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

May 2009

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Ecessa Adds SBC, SIP Functions to WAN Optimization Line

May 31, 2009

You have no doubt noticed how traditional information technology vendors have embraced communications in response to customers who are looking for integrated and cost-effective solutions which span both markets. This thought occurred to me during a conversation with Mark Goodman, VP of Marketing for Ecessa a company focusing on "Uptime for IP networks," according to Goodman.

Last year the company quietly changed its name from Astrocom and even if you haven't heard of either company it is worth looking at their products as they solve real-world corporate problems such as security through their ShieldLink family which takes the company's PowerLink line of load balancing WAN optimization controllers and adds VPN gateway and firewall capabilities.

More recently the company announced ClariLink which takes ShieldLink and adds a SIP proxy, registrar and SBC allowing real-time failover for SIP sessions going over IP networks.

Microsemi's Green PoE Midspan Opportunity

May 31, 2009

Regardless of whether you think being green is the right way to live because of the environment or you think it makes sense to save money in a tough economy you should be keeping a close eye on Microsemi, the leader in the PoE midspan market allowing traditional networking equipment to be upgraded to PoE without a forklift.

In a recent conversation with Daniel Feldman, Telecom Marketing Director for the company we got to talking about the company's new high-power midspans the PD-9000G family.

Feldman pointed out that when the company first started producing PoE products they thought the midspan opportunity would be short-lived as all switches would eventually incorporate PoE natively meaning additional equipment would be unnecessary. As luck would have it MTBF times were reduced by half in equipment with powered Ethernet as heat dissipation became an issue.

IBM Brocade Relationship Trouble for Cisco?

May 31, 2009

If you ask Cisco publically what they think of IBM you will get nothing but praise. In fact Cisco counts IBM as a major partner and IBM does the same with Cisco. Oftentimes the companies even promote technologies like collaboration together.

But more recently this alliance seems to be facing a challenge.

Rhomobile Allows Cross-Platform Mobile App Development via Web

May 30, 2009

In 2001 when the PDA market was all the rage and smartphones didn't really exist, a company called Interactive Intelligence a leader in the contact center space saw an opportunity for a development platform called Mobilite (pronounced as if you are French) which would allow developers to develop once and have applications run on any mobile device.

The idea was genius and ahead of its time so Mobilite was shelved sometime later.

I couldn't help but think of this product as I spoke with Rhomobile Founder and CEO Adam Blum who was telling me about his company's open source mobile application framework Rhodes which lets you quickly build native mobile applications for all smartphone operating systems: iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Android. Blum emphasizes that applications can take advantage of native GPS, PIM contacts and camera and that they are native, not just web applications optimized for each platform.

Expand Networks Offers Free Mobile WAN Acceleration Software

May 30, 2009

The drive for more bandwidth does not slow - even in a global recession some reports show bandwidth needs increasing at rates higher than 100% per year on carrier and enterprise networks. The trend towards more collaborative applications, video, VoIP and cloud-based services are no doubt just a few factors in what seems to be just the beginning of a global bandwidth binge showing no sign of slowing.

Enter Expand a company focusing on application acceleration over WANs who is looking to help solve the branch office bandwidth drought. The company makes its living selling a variety of appliances which they say will increase ROI and stretch IT budgets further.

eTelemetry Helps Manage Virtualization, VoIP User Location for E911

May 30, 2009

As the networking landscape gets more complex through the addition of remote computing, WiFi, cloud computing and virtualization, it is becoming more of a challenge to determine who is using what services and how much aggregate bandwidth they are consuming. Moreover as the need for ever-more bandwidth shows no sign of slowing, companies need to ensure they have an adequate way of charging departments for their bandwidth usage.

One company looking to fill the void is eTelemetry whose self-described goal is to extract real-time business information from network activity. I recently sat down with Ermis Sfakiyanudis CEO & President and Jennifer Silate - Marketing Manager of the company to learn about their products.

Adtran 1544 Series Layer 3 Switches Fill Networking Void

May 30, 2009

ADTRAN is a networking company which has transformed a great deal over the past decades. In the nineties, the company held a virtual monopoly in the CSU/DSU market and most every network had the company's standalone boxes in their network (including TMC). In fact the company was once synonymous with the term CSU/DSU in my mind. As this functionality was added into other boxes, the company saw its identity erode and in the process took the opportunity to grow into a major networking force selling over 1,700 products to enterprise and carrier customers.

Attention Developers: You Could Win!

May 29, 2009

There is nothing that builds a resume more like an award and if you are a developer, you definitely want to keep an eye on the new Dialogic Innovator Award contest which will not only give you some great bragging rights, you could win some prizes as well.


Dialogic was nice enough to ask me to be one of the judges in fact and I am looking forward to being part of this program. Winners get a free one-year service and support contract, a $5,000 credit towards future Dialogic products, t-shirts, press releases and an Innovator logo which I imagine can be invaluable in boosting a company's marketing efforts.


Sure it isn't a $75,000 motorcycle - which makes a great gift for your favorite blogger by the way, but hey, times are tough.

Will Google Wave Transform Communications?

May 28, 2009

Google Wave is an ambitious project from Google which allows true real-time communications by integrating chat, email, a wiki, social networking tools and more. In many ways it competes with other services such as Facebook and as such it really isn't that new. Still, it does seem slicker and it is more open than many other services which provide communications solutions (a promotional plug -- you may want to check out TMCnet's newest news-driven Global Online Community called Communications Solutions). It also allows real-time IM sessions meaning you can see what the other person is typing before they hit enter.

TMCnet Interop 2009 Video Interviews Beginning to Post

May 27, 2009

Last week at Interop my team conducted over 100 interviews with thought leaders at the show. Topics discussed include green switching, testing, Ethernet, cloud computing and more. So far, half a dozen of the videos have been posted and more are being added continually. I hope you find them helpful.

Green Data Center Technology

May 26, 2009

On a recent flight back from Europe I marveled at the ice littering the North Atlantic. A flight attendant told me it was sad as what appeared to be ice cubes from a mile or more in the air used to be icebergs. I am concerned about the environment but I am not sure I agree with the carbon cap and trade system being proposed in the US as it could adversely impact the economy.

But last I checked, regulation gets passed without my express permission and in a world where CO2 is becoming a pollutant, you need to be more aware of energy use and carbon emissions than ever before.

Following Apple and Keeping it Simple

May 26, 2009

My friends, we are in the midst of a tech follow the leader game the likes of which we have never ever seen. First Apple comes out with a mobile phone with a large touch screen and everyone; I mean everyone seems to be following them. Then Apple comes out with an app store and guess what, once again we see follow the leader taking place.

Today in fact Nokia announced its Ovi store and reports are circulating that Sun will soon offer a Java app store.

Univa Adds Intelligence to Cloud Computing

May 25, 2009

Cloud computing is one of the hot sectors of the information technology space. Without a doubt it is emerging as a trend which has the potential to change the way corporations operate. Already consumers are becoming comfortable with clouds as they upload their photos, videos, email, blogs, documents and spreadsheets to a variety of services which live somewhere... everywhere.

NetIQ Automates Information Technology Processes

May 25, 2009

As the world of information technology and IP communications converge, NetIQ is a company in the center of both markets, providing solutions which enable their customers to better manage both disciplines. The company's core business is IT process automation and recently at Interop I had a chance to speak with the company's Director of Product Marketing and Chief Technology Strategist, Todd Tucker. In the IT process automation market the company provides NetIQ Aegis which helps a data center deal with routine maintenance issues like reboots which often need to be done in a specific order. Moreover the solution automates many processes which are typically tedious and error prone, allowing tech teams to focus on more important tasks and companies to enjoy the benefits of less mistakes which are often costly.

Interop 2009 Trends, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Ethernet and Wireless

May 25, 2009

I had a good time at Interop this last week catching up with the industry and seeing where the strengths in technology are. Some bright spots were virtualization, cloud computing, Ethernet and wireless. Some of the old guard companies I have tracked for years were impressive in the products they rolled out and others who were once networking giants had large, empty booths devoid of anything interesting.

Green/energy efficient computing was another hot button but there seemed to be less excitement about these areas than at last year's event.

SolarWinds and OpenTable IPOs a Healthy Sign

May 21, 2009

Today OpenTable (Nasdaq: OPEN) had a successful IPO allowing VCs to recoup investment dollars. This statement could be one of the most important you can imagine for the tech sector as it signals the IPO market is no longer frozen and in fact the stock was up to $31.89 as of this writing and was planned to price between $16-$18. This number in fact represents an 88% increase over the average $17 price! This as you imagine is the best IPO in some time - 18 months to be exact.

Get Your VoIP Avatar Ready

May 20, 2009

Even before it was trendy, I was a fan of 3D HD voice - In fact back in 2004 I featured DiamondWare onstage at ITEXPO in Miami as a killer app. Over the years DiamondWare began integrating its technology into a virtual world and eventually the company was sold to Nortel and became part of web.alive which I covered here.

My last visit to the Ottawa campus of Nortel consisted of meetings with the tech team who told me they eventually see avatars everywhere - on cell phones, computers, etc.

Since that conversation I have been looking for signs of avatar/communications integration and I did compile a list of vendors who had an avatar strategy.

Don't Cut Customer Outreach in a Recession

May 19, 2009

It is fascinating to hear industry execs speak of how most of their customers are cutting back on their spending so in response they reduce their spending on new customer acquisition by cutting PR, marketing and sales budgets. Of course some companies have been caught off-guard and are literally operating month to month and have no choice but to cut from these areas.

But for those companies who are able, now is the time to keep the above budgets steady or even increase them. There are exceptions of course - if your product cannot be sold profitably with increased marketing, PR etc then you may want to get your resume ready.

More Google Antitrust Talk

May 18, 2009

Back in January of this year I mentioned the possibility of antitrust moves towards Google from the Obama administration. I even mentioned Eric Schmidt bodying up with Obama to protect the search leader. A new article in the New York Times delves deeper into the potential for a government breakup.

Based on the article, what Google has in its favor is that it is helping consumers by giving away services for free.

I Finally Get On-board WiFi

May 18, 2009

At Tiscali Event in Sardinia

May 15, 2009

Amazon Bites Hand That Fed it

May 14, 2009

At a certain point Microsoft went from being the small friendly corner store computer company to an awe-inspiring hulking behemoth that crushed virtually any company in any market it wanted. Thousands of PC utility and other vendors have been put out to pasture as Microsoft decided their markets would be good add-ons to the operating system business.

I wonder if we aren't about to see the same thing happening with Amazon. The company recently announced that any blogger can now have their content sold on the Kindle and get paid in the process.

In Sardinia This Week

May 11, 2009

Motorola Teams Up with Vocera

May 8, 2009

One of the more interesting trade show demos I have seen lately came from Motorola who was demonstrating their latest mobile voice and data solutions, such as their TEAM VoWLAN Solution (mobile access to toll-quality, PBX-based telephony, enterprise-grade Push-to-Talk, text messaging, email/calendar/PIM, Internet/intranet, line of business applications); TEAM Radio Link Solution (enabling basic Push-to-Talk talk-group communications capability between existing two-way radio systems and the TEAM solution devices); TEAM Express Solution (a downloadable voice client that enables basic Push-to-Talk communication between disparate devices); WLAN infrastructure; Voice-optimized data devices (mobile computers with rich data functionality and VoIP-enabled scanners); Security and management software.

An area of special interest was a demo of how verticals can increase productivity, responsiveness and collaboration with Motorola's integrated voice and data mobility solutions, Motorola also announced in conjunction with Vocera a new agreement to jointly deliver a way to extend Vocera's communications platform so it will work on various Motorola Enterprise Digital Assistants (EADs) and voice-over-wireless LAN (VoWLAN) smartphones so that healthcare staff can better access critical information, collaborate, provide improved patient safety and more attentive care, and otherwise streamline their communications.

The need for healthcare productivity increases have been touted by the Obama administration and as such it made great sense to investigate further.

To learn more, I caught up with Bart Lipinski, a Motorola External Communications Consultant; Russ Knister, Senior Director, Converged Enterprise Communications, Enterprise Mobility business, Motorola, Inc.; and Niraj Jain, Vocera Communications' VP Business Development.

Why Less Investment Can be Good

May 7, 2009

It seems the common sentiment is the lower amount of venture capital we see today is negative for the US economy. The New York Times even says we are in a VC crisis. Let me give you a contrarian point of view based on my experience in the late nineties. When the Telecom Act of 1996 was passed, VCs flooded the market with billions of dollars to create thousands of CLECS looking to take a piece of the communications market from the handful of incumbents.

TMC Wishes Greg Galitzine a Fond Farewell

May 7, 2009

For nearly 13 years, Greg Galitzine has been a tremendously valuable part of the TMC team. His career started as an editor for CTI Magazine in 1996. Where he reported on the collision of the computer and communications spaces including what we called IP telephony back in the day. In 1997 we convened a meeting with Greg to explore whether it made sense to launch a publication in the IP telephony space.

Can Deflation Create US Jobs?

May 6, 2009

Over the past year it has become evident that deflation is a driving force of the US economy. Margins are being squeezed in virtually all businesses. Even areas of the market where you might think there is pricing pressure don't always have it. For example I queried a friend about how his low-income rental units were doing thinking that the subprime mess would definitely drive more business to him.

Traveling on a Gloomy NY Day

May 5, 2009

Credit Crisis Visualized

May 3, 2009

Verizon Mulls Free WiFi

May 1, 2009

As I have mentioned in the past, WiFi is becoming an important part of the carrier strategy and needs to be included in a bundle of products ranging from voice to wired broadband to TV. AT&T offers free WiFi to customers, Cablevision does as well. Now it seems Verizon is jumping on the bandwagon by potentially partnering with Boingo. Remember that AT&T purchased Wayport so that is one less provider Verizon can work with.

ng Connect Improves the User Experience

May 1, 2009

Device and service convergence continues to accelerate and as it does, the complexity involved in creating new products and services increases. A counter to the trend of increasing complexity is the new multi-industry ng Connect Program, founded by Alcatel-Lucent which is establishing a rich and diverse ecosystem of infrastructure, device, content and applications for both mobile and fixed broadband networks including 4G, LTE, GPON and other ultra high bandwidth technologies.

The group accelerates the deployment of new devices and services by helping to determine interoperability across industries such as automotive, entertainment, wireless and consumer electronics. The value proposition for members include access to research, reduced development costs and a first mover advantage across markets.

Amazon Sales Tax Coming

May 1, 2009

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