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Rich Tehrani
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May 2011

You are browsing the archive for May 2011.

Facebook's Zuckerberg, Closed App Stores and HTML5

May 27, 2011

Could you imagine being so famous that your declaration of killing all the food you eat yourself becomes mainstream news? And all this at age 27? In case you missed it - I am talking about Mark Zuckerberg - a man who in a few short years has become as popular - it seems as Steve Jobs.

And when you think about Apple and Facebook and the popularity of both, you wonder what sort of competitive conflicts the two companies will have in the future. For example, Apple's Ping is supposed to be its entry into the social networking realm.

7% of Doctors Using Video Conferencing

May 27, 2011

On TMC's Video Conferencing community Erik Linask reported on the fact that 7% of doctors are using video in their practice and this got me thinking about how the IP communications market flattened the world allowing jobs which were once required to be in the US to be outsourced to India and elsewhere.

For those of you who have followed my writings for years you know my company TMC has been at the forefront of educating the world on IP communications - and one of the unintended consequences of this technology was the outflow of jobs from the US to other parts of the world.

Thomas Friedman details how optical fibers have flattened the world and moreover - that Americans are not ready for the ensuing competition



But when you consider that US companies have used technology to lower their costs and the US healtcare system is not only one of the most expensive in the world, its costs are growing out of control - you realize we need to solve the problem.

Sure there is Obamacare - but the basic premise of this new entitlement is a broke country is going to spend another trillion dollars to insure even more people. The idea of insuring 30M more people and saving money as its proponents tout doesn't pass any logic test that humans innately posses.

So this leads us to the fact that in order for the US healthcare system to lower costs it too will have to outsource its services and we can expect nurses and doctors to eventually be treating us from other countries. This isn't a tremendous leap as it is already being done but without question inter-country video conferencing will eventually be used far more frequently to treat patients.

I have a good friend who recently flew to Costa Rica for an operation  because his dental surgery estimate in the US was $50k. In Costa Rica the cost was around $14k and when he had a problem a few months later the doctor flew him down again for free and fixed the issue.













Twitter Drops Tweets Term to Take on Facebook?

May 26, 2011

An Honest Critique of Microsoft and Steve Ballmer

May 26, 2011

For the last five years there have been calls for Steve Ballmer to step down from Microsoft and I have refrained from comment until today because a confluence of news and events has made commentary necessary. Specifically, David Einhorn, an influential hedge fund manager – whose firm Greenlight Capital owns almost 9M shares of Microsoft, said (video) Ballmer is stuck in the past and is ruining Microsoft’s stock.

Technologist Vs. Businessperson: One compliant about Steve Ballmer is that he is more a businessperson than a technologist and as a result, new and innovative products have been developed much more slowly. This point is very tough to argue with and more importantly, what is Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft?

How Sea Water Cools Google's Data Center

May 25, 2011

Google recently released a new video showing some of the details regarding how they turned an old paper mill into a data center and are utilizing a seawater tunnel which was already in existence to pump water into heat exchangers to cool the servers. The warmed water is subsequently mixed with fresh seawater to cool it down before returning it to the ocean.

A polished video of how Google is using sea water to cool their data center


There is no word on how much money this method of cooling will save Google since one would imagine there is significant electricity being utilized to pump water through the large building. Moreover, it is unclear if this new cooling method in Finland can be replicated in other areas where oceanfront property could be more expensive.

But if the price of oil and electricity continues to increase significantly, the higher cost of oceanfront property may be offset by savings in air conditioning usage.

An early look at the facility before the cooling system was completed


Perhaps the greatest irony of the story is the fact the building was once a paper mill. Paper as we know is in less demand as a result of the Internet.











In Memory of CNBC Anchor Mark Haines

May 25, 2011

CNBC anchor Mark Haines is dead at age 65 and as an avid CNBC watcher, I have learned from Haines for a few decades and when I found out about his passing I was greatly moved. I felt like I had a personal connection - even though I never met the man. He brought a passion and enthusiasm to financial journalism - he was smart, quick on his feet, balanced and came across as humble.

All this and he was somehow able to tell it like it is without coming across as harsh or prickly.

A few things which made Mark famous are the Alan Greenspan briefcase indicator and the Haines Bottom which he called around the exact time of the recent market bottom a few years back.

The financial markets just lost a great and well-respected member of their community and my condolences go out to the Haines family and his fine coworkers at CNBC.





Skype For Asterisk to Shut Down

May 25, 2011

One of the more exciting announcements in the open communications space was when Digium inked a deal with Skype to allow the most popular open source communications server to work natively with the most popular Internet telephony software.

But yesterday Digium put out a note telling users that Skype for Asterisk will no longer be available after July 26th, 2011. Current users should be able to use it for a period of two years after that date.

The question worth asking is whether this announcement marks the end of Skype support for non-Microsoft platforms. As Erik Lagerway asks - will Skype Connect for various PBX vendors be next?

In the past I've have heard there were scaling issues with Skype for Asterisk so this move could be a result pruning products which didn't meet certain standards or requirements.

Obviously we will know more as time goes on but this move likely won't be welcomed by the legions of open-source fanboys out there. And Microsoft needs to be careful to not alienate the influencers in the market if it doesn't want to intentionally reduce the value of an acquisition which many say cost too much.

Update May 26, 2011

Skype sent me their official comment regarding Skype for Asterisk from Jennifer Caukin, spokeswoman for Skype.













Avaya Touts People-First Model

May 24, 2011

This week at IAUG - the Avaya user group event in Las Vegas the company launched a new program called Ace Your Apps with the goal of making communications more people centric while allowing corporations to integrated their UC solutions with a number of IT company solutions from IBM, Microsoft and others. David Yedwab breaks the news on TMCnet here.

Enjoy an excerpt:

At the heart of this program is a compelling offer for enterprises with Avaya Aura or Avaya Communication Server 1000 and Microsoft or IBM (News - Alert) instant messaging and presence clients. Enterprises current versions of Avaya Aura or Avaya CS 1000 are entitled to one free desktop integration user license for each UC-entitled user (up to $140/user in value).   This adds up to a significant savings – up to 87 percent for 5,000 deployed users – plus the ability to establish a communications-enabled business process (CEBP) platform that can further drive innovation and workflow efficiency by integrating critical business processes in order to grow competitive advantage through both the extension of productivity growth within the enterprise to desk-bound and mobile workers and across the supply chain.  





Content Marketing Webinar Tomorrow

May 24, 2011

Sorry readers I have been meaning to blog this earlier - tomorrow I will be participating in a webinar on content marketing. As you may remember, TMC has built hundreds of monthly sponsored content-based communities on a variety of topics such as MPLS, Virtualization & IP Communications and as a result of the many questions we receive - we have embarked upon a webinar series to share the best practices we have developed over the years. Here is a link to our first community building webinar.

The new event takes place tomorrow at 2:00pm EST on May 25, 2011.

Lady Gaga Causes Monster Cloud Crash

May 24, 2011

Born This Way is one of the most popular songs of the year - it already was the fastest-selling single ever on the Apple iTunes App Store. And Amazon knew this when it offered the entire Born This Way Album for 99 cents. The limited time offer offer as you could have imagined in advance is one which would attract massive sales - $7 off on what could be one of the most popular albums of our day.

Still, even with this notice, Amazon servers buckled under the massive strain - causing users to complain about not being able to buy all the songs.

Currently, Amazon is offering the Born This Way album for $7.99 and a special edition version with an additional eight songs is valued at $12.99.

The problem marks the second glitch for Amazon this year - following a cloud outage for a number of days which brought down a number of start-ups.





Will Contact Centers Boost US Employment Again?

May 23, 2011

It was 1991 when the US was in the midst of a recession and economic development agencies worldwide started to court the editors of this publication to write articles about their location as attractive places to start a new center. In 1991 my fist article-writing assignment outside the US in fact was to attend an IDA Ireland event in Dublin. At the time, call centers were seen as the perfect job creators as the skills needed to work in them were limited. Moreover, they didn’t require massive amounts water or electricity like the manufacturing space.

Flash Support May Be Apple's Only Weak Spot

May 23, 2011

I’ve got two kids and for privacy reasons we will call them X, age seven and Y, age six. For their last birthday X received a netbook and I noticed over the last eight months or so – it was rarely used while an iPod, a Nintendo DSi and my iPad were. So partly because I was sick of lending my iPad to the kids constantly and because I saw just how much use iOS devices were getting in my house – I lobbied the grandparents to not get another netbook but instead get the youngest child “Y” an iPad.

Y didn’t want an iPad – only because you couldn’t play some Flash-based game on it.

Family Plans Coming to Verizon

May 23, 2011

It took about six months for carriers to respond to my suggestion - and many families will be happy they did.


Back in December I wrote about the need for carriers to offer group data plans - especially for families. Specifically I said:

But one wonders if carriers aren't doing themselves a long-term disservice by not coming up with some sort of group or family plan for devices. In this way they get consumers to ante up a bit more - let's say for example $10-$20/month per device for dedicated 3G.


Today, I noticed on TMCnet's sister information technology site (I am the CEO of global media company TMC) TechZone360 an article about how Verizon will offer family plans in the future.






VocalTec adds magicJack to Name

May 22, 2011

In Life and Internet Telephony, Timing is Everything

VocalTec will now become magicJack VocalTec Ltd. – a nod to the fact that most Americans see more magicJack ads than they do even McDonalds and name recognition for VocalTec is virtually zero – except for the handful of us in the VoIP space in the nineties.

The personal irony for me is that Microsoft NetMeeting was an Internet telephony software package which was given away for free by Redmond shortly after VocalTec announced a paid product. As a result, VocalTec had to refocus completely on hardware gateways and Microsoft became the leader in VoIP.

LinkedIn IPO Means More Public Tech Offerings

May 20, 2011

LinkedIn’s incredible IPO success tells us one thing – that many other tech companies are more confident than ever been about going public. Bet before we go there let’s take look at what happened. The company went public at $45 per share and shot up quickly past $100 and has settled around $102.39 at the time of this writing – a market cap just under $9B. The company has everything going for it – it is in the social networking space and focuses on the business side where you could argue easily that there is easier money to be made than a consumer site like Facebook.

Thoughts From an HTML5 Evangelist

May 19, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook First Thoughts

May 19, 2011

In my review of the BlackBerry PlayBook I must say I am impressed with the device - it is small - not too heavy, feels good in your hands and runs Flash like a champ. The back of the device is rubberized which holds the promise of increased durability and a large degree of scratch-resistance. TMCnet's Stefanie Mosca has more thoughts on the device and as a BlackBerry user it was certainly more functional for her. She also thinks it is an ideal device for traveling which is tough to disagree with - it likely even fits in most purses.

Even Smaller SIM Cards on Way? Thanks Apple

May 18, 2011

Is The Mobile Market Beyond Intel's Reach?

May 18, 2011

A few weeks back Intel made news announcing its 3D transistors being commercialized. This new Tri-Gate technology can enable increased computing power at reduced energy levels. We all know that this sort of breakthrough is crucial in mobile computing and even general electronics can benefit from increased performance at lower power draws. Think about the benefit of such technology in data centers for example.

Over the years, specialized processors have had to compete with Intel's CPUs which gave so much more computing power per dollar.

Avaya SMB Event Features Cake Boss

May 17, 2011

Avaya Press and Analyst SMB Live Blog.



At an Avaya Event here in New York City, the company is set to detail its plans to migrate Nortel users to Avaya's IP Office 7.0. According to Isabelle Guis (pictured) General Manager of of the SME Communications Business Unit, the company now has 30 million users - 14M of those came from Nortel and there are 7 million total IP Office users - with 200k systems being sold last quarter.


Here are some shots of the event so far.




10:00 am EST Kick Off

Announcer addresses audience from TV via video Small business make is vital to Avaya.

Dr. Alan Baratz
takes the stage. He transitions to a video of happy customers "Thinking Big."



IP Office was designed for small to medium businesses and can scale to 1,000 users. 60% YoY growth - almost 150% QoQ growth in sub-20 end of market.


















Microsoft Investors: Do Not Read

May 17, 2011

Tehrani's Train Fixed

May 17, 2011

Tehrani Stuck on Train

May 17, 2011

IBM to Eclipse Microsoft Market Cap

May 17, 2011

Ouch. The PC revolution took all the power away from the hardware leader IBM only to give it to the software company making operating systems - Microsoft. For decades, Microsoft used it's OS dominance to help subsidize and sell myriad software products causing the company to grow like a weed.

But Redmond needs a new growth engine and it looks like PCs and servers just aren't going to continue their massive growth curve - especially when you consider how well iPads are selling.

Moreover, IBM brilliantly transitioned from a PC company to services where they are doing very, very well.

This is why as Matt Rosoff at Business Insider explains the reason IBM is about to pass Microsoft in market cap.

He infers this is the reason for the Skype acquisition by Microsoft but really, the company needs a solid mobile advantage and a way to get it's voice and unified communications strategy to be successful and the Skype deal kills these birds as well as adding a social and consumer electronics elements to the mix.















Should Carriers Charge Less for Pipes to Get More For Services?

May 17, 2011

Heading to Avaya Press & Analyst Event in NYC

May 17, 2011

Poor CRM = Go Directly to Jail

May 16, 2011

Remember a few months back when I wrote that providing poor CRM could dent your SEO? The story revolved around website Decormyeyes.com - and its owner Vitaly Borker who was generally rude and insulting to customers. He went so far as to send pictures of their homes to intimidate them. Not only did Google reduce his SEO as a result of an article in the New York Times, he is now going to prison.

Interop 2011 Day One Wrap Up

May 11, 2011

Day one of Interop has been great so far – I had video and written interviews with a number of companies such as Juniper Networks, Siemens, Brocade, ShoreTel, Navisite, Broadcom and Cisco. The videos will be posted soon – I will alert you when they are up or just go to our video page and click on the forthcoming Interop 2011 tab.

One point which came up repeatedly in my meetings is the micromanaging of budgets by CEOs – not just in small companies but some really big ones. It seems CXOs are scrutinizing new spending like at no time I have ever seen.

In Wake of Skype Deal, Will Microsoft Investors Revolt?

May 9, 2011

In 1997 when TMC decided to launch a magazine focused on IP communications named Internet Telephony, the nascent market had VocalTec, a software manufacturer charging around $50 for their software and Microsoft with their NetMeeting software which was free. Overnight, Microsoft took over the VoIP client market and became the reference software for H.323 calls - a standard which is rapidly losing out to SIP for most applications.

NetMeeting was clumsy to use - it had a GUI but was clunky and not friendly to users. Microsoft lost interest and reallocated most of its telecom developers to its newly formed Internet strategy.

Likewise for Microsoft's wireless phone strategy - the company was way ahead of the market in developing phones which could do so much but the level of complexity kept the company from becoming the market leader.

In the first case Skype became the winner of the easy to use VoIP software wars. Not that there was really a war - there was a massive vacuum in the market when Skype launched.





Rich Tehrani and TMC at Interop 2011

May 9, 2011

I am here in Las Vegas getting ready for Interop 2011. I apologize for not being connected more - but I've been doing wall-to-wall video interviews all of last week as well as speaking at the Broadvox Partner Summit. Not to mention watching the gorgeous US scenery as I travel from NY to Dallas and back and then to Vegas.

To check out the videos from last week you can click on the first one and they will loop through. BTW, one of these videos is being held back because the news is embargoed.

Later today I will be at a reception with Cisco execs and at the moment my editorial team is at another Cisco event which involves a Q&A session with their CIO.

Then its on to at least 80 interviews - I am looking forward to gauging the mood of the exhibitors and speakers at the show.

Finally, this Wednesday, May 11th at 8:00 AM, TMC will host a breakfast  focusing on online community building and social networking... I will be speaking on tips and best practices and more.







My Day of Shooting Videos in Dallas

May 5, 2011

I am here at the Joule Hotel in Dallas, Texas where I met with over a dozen companies in the communications and tech space today. The mood is very very optimistic - there was more confidence than my last trip to Boston this past December. A few interesting items - I forgot my phone on this trip as I left it charging until the last possible second - and whoops, I forgot to take it. When I realized, I freaked out for ten seconds and then realized I had a tablet.

Since my voicemails get transcribed and emailed and I could use Skype, I actually didn't miss the phone.

Roger Staubach at 2011 Broadvox Partner Summit

May 4, 2011

Football great Roger Staubach took the podium to share his insights at the 2011 Broadvox Partner Summit in Dallas, Texas. After a brief history of his life - he is an engineer and was in the Navy - he uses an iPhone and iPad but admits he is part of the slide rule generation, his discussion centered around his business success where he made many millions in real estate. He said he had to have a job in the off-season because quarterbacks didn't make as much then as they do today.

He relayed a number of stories about his past - wins and losses. One particular story centered around the team having a 4 and 3 season where the Chicago Bears had just won against the Dallas Cowboys.

3Jam Purchased - is it Skype?

May 4, 2011

The news just broke on TMCnet that 3Jam was purchased - and potentially by Skype. Interesting news as I have written about how TMC uses 3Jam at ITEXPO to coordinate our management team and communicate rapidly between groups. The beauty of the service is it allows you to text to a group and have a single virtual SMS number you respond to which forwards messages to everyone in the group.

Interestingly David Gurle of Skype - General Manager and Vice President of its Skype for Business unit is keynoting the next ITEXPO in Austin, Texas Tues, Sept 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM. It will be interesting to get his thoughts - of course by then the details of the purchaser will most likely be out.

Oh and one bit of concern is the news that the service will soon be shut down - hopefully the acquirer will continue it.



Broadvox Acquisitions to Continue

May 4, 2011

I'm here in Dallas at the Broadvox Partner Summit 2011 and the event has grown over 60% in attendance and over 100% over last year which was the kick-off event. I just had a chance to interview Andre Temnorod, Chairman and CEO as well as Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, David Byrd via a roundtable format in front of an audience of resellers and partners. Andre pointed out the company has grown over 100% YoY via the acquisition of Cypress Communications as well as organic growth. He hopes to continue this staggering growth rate for a few years to come so we can expect more acquisitions.

Iwatsu Launches the TOS3000

May 3, 2011

TMC Newsroom Dallas Videos And Broadvox Partner Summit

May 2, 2011

Bin Laden's Death, Mobile and Social

May 2, 2011

In the wake of bin Laden's death it is worth reflecting on how consumers learned about the incident which was first live reported by Sohaib Athar - an unsuspecting bin Laden neighbor who tweeted the fact that he heard a helicopter and a subsequent window-shaking bang - a rare event as he called it.



Later, a commenter @naqvi on Twitter made the connection to these events and the Obama press conference which confirmed what had happened.

Of course later - the hard news and analysis did come from the mainstream media (MSM) - with lots of commentary from the social world. GigaOm has thoughts on how social and the MSM are connected.

What is most interesting to me however is the cheering which took place at a baseball stadium when the crown learned about the bin Laden news - specifically there was TV coverage of how people in the crowd were scanning their cell phones for the news and sharing it with others in the crowd. The video below gives you a small idea of other coverage I have seen.

The concept of news circulating via social faster than TV is not something we haven't discussed before - but this this stadium example of a large group learning about an important event via people at the center of informal social circle shows you how news dissemination and the web has evolved over the years.











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