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August 2011

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Exciting New ITEXPO Keynote, Michael Tribolet with magicJack VocalTec

August 31, 2011

Two months back I told you that IP communications veteran Michael Tribolet, someone involved in the founding and growth of the VoIP space joined magicJack Vocaltec and would be at ITEXPO West in Austin Texas, September 13-15, 2011.

I have great news to share and that is that Michael will be keynoting at the show at 8:45 am on Sept 13. He kicks off what is perhaps the best keynote line-up ITEXPO has ever seen - he will be followed up by representatives from Cisco, IBM, DHL, Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe and many more.

I have known Tribolet for about a decade if not longer and he worked at some of the most influential game-changing companies in his career. For example, he Vice President of Operations at Dialpad - a VoIP leader in the nineties allowing tens of millions of global callers the ability to call into the US for free.

He then went to Vonage America and became President and watched the company change the face of VoIP - causing the cable companies to realize IP was their future as well. The ensuing competition between Vonage and the cablecos is still fascinating to watch.

Now at magicJack Vocaltec, Tribolet is once again at one of the game-changing IP communications companies and no doubt has fascinating insight on where the communications business has been and will be going.







Cloud Communications: That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

August 31, 2011

Seinfeld fans rejoice – I haven’t forgotten about you – and Kenny Bania is now forever immortalized in this blog. He came to mind and his expression “That's gold, Jerry! Gold!” seems so fitting when I get to talking about the cloud. You see, the cloud continues to be one of the most exciting areas TMC covers and as more companies move their tech and telecom into the cloud, they have questions about how best to go about transitioning.

Streaming Radio? There's An App For EACH Station

August 31, 2011

I love all kinds of music and unless I am in the mood for something slow, I find the faster the beat the better. So I have been on a quest for the best workout music and I’ve had good success but I am wondering, how many more apps can I take?

Everyone probably started their journey with Pandora as I did. I love how customizable Pandora is – allowing me to skip tracks I don’t like and build perfectly customizable radio stations.

Sure, Ads Don't Influence You, & You Aren't Reading This Headline Either

August 31, 2011

I have always been fascinated by advertising - it is a huge part of the business I am in, selling ads in-print and online. What is amazing to me is the idea that an advertiser no one has ever heard of will advertise a "bet the farm" product for a short time and expect to have success rates similar to the latest Apple device to be proceeded by the letter "i."

In my discussions with entrepreneurs, you often hear them lament - why aren't these boxes shipping faster? And you have to remind them that perhaps because they start at $250,000 and they don't have a name brand or single customer reference yet.

In my experience, if you build a better mouse trap, the world will not only not beat a path to your door, you will likely go bankrupt unless you effectively have a program in place to generate demand, influence prospects and continue messaging to them via advertising to influence them to open their wallet.

The most successful companies I know are the ones in any industry which have consistent branding. Geico is a great example as is Nationwide Insurance and Cablevision via its Optimum series of TV ads.

Probably the best example of advertising working is asking anyone over the age of 40, "How do you spell relief." If they can't recall "R-O-L-A-I-D-S" it would be a shocker and the ad series run by the antacid company hasn't been seen in at least a decade if not more.

The point is, advertising is about subtle influence - no one wants to think they are influenced by ads so you have to be delicate and stick your brand in the mind of the buyer before they need your product.

In the business-to-business space, we don't generally have many impulse buys - the pack of gum in the grocery store for example.











Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

All Conference Party Announced for ITEXPO West in Austin

August 30, 2011

You must, must, must be at the all conference party at the upcoming ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin, TX as it will feature the Spazmatics and be - well, a whole lotta fun. The details are as follows:

  • Wednesday, September 14th
  • 9:00 pm – Midnight
  • Cedar Street Courtyard
  • 208 West 4th Street – Warehouse District
  • Austin, Texas
In order to gain entry to the party, you have to be a speaker, exhibitor/exhibit staff and/or a paid conference attendee. There is no separate fee to enter the party so please purchase a conference pass to ITEXPO or a collocated event and please bring your badge to get in.

We hope to see you there - this will be great fun!


Nerds that Rock! 








Web Transparency Aids Outage Victims After Irene

August 30, 2011

Over the last decade, social CRM has given companies a voice on a 24x7 basis – if they so choose. Companies which once were impossible to extract information from will now gladly answer questions via Twitter for the world to search and see. Nowhere is two-way flow of information more important than in the post Hurricane-Irene outage where millions on the east coast have been affected.

With a heavy reliance on well water, northeast electricity outage victims suffer not only from dead-gadgetitis but they also can’t even take showers or flush their toilets.

TMC & Zenith Infotech Cloud Computing Seminar Series Launched

August 30, 2011

Cloud computing is perhaps the hottest and most important computing trend which hand-in-hand with the mobility markets are two of the shining stars of tech. The cost savings and myriad other benefits of migrating apps to the cloud has allowed companies to become more productive and efficient while reducing CAPEX. Startups too have embraced the cloud, allowing them and their investors to rapidly determine customer demand for new software and services without the traditional need to build a data center and outfit it with state-of-the art servers and software. This has allowed more startups per dollar to be produced, allowing many companies who would not have had a shot in the old days to not only get funded but flourish quickly as the cloud also helps companies grow quickly – because they don’t need to depend on their physical data center space to fuel their growth.

Google: Is Promoting the use of Potentially Unsafe Drugs Evil?

August 30, 2011

You may be aware Google agreed to pay $500M to the federal government because the company allowed its AdWords system to illegally promote Canadian pharmacies which shipped drugs to the US. In a non-prosecution agreement, Google admitted as much and moreover that it was aware this was an illegal practice since 2003.

  • The agreement further explains the dangers this poses to consumers.
  • The FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of these drugs
  • Moreover they cannot determine if the drugs had been:
    • Manufactured properly
    • Stored properly
    • Labeled properly
    • Distributed under the proper conditions
    • Or dispensed with a valid prescription

In addition, although Canada has a regulatory authority when it comes to prescription medication, it doesn’t apply in the case where drugs are shipped out of the country and as a result the drugs could have been sourced from countries other than Canada which did not have adequate pharmacy regulations according to the agreement.

Google and the government further agreed that the amount of revenue generated from these Canadian pharmacies during the period of 2003 to the present was about $500 million – the amount of the settlement.

6 New Rules in a Post-Jobs World

August 29, 2011

Let’s face it, any company trying to compete with Apple in its core markets has been beheaded and frankly in the case of HP, embarrassed. For so many years, there were two ways of doing things – the established way like Microsoft did and the different way that Apple did things. It turns out in market after market, the established way was wrong. Here are some of the observations I have made as to why Apple has been such a phenomenal success and thoughts on how your company can be the next Apple and you can be the next Steve Jobs.

1) Does your hardware say wow?

What the Post-Hurricane Irene Cavalry Looks Like

August 28, 2011

Turning to the Web to Prepare for Hurricane Irene

August 26, 2011

With much of the east coast bracing for the largest storm of our lifetimes it is worth asking how millions of people - many of whom haven't had to deal with a serious hurricane before are becoming informed of the trajectory of Hurricane Irene. After all, we've been told by the media that the path of this weather event is fluid and one person interviewed on one of the cable shows even compared the hurricane's path to that of a walking drunk.

To learn more I reached out to Jazmine Maddox from weather.com to learn how the company's traffic has increased. In a word, the increase in traffic is breathtaking. According to Omniture there was a full 193 percent increase in page views from August 24-25 and this is on top of daily increases of 67% and 94%.


weather.com


23-Aug

24-Aug

25-Aug

Page views





Daily PVs


53,424,220

63,048,613

98,929,975

% Diff


67%

94%

193%

 













One Hurricane Irene Tip for your Electronics

August 26, 2011

Is Your CRM a Bigger Disaster than Hurricane Irene?

August 26, 2011

Want successful CRM? Its the empathy, stupid.

A recent experience reminded me of the importance of handling customers well, especially in times of need. Case in point, I was scheduled to go to the Salesforce Dreamforce event next week and I should mention seeing Marc Benioff speak is one of my favorite things to do. He is passionate and enthusiastic and always on the leading edge.

But it became abundantly clear to me this morning that I am not going to be able to leave this Monday morning from a New York airport to get to San Francisco for the event because of Hurricane Irene.



Suggestion: Apple's First Move Without Steve Jobs

August 25, 2011

Apple went from computer innovator to little more than a joke. Then Steve Jobs returned and since then, the company has become the absolute leader in tech, consumer electronics, wireless, tablets, music, entertainment, app stores, retail, industrial design and those are just off the top of my head. Jobs also turned Pixar into a multibillion dollar company and created movies destined to become classics.

Jobs did more than create new products and industries, he was savvy enough to lock up supply chains for hard disks, displays and other products keeping the competition scrambling to not only copy the company but to produce products in quantity.

The momentum the company has is incredible and in the tablet and music player market, the company is virtually untouched. Moreover, I fully expect an Apple TV (a real television I mean) in the future with even better integration with online video options.



Suzanne Bowen Moves to AstraQom

August 25, 2011

Cyberloaf to Better Productivity

August 24, 2011

Web addicts rejoice, it turns out surfing your favorite sites during the day can make you more productive at work. Scientists tested students by seeing how many letter "e"s they could find - this was their work. And they contrasted web surfing breaks with no breaks, personal calls, texting and e-mailing. Some of the students weren't given any breaks at all.

It turns out those students who surfed the web as as their breaks were more productive and effective.

Electronic Health Records Only as Strong as Weakest Link

August 24, 2011

It is becoming commonplace to find that organizations of virtually all sizes are getting hacked and their data compromised. Sony and the CIA are just some of the latest we have heard of.

Let's be clear, these are some very high-profile sites and if they are hackable, it may be safe to say virtually all sites and are potentially vulnerable. Of course we know security is a journey and not a destination meaning companies need to install the latest patches and updates and monitor their code carefully for potential buffer overrun and related attacks.

One of the most recent areas of digitization is electronic health records and candidate and President Obama has discussed the potential benefits of going digital in the past. Then again, it isn't like the average consumer who has used LPs, tapes and MP3s doesn't understand that the digital format is the best for multiple reasons.

So when politicians finally read the Obamacare bill and start implementing it - we can bet there will be a heavy, heavy focus on electronic health records (EHR).

But wait, the EHR of 300,000 Californians have been floating around the Internet according to a story on TMCnet's HealthTechZone.







YouSendIt on new Electronic Signature and Cloud Offerings

August 24, 2011

I recently sat down  for a talk with Mihir Nanavati, senior director of Product Management of online file sharing company YouSendIt and got a chance to learn about how the company has expanded its service offering from sending large files via email to mobile apps, e-signature technology and cloud storage.



The company is looking to continue to make products and services which are easy to use - and over time the company hopes to sell more management solutions to the enterprise to more effectively manage what the users are doing.

One interesting stat is more than 61% of knowledge workers store their information in e-mail. Actually, I am surprised the number isn't larger.

Here is an article about the interview which is worth a read if you are in a meeting or don't want to watch the video.









Something Very Familiar About this Nook Display

August 23, 2011

ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

Cisco's Ian Pennell to Keynote ITEXPO in Austin

August 22, 2011

We are thrilled to announce that Cisco's Ian Pennell The Senior Vice President, Small Business Technology Group will be keynoting ITEXPO in Austin, TX, Tuesday, September 13, 2011 between 9:15 AM and 9:45 AM. One reason I am excited to announce his participation is Pennell handles much of the carrier and VAR/channel partner relationships and these are integral parts of the ITEXPO experience.

It should be a great event and Cisco's participation joins a roster of truly crucial tech companies keynoting  such as Mike McCarthy the VP of Cloud Computing Services at IBM, Mark Straton, Senior Vice President Solution Marketing Voice and Applications at Siemens, John Antanaitis, VP of Marketing at Polycom and Matt Groppe, Director of Global Business Development, DHL Same Day.

Update: Another event which takes place the same week at the same convention center as ITEXPO is StartupCamp4 Comms Edition and the keynoter for this event will be Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet, VC, professor, cofounder of 3COM and author of the world-famous Metcalfe's Law.

By the way, speaking of DHL - if you doubt a shipping company is really in the tech space - check out this editorial from Marc Andreesen in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend which explains why software is eating the world. Here is an excerpt as a subscription my be required to view.





20 Millions Reasons WiMAX is Here to Stay

August 22, 2011

Wait a minute. The common wisdom in the wireless world is that WiMAX lost the war to LTE. But with the news that the standard has passed 20 million subscribers, is it time to rethink that premise? The answer is that in many cases incumbent providers have opted for LTE as their 4G standard of choice and as a result, WiMAX is going to remain somewhat nichy.

Retweet Now in Dictionary

August 21, 2011

More Appalachian Trail Photos

August 19, 2011

Appalachian Hiking Shots

August 19, 2011

Rich Tehrani Hiking Appalachian Trail Today

August 19, 2011

Death of the PSTN a Major ITEXPO Topic in Austin, TX

August 18, 2011

In 1997 when TMC announced the launch of Internet Telephony Magazine – the world’s first publication on IP communications I met with dozens of skeptics who told me emphatically that the technology was a hobbyist toy and not something you make a magazine out of. People at the COMDEX event I attended were sure it wasn’t the birth of a new industry. Fast forward about 15 years and now because of VoIP and wireless (which when 4G goes mainstream will also be VoIP-based) – not to mention social networking, there is serious talk about killing the traditional circuit-switched telephone network or PSTN by 2018!

This is huge news and the ramifications are massive – not only for investors but for companies in the telecom and datacom spaces looking to figure out how to navigate a changing telecom landscape.

HP Drops Hardware to Focus on Software

August 18, 2011

Less than 30 Days to ITEXPO in Austin

August 16, 2011

This will mark the first time that ITEXPO will be located in Austin, Texas and we couldn't be more thrilled to bring this show to what is rapidly becoming Silicon Valley 2.0 with the added bonus of a rapidly expanding Texas economy and a staggering amount of new tech jobs in the state's Capitol.

I have been getting a ton of questions about the show and there is so much going on with all the collocated events that company can come and learn about being an agent, channel partner, VAR - get info on the cloud, startups, mobility, 4G wireless, M2M, call center solutions, social CRM, HTML5, regulations, SIP, super WiFi/white spaces, VoIP peering and more. Here are some of the details produced hot off the electronic press from my expo team:

Experience It All! Attend ITEXPO And Gain Access To:
----------------------------------------------------------
--175 Exhibitors
--7 Conference Tracks
--Free Keynotes:
--------Siemens Enterprise Communications: Mark C. Straton, Senior Vice President
--------IBM: Mike McCarthy, Vice President of Computing Services
--------Polycom: John Antanaitis, Vice President of Marketing
--------Internet Pioneer: Bob Metcalfe, Inventor of Ethernet, Founder of 3Com, author of Metcalfe's Law, VC and Professor, Keynoting StartupCamp4
--2 Free Networking Receptions
--10 Collocated Tech Conferences
--1 Kickin' Party

--------AND the BEST Part About All of This?

1 Day Left to Apply for StartUpCamp4 Comms Edition

August 16, 2011

StartupCamp Comms Edition, a unique forum for early-stage entrepreneurs to pitch their communications products or services to a discriminating audience of potential investors, media, bloggers and industry cognoscenti, has issued an open call for entrepreneurs seeking exposure. This fourth installment of StartupCamp, will be held Wednesday, September 14 at the Austin Convention Center in conjunction with ITEXPO.

We are thrilled to have Internet pioneer Bob Metcalfe as a keynote speaker - I have always wanted to hear him speak and his participation makes a great event that much better.

Here is how it works - you get to hear from the heads of some seriously innovation and new companies before virtually anyone else. A panel of experts weighs in with comments and the audience chooses a winner. At the last event in Miami, at least one audience member ended up agreeing to fund one of the companies onstage - right at the show.



Google Pays Half Million Per Patent for Motorola Mobility

August 16, 2011

Google just purchased patents as part the acquisition of Motorola Mobility – 24,500 of them to be exact. At a $12.5B valuation that puts the value per patent at $510,204 apiece. But the search giant also gets 19,000 employees on top of the 29,000 it already has.

The question is does Google want these employees or to manage a business which is so different from software and advertising that it makes your head spin.

Got Big Telecom Data? You Need Infinity Ear from Empirix!

August 16, 2011

OK, this isn’t a real product name – yet but you could potentially help pick it – be sure to let the company know if you have a name for their new product line.

I sat down with Tim Moynihan and Gordon Eddy of Empirix at SpeechTek and was happy to hear the company has been experiencing double-digit growth. Testing companies like Empirix are a great barometer for the markets they serve as they grow with the percentage of deployments in the spaces are in. In this case, the company is seeing increasing orders as a result of the migration to IP so SIP trunking and SBC deployments have really helped the bottom line.
Moreover, companies are seeking out testing services from Empirix before they deploy CRM, call center and UC services.

Mergers have been another positive factor in the company’s growth as companies have to ensure their disparate systems can interop smoothly before they go live as part of a more seamless network of communications systems.

An interesting area of expansion will be introduced this fall – analyzing “big data” for the telecom space. The point here is big data is being scraped and analyzed with positive results in data centers but there has been a lack of tools to do the same in the telecom space.






M2M Asset Tracking Takes Off with OnAsset

August 15, 2011

Until now, end-to-end asset tracking of items which used airplanes couldn’t easily be done because there was no device capable of meeting the requirements of US regulators and airlines. However, a recent breakthrough, three years in the making by OnAsset Intelligence will improve the tracking of many high-value shipments on more than 3,400 daily Southwest Airlines Cargo flights. Specifically the OnAsset’s SENTRY 400 FlightSafe device can now provide location, environmental sensing and monitoring of temperature-sensitive and high value cargo.

This news is fantastic for companies who need to track items such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and life science products.

Latest Trends in Speech Technology, CRM, IVR, Collaboration and Cloud Computing

August 14, 2011

Speech analytics in greater demand

At the recent SpeechTek 2011 conference in New York I gained some great insight into the state of speech technology. For example, Jeff Schlueter of Nexidia told me his company’s speech analytics solutions have been in greater demand in this current economy as the desire to control costs has led to increased adoption of speech analytics. In addition, the company has released version 9.0 of its Enterprise Speech Intelligence product suite which cuts the TCO in half and allowing for customers to handle even larger amounts of data.

Local: Where Apple Must Disintermediate Google

August 12, 2011

Disintermediation and disruption is fascinating – it is amazing to watch how a company can destroy an entire industry overnight. Case in point is my local florist who is now gone – the last time I saw her she said someone who understood the Internet should buy her store. I immediately thought of how futile an idea this wouldbe – Proflowers had bypassed the local florist to go directly to customers. I thought even if you could buy the store and not pay the expensive rent associated with the high-end strip mall the florist occupied there would be no way for the flower shop to last.

Global Unrest is Tech's Fault

August 12, 2011

Protests, riots and flash mobs are popping up all over the world from Greece to London and Israel to the US. This past week we even saw a global stock market sell-off due to a Paris-based bank’s alleged financial problems – thankfully though the French people are still enjoying their 6+ week vacations and have no plan to strike until they return.

But seriously – what the heck is happening in the world? The answer is quite simple really, technology is continuing to make the world a better place for the “have nots” – at the expense of the “haves”.

Apple Market Cap, Cisco Earnings Beat and Amazon Sidesteps Apple

August 11, 2011

I am up in Mass visiting some companies in the area and doing a presentation on the state of communications and tech markets - so while I am offline feel free to visit other parts of the TMC network to check out the latest news and analysis.

But before I sign off - some of the most interesting stories recently have to be Apple becoming the most valuable public company in the world, Cisco beating lowered expectations and Amazon leveraging HTML5 to allow Kindle reader access via web browsers.

Let's start with Cisco first - the company has put out so much bad news lately, the fact that this bellwether had a beat actually helped the entire stock market regain confidence.

If you missed it this morning, it seems hedge funds and others who are short the markets are pushing rumors of European banks having tremendous problems. This is exactly what happened with the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008. Markets have the ability to drive companies into insolvency by stoking the flames of fear, uncertainty and doubt. The good news for those who are looking for stable financial markets is that as of this writing, the networking giant is up over 16% to $16.02.

The other two news items are huge as well - Apple, a company in the hardware space - an area we all consider a commodity has used a combination of leading-edge supply-chain management, a massive cash horde and brilliant design and usability to become more valuable than any other company in the world.

And with their locked-in ecosystem, the amount of revenue it will continue to generate via its music and app stores will continue to grow for years.









Nuance Takes Speech Technology Literally into the Clouds

August 10, 2011

I recently spent some time at the Speechtek 2011 event in New York and while there I had a chance to speak with a number of companies including Nuance Communications and in my conversation with company representatives Dena Skrbina and Andrea Mocherman I got to learn about how the speech technology company was able to help transform the business of US Airways by providing a state-of-the-art cloud-based communications solution.

In short, the company has provided the airline with technology which is integrated with customer phones numbers allowing the caller to be immediately presented with information pertaining their flight. On calls, customers are greeted by name and immediately told information about parking, gates, times and upgrades. Moreover, the new system further makes use of hold time by querying for needed information which is subsequently passed to agents.

Cablevision Brings TV to iPhones and iPods

August 9, 2011



A few months back, Cablevision released an iPad app allowing consumers to watch hundreds of channels and thousands of video on demand titles. How successful was it? Well it was downloaded more than 200,000 times making it one of the major killer apps for the iPad. Now, the same app has come to the iPhone and iPod Touch. The only limitation of the software is it only allows you to watch TV in your home or as far as your home WiFi network extends.

NYTIMES: This is the Innovation I Was Hoping for

August 8, 2011

You may remember when I trashed newspapers for not innovating and then looking for taxpayer handouts? Well I did – and many weren’t happy with the fact that I pointed out Obamanomics were in part responsible for the problems the newspapers were facing and moreover, I showed how the newspapers themselves were in-part responsible for the election of President Obama.

Interestingly, the New York Times with its massive circulation and influence has been perhaps the most influential cheerleader for our president and rather than rely on subsidies the company is innovating and has a new site called Beta620 – a play on their street address, which will showcase the company’s latest innovations.

Bravo New York Times, Bravo.

Adobe HTML5 Tool, Edge: What You Need to Know

August 8, 2011

An in-depth interview with Paul Gubbay, VP of, Design Web and Interactive at Adobe Systems

The move to HTML5 is one of the most exciting developments I have seen in tech as it ties together cloud, mobile and the concept that programmers should be able to write once and have their programs run anywhere. Moreover, the hundreds of millions of Apple iOS devices that do not support Adobe Flash do/will support HTML5 and as websites slowly begin the transition to this new web standard, every tablet should for the first time be able to view most every webpage.

It’s no wonder HTML5 is being credited with allowing a 15-year post Internet boom mega-cycle.

A few potential casualties of the HTML5 revolution are app stores who have a lock on the real innovation taking place on their platforms and of course Adobe – the company behind the Flash standard which has made the web a much more robust and creative place.

CMO Summit at ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin

August 4, 2011

Marketing departments have never had to deal with the level of technology and complexity that exists today. SEO, social, deal sites, print, TV, radio, online ads, online communities, resource centers, lead generation, CRM management, analytics and so on. Just this week in fact I wrote about the frenzy in deal sites - just one area where marketers need to be following.

To help CMOs do their jobs better we (at TMC, where I am CEO) are holding the first-ever CMO Summit at ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin - Specifically September 13th, 2011 at 7:30 pm.

Attendance is invitation-only and is limited to CMOs and other c-level executives, company presidents and VPs. To request a space reservation and learn more, please click here.

Here are some more useful details as well:

Through networking discussions, and presentations from industry leaders Derrick Daye (The Blake Project) and Shawna Vercher (Technology Advisor to Governor Jeb Bush and Online Campaign Lead for the Obama Presidential Campaign), you will gather the latest cutting-edge practices to start adopting into your own marketing strategies for 2012 and beyond, including:

  • How to maintain your branding identity while marketing across multiple online channels;
  • Ways to strike the right balance between your lead generation, branding and thought-leadership efforts to maximize the impact of each (without compromising any);
  • Best practices for competing in the dynamic “SEO game” and techniques for ranking your web properties organically;
  • The latest ways companies are incorporating social media into their marketing efforts.
I hope to see you there.






LNP Still a Problem After 7 Years

August 4, 2011

Years back I had problems with number porting to a VoIP provider and now - seven years later the problem still exists as evidenced by TMC's Tom Keating who recently tried to and couldn't port his number to a VoIP carrier.

Interestingly I recently got to know an LNP specialist at a SIP trunking provider who was telling me about LNP horror stories. Certain carriers in rural areas just didn't have to port. I couldn't get anyone from the provider to go on record so I never wrote about the situation.

Here is my article from 2004 complaining about LNP, one from Tom Keating in 2006 and here is Tom's latest story about the trouble he just had with a number port.



Marketing Goes Almost Painfully Local

August 2, 2011

Pay attention, you might just overhear something

One of the most memorable business stories I hav e heard was when a consultant friend of mine flew to a large customer to quote on a substantial project. He was traveling with his business partner and happened upon a shuttle bus to the rental car company with his competitor and a partner. None of these consultants had ever met but my friend and his partner had the luck to keep quiet as he overheard the other two people on the shuttle bus finalizing their pitch and setting the price for the project.

Skype for iPad is Baaack

August 2, 2011

Skype for iPad is here!

It was much-anticipated, released, then pulled, then re-released and it works great. The company said there were problems with it causing them to pull and then release it a few hours later. (Update) TMC's Erik Linask thinks the problem is related to chat bug. There isn't much to say except it has better quality than the iPod/iPhone version but the front-facing iPad camera is certainly a major limiting factor in the quality of the video calls you will experience.



An additional feature beyond what you can do on the iPhone is the ability to chat while conducting a video call.





Why Windstream Bought PAETEC

August 1, 2011

Broadband and communications provider Windstream Corp just agreed to purchase communications conglomerate PAETEC for $2.3 billion in order to add scale and drive growth. PAETEC is an interesting company as it not only provides broadband and IP communications services; it also has data center services, is a large telecom reseller/interconnect, provider of telecom expense management (TEM) solutions and more.

Earlier this year I reported that PAETEC CEO Arunis Chesonis was looking for potential acquisition targets in India and elsewhere and in fact the company did just pick up XETA Technologies to boost its cloud-based service offerings. Interestingly his own company may have been in play while PAETEC itself was exploring more acquisition targets.

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