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April 2010

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Apple Stores Are a Weapon

April 30, 2010

Anyone who has ever passed by an Apple store knows that they are generally packed. I have passed by dozens and it never ceases to amaze me that the traffic in the store is laser-focused on various devices, gadgets and software. You never see this sort of enthusiasm in general PC stores. There is a special magic taking place in these minimalistic retail shops.

What Happens in Vegas #spongebob

April 28, 2010

Voice Peering Conference at ITEXPO in LA this October

April 26, 2010

Everyone probably knows I have been a huge proponent of the voice/VoIP peering space for the last five years. A few of the first people get me enthused about the space were Shrihari Pandit of Stealth Communications and Hunter Newby who is now at Allied Fiber. Over the years, we at TMC have held numerous educational sessions on peering at ITEXPO and recently we have had calls to increase the coverage of peering at the show.

The reason?

NACT Reemerges

April 26, 2010

If you were in telecom in the mid-nineties you remember one of the large players in the space was NACT a company playing in the prepaid and international callback markets. Prior to VoIP these markets were the preferred methods of lowering long-distance bills and back then there was more money to be made as international calling rates were much higher than today. This in turn meant the arbitrage opportunity allowed for much greater profit margins than the current Skype-era of telecom we live with today.

If you ever attended a Computer Telephony Expo back in the nineties in Los Angeles or Dallas you remember the company's major presence at the show.

Social Media Helps Americans Come Together Peacefully

April 25, 2010

The American people - citizens of all nationalities have come together to send a message to Republicans and Democrats. The message? Stop the spending. Clinton spent responsibly, Bush didn't and Obama took the runaway spending of the Bush years and put a turbocharger on it.

Help Save ManageTwitter

April 25, 2010

It's the weekend and as I get ready to head to Interop, I stumbled across a really useful service called ManageTwitter which allows you to - as the name says, manage your Twitter account. In a flash it allows you to stop following users who aren't following you or those who tweet too much or too little. You can also choose to unfollow people who haven't uploaded a photo. It gives you granular control - you can choose to unselect any specific users before confirming an unfollow.

CenturyTel Qwest Merger: Experts Weigh In

April 24, 2010

When it comes to mergers in the telco business, one thing I trust are the insights of Peter Radizeski who's TMCnet blog - On Rad's Radar is a must-read if you want perspective into the communications market with the sugar coating Weight Watchers would approve of. Pete tells it like it is and has the experience to back it up. I immediately reached out to him for comments on the Qwest merger with CenturyTel and he told me he believes these sorts of deals are more about the bankers (he is often used as a consultant by Wall Street) and that the fundamental problem of landline revenue evaporating doesn't go away with this deal.

Peter goes into more detail in his blog and he mentions that synergies often touted in such deals is a code word for firing people and cutting benefits and pensions.

New Scam: Held Up at Gunpoint in Wales

April 23, 2010

I received a desperate email from a well-spoken PR professional in the technology space this morning. His belongings were robbed at gunpoint in Wales and the local police and US embassy could not assist him. Moreover, the hotel was supposedly holding him ransom because he couldn't pay for his bill. I checked the email account and it was the Gmail address associated with this person.

Android Runs on Older iPhones

April 23, 2010

You have to hand it to hackers... As thanks to their hard work you can now run Android and the Android OS on your 2G iPhone. Expect the 3G version to be out soon, followed by the 3GS which apparently is a harder port. Basically the OpeniBoot loader comes up when you reboot the phone and If you hold the home button during the process, you get Android to run.

The pros are being the only person on the block with Android running on your iPhone as well as being able to run Flash on your Apple device.

Cisco Sports Technology Wows Crowds

April 22, 2010

 



Cisco is betting a huge amount on video via its telepresence investments as well as initiatives of Linksys and the recent Tandberg acquisition. But it doesn't end there. They are leveraging sports and specifically sports technology to drive more bits through its routers and eyeballs to its logos.

eBay Founder Launches Paid News Service

April 22, 2010

With all the talk of the death of old media and the possible saving of the business by the iPad and/or Kindle it is great to see that at least another revenue-generating model is on the table for pundits to evaluate. Yesterday Civil Beat was launched with the idea being that people will be interested enough in local Hawaii news to shell out an introductory monthly price of $4.99 which goes up to $19.99 after month one. So basically what we have here is an interactive news site which charges $240/year. The Wall Street Journal online, a news source I consider to be one of the best in the business charges $1.99/week or just over $100/year.

TMCnet Videos now More iPhone/iPod/iPad Friendly

April 21, 2010

 


We have spent a considerable amount of time rearchitecting the TMC video site to be more friendly with Apple products which don't support Flash. Our solution has a few parts and for those of you who like video, here are some options. On an iPhone/iPod you can just go to i.tmcnet.com where you will be presented with a video option showing some of our more recently recorded videos as well as recent stories. We have an iPad 3G on order and will test this site out on the device when Apple releases it.

Supreme Court Justices are Tech Novices

April 21, 2010

Last night I was made aware of the case of Ontario v. Quon where a SWAT officer in the Ontario, CA city had his personal pager messages read and sued based on the idea that his messages were private. While the case has potential ramifications for the privacy in the workplace what is more interesting to many is the fact that this case shows the Supreme Court Justices are very out of touch with today's technology. This conclusion has been reached by Ashby Jones at the Wall Street Journal as well as Kashmir Hill and the AP.

Shots of Cloud Expo

April 20, 2010

Made it to Cloud Expo

April 20, 2010

Interop News and Information Technology Site on TMCnet

April 20, 2010



As I head to the Cloud Expo show today I thought it made sense to make sure my readers are aware of two important TMC sites which you may want to bookmark to stay current with important news of the day. The first is our InfoTech Spotlight site which will keep you up to date on the world of information technology. An easy way to remember the url is just to use the initials IT instead of WWW in the TMCnet domain name or it.tmcnet.com.

 


Another important one is our Interop news site which has a domain name which is not as easy to memorize so you can just search for it or bookmark the link. I hope you find them both useful.



See Rich Tehrani at Cloud Expo

April 20, 2010

Volcanoes, Google Censorship, Facebook and More

April 19, 2010

While the world has been awash in news regarding volcanoes and the beginning of endless probes of Goldman Sachs I decided to spend some time putting together other news you should be aware of. After all, if you are watching virtually any news channel on television or browsing news sites on the web, these are the top stories. I don't mean to add lava to the fire but before we get started I should point your attention to Jamie Siminoff's blog where this incredible picture of lightning meets the erupting Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajökull. By the way - did you know some of this ash is heading the US?

An LLC Can Make Funding Tougher to Get

April 19, 2010

I came across an article today which outlines the benefits of a limited liability corporation (LLC) and also the drawbacks. Simply stated an LLC allows earnings or profit to flow through to the owners but this structure means you cannot issue stock as flexibly. If you want to grant complex stock options or even get VC funding this may not be the best direction to go in. An S corporation too has a flow through nature meaning profits are taxed at the owner's tax rate.

slideshow test

April 17, 2010

Palm's Stay Packages Quite Common

April 17, 2010

Cablevision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable Support WiFi Roaming

April 15, 2010

I have written before about how great Cablevision has been in providing high-speed Optimum WiFi access to customers throughout parts of Connecticut and New York. Now this service allows users to roam onto other cable networks provided by Comcast and Time Warner Cable. This means in the tri-state areas, there will be more coverage than ever and Cablevision customers can now jump on Time Warner Cable WiFi and Xfinity WiFi networks.

As WiFi agreements like this continue to take place, the value of standalone WiFi devices increases, meaning the need to purchase 3G or 4G services declines. Having used some of these services in the past I can tell you they are typically most useful when you have a powerful WiFi device like a laptop, as handheld devices like smartphones seem to lack the power needed to fully maximize the wireless broadband experience.

iPads Banned in Israel

April 15, 2010



iPad buyers beware - that shiny new gadget that made the flight so enjoyable will really upset you when you land in Israel and it is taken away. You will get it back when you leave but you will have to pay a storage fee. It is unclear whether they will charge it for you until you return though. Apparently the frequencies the new device uses are incompatible with national standards.

Popbox: The Flash vs. Apple War Gets Interesting

April 15, 2010

Expect TVoIP to be a big part of the reason Adobe's Flash becomes more important - all while Apple and others continue to try to bury the technology before it is even dead. Wired explains that the new $129 popbox set-top box announced Thursday by Syabas Technology provides a platform for HDTV apps. According the article the platform ships with Channels.com (an aggregator of web-based television shows), FunSpot Games, Netflix, Photobucket (photo sharing), Revision3 (original video programming), Shoutcast internet radio and Twitter.

Just as ATAs from companies like Vonage dramatically changed the landscape of communications, television is next and the battle is heating up.

Odin Telesystems Update

April 14, 2010

It has been a while since I met with executives from Odin Telesystems but it all came back to me when I sat down a week ago with company

President & CEO Hanz Johansson to discuss his company's DSP resource solutions which can act as gateways, transcoding devices and PBX building-blocks when coupled with the right software like Asterisk.

I first met the company at a trade show in New York in the mid-nineties and followed up later that year by going to the company's Texas HQ to learn about how they play in the space. At the time, Odin was a relatively new entrant into the US and they were going up against high-flying Dialogic, NMS and Brooktrout - three companies who have been subsequently merged with a bunch more companies added in such as Snowshore, Excel etc.

Optical Demand Increases According to ADVA Optical Networking

April 14, 2010

Optical component shortages are not something we have heard about much since the CLEC bubble of the late nineties yet Jim Theodoras - Director of Technical Marketing at ADVA Optical Networking explained he had recently come from an optical trade show where this was being discussed.

In a discussion, Theodoras pointed out that his company has been a slow and steady grower for a number of years with a strong cash position (recent earnings). In addition, a key to their success has been a diverse product line from NIDs to DWDM equipment. While ADVA doesn't focus on winning with the smallest margins or lowest price, they do look to be trusted partners with their customers and look to be in the problem solving business as opposed to pushing out cookie-cutter solutions.

VanillaSoft: Social Media Important in Sales but Watch Time Waste

April 13, 2010

I recently sat down with Ken Murray - President & CEO VanillaSoft to discuss his views on social networking, prospecting and making more sales. His company sells a solution which helps companies manage leads more effectively by providing an autodialer, next best call logic and a real-time dashboard The company's CRM system provides inline document management, call scripting and a preview and progressive dialer. The latter provides greater productivity increases but decreases how much the agent knows about the client before making the call.

Ken Murray - President & CEO VanillaSoft discusses how sales and marketing has evolved from outside sales to inside sales and more recently social media-based selling/lead generation

 

Other features include call recording but what was more interesting to me were comments Murray made about social media.

Tango Networks Deploys Carrier FMC

April 12, 2010

If you want to know how carriers choose equipment providers to partner with look no further than the mating habits of the Sumatran Rhinoceros. Before you ask me if I am willing to share some of my medication with you, please hear me out. You see the male rhino has to fight off other rhinos and then chase the female for potentially long distances until mating is allowed.

And this is exactly the sort of thing that happens when carriers decide to partner with an equipment provider.

Nimble Will Rock Your Social CRM World

April 12, 2010

When it comes to CRM, Jon Ferrara may be one of the most important people you don't know. If we go back a bit to the mid-eighties the call center/CRM market was dominated by a company called Brock Control Systems. Brock wrote and relational database/4GL driven software system which ran in UNIX systems (for you kids out there - UNIX was what we used before Linux - when you had to pay for the OS and it was under the control of companies like SCO). The downside to Brock's software was the lack of a GUI and as Moore's Law continued to transform the computing industry, the PC not the minicomputer became the new battleground for CRM software.

Epygi Adds PBX Features, Moves Upmarket

April 12, 2010

One certainty in the world is that feature wars often get fought in the battle to win the most customers. If you don't beleive me, think of how few features your car had 15 years ago compared to today. In speaking with Warren Sonnen - Director, Product Management at Epygi, he tells me some other vendors are using features instead of quality to win over customers. His company's mission (and he has chosen to accept it) is to provide quality and features in one package.

Varaha Extends FMC to NEC UNIVERGE

April 11, 2010

As mobility becomes a larger part of boosting productivity and satisfying the desires of companies to keep workers connected, NEC has partnered with FMC company Varaha to add value to its solutions. NEC has always been a solid tech company but they have decreasing mindshare in the enterprise/SMB market according to VARs and corporate buyers I encounter. They certainly aren't alone in this regard but to counter a lack of mindshare they have done a very good job of making aggressive acquisitions and relationships over the years. Sphere and Active Voice /AVST come immediately to mind.

Twitter Buys Tweetie to Boost GUI

April 11, 2010

As popular as Twitter has become, it is incredible that other companies provide a Twitter experience which is generally far superior to Twitter's own efforts. Tweeting URLs from a mobile device without the aid of an application such as TweetDeck or Tweetie is painful at best. I was under the impression that Twitter was going to duplicate the functionality of programs like HootSuite and TweetDeck but instead they decided it made more sense to purchase Tweetie, a full featured Twitter enablement program I use almost daily on the iPhone.

The $3 application will become free and more integrated with Twitter (thankfully).

Communications and Tech Trends From Dallas

April 9, 2010

I am back from Dallas, TX where I met with dozens of communications and tech companies and I gained a great deal of insight on industry hotspots as well as where the speed bumps are.

Open Source

Based on the resellers I spoke with, the move to open source continues with more of the agent community and interconnects 2.0 learning about and selling these solutions.

IP Security Cameras

I spoke with Robert Messer of distributor ABP and he shared with me the wonder of IP security cameras which work with digital signage to show alerts on screens throughout an office. He mentioned that people think twice about getting their hands caught in the cookie jar when they realize it could be broadcast throughout a company.

AudioCodes at Broadvox Partner Summit

April 7, 2010

Alan Percy, Director of Market Development at AudioCodes spent some time telling the audience in Dallas, Texas at this Broadvox event about how resellers can be successful at selling PBX replacements to customers. Some risks discussed were a misconfiguration of network equipment at the customer prem (keep the IT guys away from the firewall he said half-jokingly) and a cut wire underground. A solution was to keep some of the PSTN lines connected to the PBX which can get expensive. Alternatively he said you could use the AudioCodes drop and insert architecture.

Polycom at Broadvox Partner Summit

April 7, 2010

Coal a Factor in Data Center Location?

April 7, 2010



Greenpeace has recently decided that going after oil drillers and coal miners is not enough and they plan to focus on companies they believe to be polluting by expanding their efforts into the data center market. More specifically the company recently chose to go after Apple and Facebook because of where they decided to locate their data centers. Greenpeace it seems prefers to have data centers located where there is less coal involved in energy production.

FCC Bomb Threat Closes Office

April 7, 2010

FCC Ruling Could Inject Politics into News Delivery

April 7, 2010

A major court just killed the idea of net neutrality. Where do we go from here?

Yesterday a three-judge panel unanimously tossed out the FCC's August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers but which had voluntarily discontinued the practice earlier in the year.

Onstage at Broadvox Partner Summit

April 7, 2010

Broadvox Partner Summit Kicks Off

April 7, 2010

Broadvox Tour

April 7, 2010

Speaking at the Broadvox Partner Summit

April 7, 2010

Rich Tehrani to Conduct Video Interviews in Dallas, Texas this Week

April 5, 2010

iPad: Fake Steve Jobs Says You're Welcome

April 4, 2010

A very funny thank you and you're welcome from Fake Steve Jobs really captures some of the hilarity of hundreds of thousands of people lining up to buy a device they don't need. BTW, count me in... At some point I am going to get one - after all I threatened to buy an Apple iPad at $1,000 and an entry level model is considerably cheaper.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

I'd also like to take a moment to thank all of the engineers and designers and programmers inside Apple who worked so tirelessly on this product, toiling way in total secrecy.

US Congressman Thinks Guam May Tip Over

April 2, 2010

TMC Playing Hookey

April 1, 2010

Someone at TMC is very mean

April 1, 2010

Mossberg iPad Video Review

April 1, 2010

Walt Mossberg has had an iPad for about a week and in a video review he points out some of the good and bad. The bad first - he points out a lack of USB ports (there is a USB dongle which works only with a camera) , no built-in camera, no send to group in email and of course no multitasking. Curiously he left out the iPad's inability to support Adobe's Flash. He says the device is a better ebook reader than the Kindle - in part because of a better screen and color support.

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