance to test the Trixbox PBX for a number of months and remain impressed.

Getting back to Draper -- the fund has had some great investments including Hotmail, Baidu, Focus Media (advertising in China), Skype, Overture, Divx and many others. Some of the lesser known, current investments include Jobfox in the recruitment space, Kajeet -- in mobile services and Visto in wireless email.

But getting back to Fonality, the company has employed an interesting twist in the communications space as their PBX has taken some of the best parts of open-source and fused this with a hosted model -- allowing for example the recording of phone calls on Fonality servers which do not reside in your office.



At this point it should be obvious the open source communications market remains one of the most exciting spaces in telecom.

If you are interested in the open source market be sure to come to ITEXPO in two weeks in Los Angeles where you will see all the open-source leaders such as Digium/Asterisk, Pika, Sangoma and of course Fonality. You can also take advantage of Fonality/Trixbox certifications which will be held at the show.

See Also: trixbox Pro 2.0 review













John Chambers on Visual Networking

September 3, 2008

I missed John Chambers on CNBC this morning. I wanted to hear what he had to say but unfortunately I was being interviewed about ITEXPO at the exact same time Chambers was on TV. Thankfully, Michael Dinan, a TMCnet editor was on hand to listen to Chambers and write up what he had to say.

Chambers seems relatively bullish on technology and anticipates growth between 12-17% for the long-term. In addition, the world's largest networking company announced a net of over 10 billion dollars for the fourth quarter.

Google Chrome: The Google of Browsers

September 1, 2008

The long-rumored Google browser may be here. According to this blog, it is called Chrome, is open-source and will do lots of things other browsers already do and some that others don't. The project has a focus on security and even downloads malicious sites in real-time to ensure unsuspecting users don't visit them.

Google does need its own browser and even though as an open-source project it is unclear if it will be theirs or belong to the community, the point is they can't afford to the have browser ownership by other companies who could theoretically try to play middle-man between the user and their services, ads, etc.

What is very interesting is that in the last few years between the office applications and browser, Google is becoming more like Microsoft than Yahoo! It seems to be looking at whatever Microsoft has done and copying.



Election Technology News

September 1, 2008

One of the most fascinating advances in political systems worldwide is the advent of technology like blogs and other web 2.0 initiatives such as social networking and video. But even the old technologies like SMS are coming into play as candidates look for any and every advantage to distance themselves from one another.

As you can imagine, with so much technology swirling around, making candidates more productive and efficient, we at TMC became mezmerized by it all. It got so interesting to us in fact we decided to categorize all of the stories we ran having to do with election technology. Afer a while we realized we had developed an entire website focusing exclusively on election technology and how it transforms poltics.

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