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

January 2009

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RIM Milestones

January 31, 2009

Congratulations to RIM... A very special company responsible for helping transform the way the world works. I give the company tremendous credit for improving global productivity on a scale never seen before.

RIM's creation of the email on the go market shows how technology can change the world for the better. Concepts like the fax machine, voicemail, IVR, ACDs, IP PBXs, etc have made the world a more productive place and in the process increased the standard of living of the entire world.

The Canadian company recently sent me some milestones they have reached.



The Importance of Brand Marketing in a Recession

January 31, 2009

Red Herring Gone Again?

January 31, 2009

ITEXPO Super Bowl Gathering

January 31, 2009

WiMAX vs. LTE Fight Gets Nasty

January 30, 2009

The news flow regarding WiMAX these past months has been like a Rocky movie with Rocky getting pummeled and not fighting back until the last round. Rocky never even bothered to put up his hands to block in the first four movies. I never understood how Mickey could teach the guy to catch a chicken but forgot to tell him to raise his hands to protect his face. But digressions aside (and just don't get me started about Rocky movies - I can recite many of them by heart - well except for the last one...

ITEXPO Covered in South Florida Business Journal

January 30, 2009

Alvarion Strikes Back

January 30, 2009

Was I too quick to dismiss the WiMAX market yesterday because Nortel decided to discontinue a JV with Alvarion? Perhaps. Alvarion came out swinging today explaining that the company is still financially sound, beating competitors of all sizes, has a sizable amount of cash on its balance sheet and a positive outlook for the future.

While WiMAX may not currently be a big enough market for multibillion dollar Nortel to make money from today, for a smaller player like Alvarion it can still be a huge growth engine.

How Dell Helped Destroy the PDA Market

January 30, 2009

Eight years ago I was the chairman of a conference titled Planet PDA where I got to see the early innovation in the market which later became widely deployed in a slew of consumer electronics devices. Back then, Palm and Treo were separate companies and Microsoft was coming on strong with what became Windows Mobile.

My gadget of choice at the time was a Palm 7, a wonder of a PDA which allowed data access via an integrated wireless chipset. A number of websites designed Palm 7 versions and the device was very useful and far ahead of its time.

Borg Beetle Portends the Future of Communications

January 30, 2009

Those Star Trek fans out there remember the Borg to be a species of humanoids who merged the best of the computational and organic worlds together allowing the perfect synergy between life, computing, artificial intelligence and networking.

If you are wondering how the real world compares to that of science fiction it may help to look at a simple experiment funded by DARPA which shows a microprocessor strapped to the back of a giant beetle can allow scientists to more or less control a beetle's flight the way any mini helicopter is controlled by your kids.

The beetle responds to simple messages to take off, land, turn left and right. Electrodes planted in wing muscles and optic lobes convert the electrical signals from the microprocessor implanted on the beetle's back to "commands" which the beetle follows.

Amazon Net Grows 9% in Latest Quarter

January 29, 2009

Amazon continues to perform and the company has shown it is dominant in the world of ecommerce. For the year, net sales grew 28 percent over 2007, to $19.17 billion. This includes a 9% increase  last quarter -- a quarter many thought would be poor because the company mentioned casually that it had a one-day sales surge which many interpreted to mean the rest of the quarter was in the toilet.

It seems the promise of ecommerce which many hoped would be distributed over thousands if not hundreds of thousands of companies is being realized in a massive way by Amazon.

Remember the ups and downs of the bubble and post-bubble dotcom days. Actually the internet bubble burst is something people probably long for when compared to the current banking debacle we live through on a daily basis.



Nortel Puts Another Nail in WiMAX Coffin

January 29, 2009

Nortel just announced it is discontinuing its WiMAX offering which was supplied by Israeli company Alvarion. The company says these moves will allow it to focus more effectively while better positioning itself in other areas where it is stronger.

This news comes as a further blow to WiMAX and follows up on earlier analysis today about the difficulty WiMAX is having in a slow global economy. The question worth asking is when will WiMAX make money for vendors/carriers if so many companies are pulling away from the standard?

The Need for Face-to-Face Meetings

January 29, 2009

I would obviously agree wholeheartedly with Alan Percy that face-to-face meetings are essential for business to get done. Yes, there are more tools than ever like blogs, twitter and social networking which allow people to keep in touch electronically and I have found these tools are great for keeping in touch when I am not meeting with my colleagues in a live environment.

They also help me in setting up efficient meetings at live events.

Moreover, I have found companies are much more receptive to becoming a customer after a face-to-face meeting.

So if your competition is not going to be at a show where your potential customers will be - take it as an opportunity to be there and outsell them.

iPhone Apps For Developers

January 29, 2009

Recessions and WiMAX

January 29, 2009

iPhone photo test 2

January 29, 2009

The Downward Spiral of Snail Mail

January 28, 2009

As snail mail volume drops off due to the growth of email and perhaps fax, the post office has responded by increasing the postage rates of companies which mail catalogs and magazines. And this in turn continues to help kill off both of these industries which in turn are competing with the web.

I think it has come to realize you can only get so many eggs out of the goose and if it you squeeze too hard, you kill it.

So now the backup strategy is to cut down the number of days in which mail is delivered. This is likely what we will see happening.

And if companies feel this hurts their cash flow, expect them to focus more on automated payment systems which in turn will reduce the number of checks being sent in the mail.

This in turn will lead to more catastrophe for the post office.

Don't say I didn't warn you.









iPhone Update Unfriendly to The Unlocked

January 28, 2009

Some Important ITEXPO East 2009 News

January 28, 2009

Here are some links from a recent ITEXPO Show Daily sent to ITEXPO attendees. It doesn't live online yet so I can't post a link. (Show daily 1, 2) Instead I cut and pasted some of the more important parts with the important links and videos borrowed from the ITEXPO home page.

Keep reading to the end and be sure you are at the show to potentially win the Jeep (you must be present to win). In this economy I am not aware of too many places you can win a car -- just because you showed up.

In This Recession, Would You Buy From Your Company?

January 28, 2009

Keep Your Company from Being Cut in a Recession

Every person around the world is looking to cut costs it seems. In turn, every business needs to ensure their current and existing customers don't cut them.

So remember, in this environment, the people who make purchasing decisions will look to purchase from companies they deem stable.

For Better Or Worse - Planes to Get More Rafts

January 28, 2009

Last Photo Test I Hope

January 28, 2009

Is Eric Schmidt Protecting a Google Monopoly?

January 28, 2009

Photo courtesy of NY Times

Eric Schmidt seems to be everywhere but most often attached to the hip of President Obama. I have a simple question to ask. Many of us know Google is more or less a monopoly - Microsoft and Yahoo! have thrown everything they have at search and come up losers. Other countries have tried to compete and nothing but net.

Photo Quality Test

January 28, 2009

Michael Arrington Takes Leave

January 28, 2009

TechCrunch has become one of the most influential tech sites on the web getting many scoops and doing a great job analyzing the tech space. But what some call an influential style has led to a string of death threats and founder Michael Arrington being spat on in public.

For now he plans to take time off... Aaway from the hustle and bustle of blogging which generally involves forsaking sleep so you can get scoops.

Multi-Photo Email Test

January 28, 2009

ITEXPO East 2009 Miami Panel Info

January 28, 2009

Hi all, thought it made sense to pass along this press release TMC is about to put out so you know what is happening at ITEXPO this Monday-Wednesday in Miami. Hope to see you there soon.

Oh -- and I used the highlighter pretty liberally because i was in one of those moods. Hope you don't mind.

--

HD-Voice, Unified Communications, and Service Provider Panel Discussions Top the Agenda for Next Week's ITEXPO Conference in Miami






Record Low VC Optimism

January 28, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports that VC optimism has plummeted to an all-time low of 2.77 out of 5. In my opinion this is generally the best time to invest as valuations are low. It seems a number of these venture capitalists think we will start to rebound at the end of this year or next.

Personally I think this last year has been so financially tumultuous that exit strategies need to be reevaluated. It will take a long while for the IPO market to come back and investor confidence may ensure the stock market stays lower than historical averages for some time.

Plantronics Looks to Unified Communications for Future Growth

January 28, 2009

Plantronics recently reported earnings for its third quarter ending 12/31/08 and from the call there is a good amount you can learn about what is happening in communications. It should be noted that entire markets cannot be judged by a single company but since they play in so many markets, it is worth analyzing what they see happening to their business.

On the call, the company mentioned net revenues were down year over year for the quarter at $182.8 million compared with $232.8. The company says office, audio/entertainment and contact center sales were at the low end of expectations.

All Future Cameras to Sound When in Use?

January 27, 2009

Rumors of Google Buying Skype

January 27, 2009

eBay is doing nothing with Skype -- they say there is no synergy but there are ways to show ads for products the company sells to people making video and audio calls. I have yet to see the two companies try to integrate their products and services.

The rumors point to Google purchasing the internet telephony leader but Skype doesn't need Google... It has a huge network already and Google won't help to grow what is growing so quickly already.

Sadly, eBay needs Skype more than it realizes. I am not sure how they will replace a product which is growing like Skype.



Verizon Doing Well for Multiple Reasons

January 27, 2009

Verizon posted a 15% increase in fourth-quarter profit because of wireless growth but as you can imagine, landline spending by businesses slowed. Of note is the fact one million Blackberry Storms have been sold so far.

In addition, broadband and phone revenue for businesses was reduced by 2.2% which the company says is due to delayed purchases and layoffs.

One would imagine SIP trunking would be a small part of the reason as well.

FiOS subs were up just over 300k and the fact consumers are staying home and watching more TV is a reason for FiOS to do well into the future. I mention this as Netflix just had record earnings because people are staying home more often and Netflix is cheap entertainment.

See Also:















iPhone Bluetooth File Sharing Coming

January 27, 2009

Article on Advertising Now

January 27, 2009

Must Read: iPhone Keyboard Better Than G1?

January 27, 2009

My two mobile devices are the HTC XV6800 and iPhone. I use the iPhone for data and the XV6800 as my voice phone. This works out well as Verizon has a much better network and I have few dropped calls if any. In a situation where I need data access and AT&T doesn't work, I use the Skyfire browser on the XV6800.

Come Meet the Thought Leaders at ITEXPO Part 2

January 27, 2009

Last week I posted some links to interviews which I did with various thought leaders who will be participating at ITEXPO next week in Miami.  Since the last post I had a chance to conduct a few more which are worth sharing.

I find interviews are a useful way to get a feel for the people I will run into at events. In addition, by reading through them you get a sense for where people think things are going in the market.

President Obama, Forget the Shovels, Fix the Patent System Mess

January 26, 2009

Although it is too early to know for sure, the RPX Defensive Patent Aggregation Service has just signed Epson and added it to other big names like Cisco and IBM. As you may recall this organization is like a mega patent aggregation club for companies looking to protect themselves from frivolous claims.

While our government is hard at work trying to figure out how to dole out billions of dollars to get people hired for jobs which seem to primarily require manual labor, I wonder if there aren't better opportunities for these very same workers that could be created by just reforming the patent system.

Until that point, I hope RPX and/or companies like them help to level the playing field and afford some protection to companies who have (or are likely to) become frivolous patent litigation victims.

See Also Law.com



F5 Targets Nortel Customers

January 26, 2009

Omg, 2mro's Kybrd 2dy

January 26, 2009

 


Oh My God, Tomorrow's Keyboard Today!

Without a doubt many of us wear different hats when we communicate. For example many in business do not use SMS abbreviations but kids do. When texting with businesspeople, SMS abbreviations seem to be acceptable at times but of course this depends on your situation.

Thousands More ATAs Get Landfilled

January 26, 2009

 


Verizon is about to shut down its VoiceWing service and in the process leave thousands of orphaned and locked ATAs, Most of these devices are probably old by consumer electronics standards but as Tom Keating points out it is too bad they have to end up in landfills now as there is no way to unlock them.

Although not great news, I for one will accept the drawbacks of this announcement when contrasted against the positive news of the new Hub product coming to a store near you around the time of ITEXPO.

See Also:

ITEXPO East 2009 Blog Roundup

January 24, 2009

Yesterday, a number of people blogged about ITEXPO and discussed what they will be doing at the show. It seemed like a good weekend project to assemble some of these posts in one place so you can join in the conversation or just keep track of some of the happenings from various points of view.

Dan York mentions on his Disruptive Telephony blog that he is looking to connect with people at the show. Here is what he has to say:

Using Gadgets to Sell Service

January 23, 2009

For years you have heard me rant about how the future of telecom is in CE or consumer electronics. Specifically I told VoIP providers we need to integrate SMS and other cool services we have in our cell phones so our home phones can be as desirable as our mobile devices.

Here are my exact comments from a post titled VoIP 2.0 in 2004:


The Device Sells The Service

There are at last count over 100 VoIP service providers out there and counting.



IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Intel, The Real Earnings Story

January 23, 2009

You may have heard Intel and Microsoft missed their numbers but Google, Apple and IBM did well. Most people are trying to make sense of what is happening here. After all, to most financial analysts, these are all tech companies and subsequently they should all do the same.

Here is the real story.

The Response Point Communications Opportunity in 2009

January 23, 2009

While there are many segments of the communications market which will do better than the overall economy in 2009, there is an important trend worth noting of you are trying to invest your money or resources in the space. The very large segment of the market is in severe stress do to the economic environment and the sad state of the global banking system.

Specifically, activities which require millions or billions of dollars to finance are being slowed or stopped until the economic climate becomes better and/or more capital becomes available.

This means the segments of the communications market which do not require massive investments are less affected by the credit crunch.

The New Mobile VoIP business Opportunity

January 23, 2009

A simple test to determine who is a true telecom veteran is to ask them simply have you heard of Harry Newton. Harry was the ultimate character and the most polarizing figure I knew in telecom. The man was responsible for launching the magazines Teleconnect, Call Center, Computer Telephony and others. He was an incredible businessman/competitor to TMC and we became a better company because f him.

(Tech) Change is Here

January 22, 2009

If you had to rank the technological savvy of the White House you would probably put them at a three out of ten at best. If you ever read my post about the White House email controversy you might rank the world's most powerful "house" at a one. You remember - they were archiving emails in PST files 10 times greater than the recommended average. Nuts.

Don't Buy That Palm Stock Just Yet

January 22, 2009

Asterisk Training Details

January 22, 2009

Asterisk training has received a tremendous amount of attention at ITEXPO these past weeks and today TMC put out a press release with details. I thought it made sense to pass this info along to my readers who may be looking for the details.
---
Digium to Host Two New Asterisk Training Courses at Digium|Asterisk World Conference in Miami

One-Day Courses Added to Program at Open Source Conference Collocated with ITEXPO, World's Leading IP Communications Conference

Skype's Growth Staggering, Challenges Ahead

January 22, 2009

Om Malik does a great job analyzing the Skype earnings numbers hidden within eBay's quarterly results. Here are some of the numbers/details worth sharing. 

  • $145 million in sales for the quarter
  • 26% greater sales than prior year
  • SkypeOut minutes go to 2.6 billion from 2.2 billion in the third quarter of 2008.
  • Superioor Growth in Asia is noted by the company
  • Skype-to-Skype minutes go to 20.5 billion from 16.5 billion in the third quarter of 2008.
  • 35 million new users were added this past quarter

Om also points out in an intelligent fashion that the growth at Skype is slowing. He focuses on paid growth of course - the free user growth is staggering.

Zultys MXmeeting

January 21, 2009

In what seems to be an important trend for the IP PBX market, Zultys is now offering a new product called MXmeeting, a scalable web conferencing and collaboration solution. The system scales from as few as two users to as many as 2,000 and supports web conferencing for sales presentations, demos, training, etc.

In addition, there is remote support, remote access, web seminar functionality, Outlook integration MXIE integration, recording and more. Oh and by the way, MXIE is the Zultys UC client.

Come Meet the Thought Leaders at ITEXPO

January 21, 2009

One of the most important parts of any conference is the networking... The potential to meet and speak with thought leaders in numerous markets at one time in one place. This year's ITEXPO has more thought leaders than any prior TMC event I can remember.

Although I cannot duplicate the actual conversations you might want to have with people at the show, I did try to come up with a way for you to get a feel for many of the speakers and exhibitors at the show by asking them questions I think are of interest.

Why Are Orders up 25% at ECI Telecom?

January 21, 2009

During the presidential inauguration yesterday, I was on a call with Laura Howard the CMO of ECI Telecom where I learned her company grew 25% on order intake growth from last year. This may surprise you as the company competes with Nortel on a few fronts. I asked Howard about where the growth was - what regions of the world and how the company changed its business model to make this happen. Hint - managed services didn't hurt.

Truphone Does it Again

January 21, 2009

Learn From IBM: Add Services

January 21, 2009

IBM has shown us that services are a great way to keep your revenue stable or even growing in a slowdown. When companies slash jobs they still need to get work done and this is where companies with strong service arms come in.

I believe we will see a few classes of tech and communications companies this year and next. Those companies with services revenue will outperform and those without may struggle.

Pandora Adds Ads

January 21, 2009

It had to happen eventually -- Pandora -- the web-based music service which allows you to play the music you like to listen to, has recently started adding 15-second advertisements .

But wait a second  I run a media company -- and that means I know advertisers pay the bills.

Gizmodo says users get 15 seconds of advertisements for every two hours of music. This seems like a great ratio to me.

I must say this news seems coincidental as it comes at the the same time Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio company is laying off nearly two thousand workers.

According to sources familiar with the matter, many of the layoffs will be in ad sales meaning Pandora should have a large number of salespeople to choose from.

Personally, I think Pandora and similar services are the future of music -- consider it Radio over IP or RoIP.









Canadian ISPs Abhor Net Neutrality

January 21, 2009

It is amazing to me that virtually all ISPs in Canada admit to filtering traffic. Many of the providers in the great white north argue traffic shaping is essential as it ensures customers get their contracted speeds. Typically the target of the filtering is P2P applications and deep packet inspection is the preferred method used to ferret out those "nasty" peer to peer packets.

Sadly, this statement by carriers is incorrect - which makes it really scary that providers would go on record with such ramblings.

12 Days to ITEXPO in Sunny Miami

January 21, 2009

Asterisk, Trixbox and Switchvox Training

January 20, 2009

It is a foregone conclusion that the open source market will benefit as companies look to take advantage of the lower costs and productivity benefits of IP communications and collaboration while holding the line on costs. If you are a reseller, VAR, interconnect, etc and you aren't looking to sell these systems you are at a tremendous disadvantage.

If I am a VAR, I walk into a customer and say here is what IP can do for you and here are low cost solutions which can help you while saving you a boatload of cash. In this economic climate, this pitch resonates - does yours?

Sound Off on Obama Broadband Stimulus

January 19, 2009

Tom Keating is dead set against the broadband stimulus plan proposed by President-Elect Obama. He believes in government getting out of the way of people and generally I agree with him. I do however believe that broadband is like air, water, highways, bridges and other core infrastructure and the government should aid in ensuring the US is a leader in internet access.

Yes, industry is getting broadband to the masses but that is not enough.

Gadgets to Shape More Telecom Decisions

January 19, 2009

It seems both of the major US cellular carriers have decided femtocells are a good idea. First AT&T and now Verizon. What this obviously means for customers is better service at home or in offices with poor coverage. The obvious losers here are pure-play VoIP companies as well as cabecos.

Amazing Video of US Air Flight Landing in Hudson

January 17, 2009

A Moment of Pride

January 17, 2009

 

I must say I watched with amazement this past week as rescuers saved the passengers and crew of the US Airways flight which landed in the Hudson River. While watching, I was proud, very proud of my fellow countrymen.

These past years have seen a severe blow to the confidence of the world and especially Americans. As the financial leader of the world, we watched in horror as our banking system brought the world to its knees.

Call Centers Are Hiring

January 16, 2009

Throughout past recessions, call centers picked up the slack and hired what amounted to millions of Americans to make and take calls. In 1990 and onward economic development agencies worldwide began to court contact centers to help them solve their job loss problems.

Now 20 years later, the call center climate has changed dramatically. IP communications allows agents to be located anywhere - even outside our borders.

FCC, Genachowski, Bartz, Nortel, Verizon and More

January 16, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful

January 16, 2009

Keating Against Obama on Broadband

January 16, 2009

4G to Increase Carrier Data Revenue

January 15, 2009

Are mobile carriers leaving a tremendous amount of money on the table because their 3G networks are not truly open? Will the move to 4G generate much more data revenue? If the recent proliferation of smartphones is any indication, there is a thirst for more data and consumers want a DSL-like experience on their mobile devices. By this I mean a truly open environment where they are able to surf the web with any device and listen to a specific radio station on any gadget.

US Air Jet Crashed in Hudson River

January 15, 2009

Good Article on Jobs and His Health

January 15, 2009

I thought I would be skewered when I said a few weeks back that Apple PR could not be trusted on matters regarding the health of jobs. now it seems everyone agrees. Here is an excerpt of a great New York Times article on the matter.

Enough is enough. If Apple refuses to talk more openly about Mr. Jobs's health, it will continue to be "a distraction," as he himself put it in his e-mail message to employees.

Kevin Martin Leaves FCC

January 15, 2009

Dr. Dobbs Journal Goes Away

January 15, 2009

In full disclosure TMC competes with the company formerly known as CMP (now Techweb) but I am still very sad the company stopped printing Dr. Dobbs Journal. Although I run a global integrated media company today my background is engineering and programming and Dr. Dobbs Journal taught me a great deal over the years.

I haven't read it in an in-depth fashion in the last decade but I would always check it out when it hit my "non-virtual" inbox.

I told my developers Techweb would stop printing the magazine a number of months back and they debated me telling me they don't want to read it online.

Communications Must Go HD

January 15, 2009

Circuit switched telephony technology is now half a century old or so and it is the predominant way much of the world communicates. It is the lowest common denominator for all digitized communications. While consumers would never accept 1960s technology from auto or computer companies (please don't mention the airlines) corporations should look to the PSTN as antiquated and legacy. This is exactly what it is and it needs to be upgraded.

Sendio Fixes TMC AntiSpam Appliance

January 15, 2009

Despite Reports, Nortel Operates as Usual

January 14, 2009

Reports are circulating that Nortel has declared bankruptcy and pieces will be sold off to foreign firms. Company sources say this is untrue. Here is the complete story.

In the past 24 months, global financial markets have gone from encouraging companies and individuals to take on as much debt as they can to abruptly stopping all financing and debt renegotiation.

Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave Until June

January 14, 2009

After twelve years, Steve Jobs will step down temporarily as CEO of Apple on what he calls a medical leave. Tim Cook will take over for now. Jobs plans on being part of the strategic direction the company takes while he is away and this further reiterates my statement that you can't trust Apple PR on matters of the health of the company's CEO. Again, I wish Jobs well and a speedy recovery but it seems obvious there is a major problem and investors will be worried.

Without Jobs, Apple will be a different company.

ITEXPO Registrations up over 20%

January 14, 2009

I know we are in an economic slowdown - so I really didn't ask how attendance was tracking at this year's ITEXPO which take place in less than three weeks in Miami. Thankfully, Mike Genaro, VP of Marketing at TMC is proactive and just let us know registration is tracking 20.4% ahead of last year.

Two things worth pointing out are I know firsthand that some people who have registered have been recently laid off. Some are still coming to get trained and certified to help them with their job search.

Good Posts on Nortel and Bankruptcy

January 14, 2009

Yahoo Action Plan

January 14, 2009

Nortel to File for Bankruptcy Today?

January 14, 2009

Sendio AntiSpam Box: Good, Bad - Ugly

January 14, 2009

Sendio has done something amazing for TMC - they provided us with a review unit of an anti-spam box which slowly migrated throughout TMC and now many of us use it to send challenge-response messages to people who send us email. You know, the recipient of this email values your message but wants to make sure you are a living, breathing human and not a slimy spammer who continues to destroy the productivity of people like me.

The box works great. When you connect it to your email account, BAM - spam dies.

Blackberry Bold .219 Upgrade Frees Memory

January 14, 2009

Avocent's Solutions Help Companies Save

January 13, 2009

Avocent headquarters in Huntsville, Al


As budgets tighten, companies are looking for ways to do more with less. They are cutting heads and spending, and as a result they have fewer people to get the job done. In this environment we should be thankful that technology exists to boost productivity while cutting costs.

I have talked about IP communications solutions in the past, such as video and other collaboration tools.

Verizon Goes 100% VoIP in 7 years

January 13, 2009

Glowpoint's Aspiring Global Video Community

January 13, 2009

Recently Glowpoint put out the news they had record call volumes and I thought it made sense to learn more so I interviewed the company's CEO Michael Brandofino. The company plays in spaces which have been resistant to the slowing economy - namely videoconferencing, telepresence and contact centers.

I should mention Glowpoint has a market cap of just under $15 million as I write this article but in the last year, its performance has been down 33% which is better than down 36% for Cisco.
 

Why do you think your company had record call volumes?

SIP Trunking For All

January 13, 2009

Yahoo's CEO Gamble

January 13, 2009

Yahoo just replaced Jerry Yang with Carol Bartz the former Autodesk CEO and I am impressed and concerned. Bartz has an excellent resume with honors and awards as long as anyone:

  •      50 Most Powerful Women in Business, Fortune, 2005
  •      50 Women to Watch, Wall Street Journal, 2005
  •      The World's 30 Most Respected CEOs, Barron's, 2005
  •      World's 100 Most Powerful Women, Forbes, 2005 & 2004
  •      Exemplary Community Leadership Award, National Conference for Community & Justice, 2004
  •      Women in Technology List, Business Week, 2004
  •      100 Most Influential Women in Business, San Francisco Business Times, 2004
  •      Spirit of Life Award, City of Hope, 2004
  •      Entered into the Congressional Record by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, 2003
  •      Avatar Award for Women of Excellence, National Association of Female Executives, 2003
  •      Ada Lovelace Award, Association for Women in Computing, 2003
  •      Ernst & Young's Northern California Master Entrepreneur of the Year, 2001
  •      Horatio Alger Award, 2000
  •      Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame, 1997
  •      Recognized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), 1994

She is also known to be able to tame "eccentric" corporate cultures and moreover is good at managing young companies as they grow. She tells it like it is and comes across harsh at times.

11 More reasons to Attend Digium Asterisk World

January 13, 2009

Bill Miller recently blogged 5 reasons to attend Digium Asterisk World in Miami in just under three weeks - Feb 2-4 to be specific. Tom Keating - the consummate competitor had to add one more reason but Bill and Tom don't know I have a secret competitive streak as well.

So I am going to add a few more... Sorry guys.

Tribold, ADC Get Investment

January 13, 2009

It is definitely worth pointing out that even in the toughest economic environments; some companies believe the telecom space makes a great investment. Witness the recent ADC investment of $33 million by Citadel (which some call daring) and today's news that Intel Corporation's strategic investment group, Intel Capital, as well as DFJ Esprit and Eden Ventures will put $11 million into Tribold to help company's position in the enterprise product management space as it relates to carriers.

The company offers their SOA-based Tribold Integration Services Framework which provides the necessary product data management infrastructure to interface product and service data to BSS and OSS applications. Examples include CRM, billing, order management, SDP, provisioning and  online portals.

TV Evolves With Yahoo, Samsung, Neulion

January 13, 2009

 



Some of the latest television news of interest is that Yahoo! widgets will appear on Samsung TV sets. This is a big development as it shows the companies in the web and TV camps are coming closer together. As you might imagine, the Samsung TVs have built-in Ethernet which means these screens will certainly have much greater capability than ever before.

Imagine, you will now be able to upgrade your TV with new firmware - and yes this also means you have to worry about hackers taking over your programming.

Lenovo Dual-Screen Breakthrough

January 13, 2009

 



From what I can tell, I am in the minority when it comes to my laptop desires. I like the biggest screen with the largest resolution I can get while being practical which means being aware of weight and whether my computing machine can be used in-flight. I like to have many applications open simultaneously and particularly enjoy being able to look at my notes while writing an article and not having to the Alt-Tab to view two windows during a single task.

It is for this reason I applaud Lenovo for coming out with the new W700ds - a dual screen wonder of a laptop which offers a 17-inch primary screen and a second 10.6-inch display.

Julius Genachowski to Head FCC?

January 12, 2009

TMCnet's Michael Dinan reports Julius Genachowski will head up the FCC as part of the incoming Obama administration. Genachowski is a former Harvard law classmate of Obama, chief counsel to former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, a VC and led the development of the president-elect's technology and innovation agenda.

Genachowski was the Chief Business Officer and a member of Barry Diller's Office of the Chairman at IAC/InterActiveCorp. He had previously served on the Boards of Directors of Expedia, Hotels.com and Ticketmaster.

Wireless Devices, Less is More

January 12, 2009

If you don't understand where Apple is going and shift, you are dead in the water

Finally, someone gets it. This morning I was speaking to Carl Ford about how there was a wireless phone company who spoke condescendingly about the iPhone because as they said it (albeit a while back) - they make thousands of devices while the iPhone is yet a single device.

As I have said before, having a single device really allows Apple to lower the price of their devices as volumes are higher.

Windows 7 Beta Review

January 12, 2009

One of the only reviews I have seen of Windows 7 Beta which is geared towards the telephony world comes from Alec Saunders. According to Alec, "7" missed some drivers but he was able to work through the problems or use Vista drivers.

He further says Google Chrome doesn't work.

Another interesting incompatibility:

The Trillion Dollar Question. Is WiMAX Dying?

January 9, 2009

About 3-6 months before the iPhone debuted I received a Nokia N800 web tablet as part of the company's blogger relations program. I loved the device. It was one of the most powerful gadgets per pound and square inch I had ever used. I marveled at it.

Nokia N800

The Digium/Asterisk Community Grows

January 9, 2009

TMC's Biggest Loser 2009 Week One

January 9, 2009

Market/Sell US Residency

January 9, 2009

The solution to our nation's financial problems is quite simple - sell the most valuable thing we have - permanent residency/US citizenship. People risk their lives to come to the US illegally - people would pay top dollar (and currently do) to get into the US legally.

Recently in Philadelphia, the Convention Center Authority approved a resolution that enables the center's expansion to be partly financed with a $100 million loan that is backed by 200 wealthy investors from China, and elsewhere, who want to move to the United States.

As long as we aren't letting criminals into this country, I think mass marketing of such a program makes sense to help pay off US debt. The alternative is raising the taxes of current citizens which I am rarely in favor of.

Is There a Need for Telco 2.0?

January 9, 2009

Recently good friend and PR 2.0 guru Andy Abramson commented on which people would be the ideal heads of a Telco 2.0 companies. I thought the post was quite intriguing as it got me thinking about the various people I know with disparate telecom and web 2.0 experience. One of the comments I made about Andy's post is as follows:


 


It is an interesting premise as the typical service provider exec is focused on building a closed monopoly which excels through the use of lawyers and deft knowledge of the legal/justice system.

Palm Pre, Game Changer or Dud?

January 8, 2009

We owe a great deal to Palm as it started a handheld computing revolution which eventually was eclipsed by smartphones. Years back at a TMC event one of the important comments I heard was that Palm saw RIM as the most important competitor and not Treo (this comment was made prior to the Treo acquisition by Palm) or Microsoft.

How right the company was but now it is not only Blackberry stealing the handheld computing company's thunder but Apple as well.

In response to the threat from RIM, Apple, Nokia, Microsoft, Google and others, the company launched the Pre, a fantastic looking device which seems to have the functionality of an iPhone with a slide-out keyboard.

Prediction: No More Hard Drives - Summer 2010

January 8, 2009

Blogger/Analyst/Media Invitation to ITEXPO

January 8, 2009

Attention bloggers, analysts, editors, reporters, industry gurus, etc - ITEXPO registration is open for you and we are looking forward to a few days of important dialogue with you regarding where our markets are headed. ITEXPO continues to be a show which not only focuses on the important future of communications but more importantly, is a place where you can come and meet with the companies who have business plans and are selling products and services today.

In other words the companies which have a higher likelihood of being around in 18 months. I welcome your participation in what is shaping up to be the most important communications industry gathering of the year.

FlyCast Adds Streaming to PCs and Google Android

January 8, 2009

While on vacation in the Cayman Islands last week I was lucky enough to have

DSL where I was staying and brought an AP and lit up the beach. I fired up Pandora to listen to music and after about a minute received a message that Pandora was not authorized to run in the country I was in.

I found it interesting that this island was a haven for Cuban cigar smokers as the cigars were sold like candy but I couldn't listen to internet-based radio. Ah - for those outside the US - we aren't allowed to purchase products from Cuba here.

How to Make/Save Money With Communications Today

January 8, 2009

In my conversations with many in the telecom industry they tell me they are very excited about coming to ITEXPO next month in Miami. They explain, now is the best time to be at a communications show which not only addresses the entire telecom space but focuses on business - or making money.

They tell me this year, more than ever, they need to focus on generating earnings. Sure, the future, visionary aspects of communications are great (and will be disussed at the event) but I can tell you from personal experience, the companies in communications that haven't been focusing on sustainable business models can't pay their bills and many have already quietly closed their doors.

Improving TMCnet Blogs

January 8, 2009

Tom Keating and our tech/design team have been spending a good deal of time improving TMCnet's main site and blogs so they can become more social network savvy as well as more graphically appealing. Tom has done so much work on the leading edge of our Movable Type Blog Server that he has received kudos from the Blog Herald.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Over at TMCnet, Tom Keating out does himself, writing a tutorial that offers several things one can do with MT assets.

Nortel Under Assault

January 8, 2009


In a number of my meetings with companies in the tech and telecom space over the last few years, they have told me they are aggressively targeting Nortel customers. This was before the talk of bankruptcy which will likely make it easier for customers to be poached.

Ittai Kidron at Oppenheimer believes Juniper will benefit most from marketshare loss Nortel will see. Cisco and F5 will benefit as well according to this analyst but the revenue increase to Cisco as a result of marketshare gains will be minor when compared against Cisco's total revenue.

AT&T Inching Forward With Femtocells

January 8, 2009

Aspect Makes Performance Management Acquisition

January 7, 2009

Combined entity to provide enhanced performance management, coaching, employee review and workflow functionality

Aspect has done a great job rolling up a number of call center companies and even in a slow economy is not letting up. In fact, the company just acquired AIM Technology, a company which streamlines the contact center process allowing organizations to more easily motivate, measure and manage employees. The San Francisco-based group was purchased for an undisclosed sum and the resulting product line will be called PerformanceEdge Performance Management.

Why CRM is More Important Now Than Ever

January 7, 2009

It is no wonder that in a slowing economy there is an increased focus on customers, CRM technology and practices. Many companies are cutting in these areas and they are sure to suffer in comparison to companies who put the customer first.

In a slow economy you need to fight to gain and keep every customer you can.

If you aren't keeping up with the latest on CRM tips, tricks, news and analysis - you are doing your company and shareholders a huge disservice.

ITEXPO Miami Show Hotel Sold Out

January 7, 2009

A photo taken via iPhone just before the car giveaway at ITEXPO Los Angeles in September 2008



I just received this email that Natasha in TMC Expo operations sent to exhibitors. It obviously applies to anyone and everyone who is coming to ITEXPO Feb 2-4, 2009 in Miami. We are very excited to have sold out our first expo room block and I encourage you to book your room now at the new hotel and I look forward to seeing you in about a month at ITEXPO in south Florida



---

Happy New Year Exhibitors!

Delta Adds WiFi in Northeast Corridor

January 7, 2009

As a person who commutes semi-regularly between Connecticut and Boston and DC, I never fly. I either drive or take the train so I can work while commuting. One of the challenges the airlines have is the productivity loss of security, shoe removal, etc. Then there is the typical wait when flights are delayed, the cramped seats, etc.

Pandora on iPhone Goes 2.0

January 7, 2009

 

One of the best iPhone applications has to be Pandora, the customizable Internet-based radio station. Today, it goes 2.0 and adds a host of new features and functions.

You can tap album art to see a song progress bar - so you have an idea how much longer you have to enjoy y the current selection. When the bar comes up, you are presented with a list icon on the left which allows you to instantly create a new station from the artist or song playing.

Free ITEXPO Conference Passes For Those Out of Work

January 6, 2009

This past week has been tough for me personally as I learned that more than a few of my good friends and colleagues in the industry have been laid off. More than one of these people out of work has reached out to me recently asking if they would be able to attend ITEXPO Feb 2-4, Miami conferences free in order to network with others, keep up to date and hopefully make the contacts needed to help them secure future employment.

Rather than be reactive, It thought it made sense to open this up to anyone in the communications and tech space who is out of work - been recently laid off, etc.

Basically someone going through a jobless period.

Steve Jobs Had Whipple Procedure?

January 5, 2009

As much respect as you can have for Apple you have to understand they are in a difficult place as their CEO is irreplaceable and probably does not want the details of his health spread to the mainstream media. Unfortunately this combination of factors makes it clear that you may not be able to trust the Apple PR machine when it comes to decisions surrounding the company's participation in trade shows and really anything to do with the health of Jobs.

For weeks we were lead to believe that the company's decision to pull out of MacWorld had nothing to do with the health of Jobs. Now the about face.

It is little wonder than journalists are taking matters into their own hands and speculating Jobs had Whipple Procedure, a rare surgery performed to treat cancer.

Look Out Google, Here Comes MSE360

January 5, 2009

Recently I came across a search engine which was new to me called MSE360. I tried it out and was impressed that a search engine I have never heard of could be so accurate. It is not perfect mind you but it isn't bad for a newcomer to the scene.

When you search, you are presented with a lot of information.

Obviously VoIP is Alive and Well

January 3, 2009

 

A Phoenix rising from the ashes -- not sure this is the appropriate image but it sure is colorful


A few people have asked me recently to throw my hat in the ring about the health of VoIP. Many bloggers have been eulogizing the technology while I was on vacation - ironically using more VoIP than I ever have.

Telco 2.0 Draft List

January 3, 2009

Andy Abramson just laid out his top 10 picks of people to run a telco 2.0 company. It is an interesting premise as the typical service provider exec is focused on building a closed monopoly which excels through the use of lawyers and deft knowledge of the legal/justice system. Of course a working background in lobbying is quite a help in such organizations.

The typical "2.0" executive thrives on open APIs, co-opetition and other concepts which are typically foreign to organizations who thrive in industries where they are part of something that ends in opoly.

Best Parts of the US

January 3, 2009

Ted Wallingford Adds me to Top Blog List

January 1, 2009

Blackberry Storm Gets Dedicated YouTuble Client

January 1, 2009

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