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September 2013

You are browsing the archive for September 2013.

Thanks PopSci: Web Page Integration may be the next Social Frontier?

September 30, 2013

You may have heard that Popular Science has shut down its comments citing studies which show comments can influence the readers perception of a story.

Specifically:

Another, similarly designed study found that just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers' perception of science. If you carry out those results to their logical end--commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded--you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the "off" switch.

They go on by explaining there are still lots of ways to interact with the company – social media, etc. Response from readers was mixed and to me it seems that shutting down comments is a bit like soft-censorship; people will still comment on the content but much of it will be hidden from readers.

This is echoed by a commenter, jasonthibeault who says:

Okay, so I am going to take a little different stance.

How NC-Based Bandwidth Enables the Telecom Ecosystem

September 25, 2013

Bandwidth.com recently became just plain Bandwidth (no dotcom) as they unveiled a colorful new logo and announced an exciting array of products and services which support the communications ecosystem. The company's Republic Wireless division gives it strength in the MVNO space where its new Moto X supports both WiFi and cellular services powered by Sprint. Their wholesale solutions permit carriers to embed voice into their click-to-call apps and also allow an ILEC to become a CLEC without worrying about building out their own nationwide network. This UC service can be provided on a per-seat basis.

Vocalocity is Growing Quickly: Here's Why

September 25, 2013

Recently, customers, vendors and competitors have been talking about Vocalocity - as one of the fastest-growing cloud-based communications companies. In fact just a month ago Syngergy Research produced a report detailing how fast the cloud UC market is growing and mentioned Vocalocity is growing must faster than the market at at 45% while the market grew at 22%. This puts the company just behind 8x8 and Shoretel - which acquired M5 Networks to get into the cloud space in terms of market size.

An article from Steve Anderson on a TMCnet sister-site explains some of the reasons for the growth:

The channel partner program offers a campaign syndication tool that gives resellers options in terms of collateral and promotions so that the individual resellers get some choices in what can be offered.

Overture: Enabling Carriers to Compete Today

September 25, 2013

Communications service providers are facing unprecedented opportunity and threats and if the OTT threat wasn't a big enough challenge, its worth pointing out AT&T recently lost its bid to supply broadband to Starbucks to Google of all companies. Who would have thought this could even happen a mere five years ago?

I had a discussion about the pace of change in the CSP market with Mark Durrett of Overture and he went over many of the ways his company is helping carriers deal with the transition. The company is doing this through their Ensemble OSA product which is an open-architecture for software-defined services allowing service creation, activation and assurance by bringing many of the benefits of cloud computing to the metro edge.

Compass EOS and The Optical Approach to Core Routing

September 25, 2013

As core routers have to handle ever-faster data rates the high-speed connections suffer from a variety of problems as a result of challeenges which have to be overcome in inter-chip communications. Signal integrity becomes a problem over copper lines connecting ASICs as circut AC characteristics begin to dominate the impedance, inductance and conductance of the line and in-turn distort the signal. One way to mitigate these challenges is to utilize decision feedback equalization which consumes large amounts of power. Moreover, crosstalk has to be dealt with as electrical circuit speeds have reached the limits where traditional technology can overcome these effects.

Qwilt Speeds Video Downloads Worldwide

September 24, 2013

There are few constants in the world of technology - one of them has to be that there will never be enough bandwidth... Your connection can never keep up with the growing need of enterprises and consumers. Binge viewing especially has become a plague for carriers who are seeing their costs increase exponentially.

Enter Qwilt, the company that functions as a a virtual CDN-enabler for the last-mile through the use of appliances which run on COTS hardware and sit in the carrier network assisiting in caching in the important area between the core to aggregation to the edge to home.

Neustar Enables CSPS to Speed Their Carrier Ethernet Offerings

September 24, 2013

Neustar is one of the most amazing companies in the world of technology and telecom because they are involved in so many spaces and are responsible for allowing much of what we rely on to function correctly. In a recent conversation with Gary Zimmerman the head of marketing communications segment, he explained how Neustar is evolving into a an analytics company with its purchase of TARGUSinfo and others. Neustar is involved in short codes, SMS, Caller ID, LNP and more - they call themselves the neutral provider of real-time information and analytics to the communications services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors... Wow!

Optelian Lowers Packet Optical Service Roll Out Costs

September 24, 2013

SDN is a wonderful technology for networking but its a few layers up from packet optical service meaning you can't take advanatage of the latest in software defined networking innovation. In a conversation with Brian Pratt of Optelian, I had a chance to discuss how his company is trying to bring some of the best concepts in the SDN world to the packet optical world.

One of the main benefits of allowing software to manage the rollout and provisioning of packet optical service is you need less Ethernet engineers and WDM experts to deal with configuration and provisioning. The company sees this new world as being embodied by the concept of service-driven networking, a term which has the exact same acronym as software defined networking - on purpose.

H2O Overgroup Speeds Telecom Carriers

September 24, 2013

As tier 2 and 3 carrriers have started to face more competition from cable and larger SIP trunking providers, they have had to look to new markets in order to grow revenue. The challenge with this strategy is dealing with billing and management of a slew of new competitive services. Enter H2O Overgroup, a company helping these carriers with billing and backoffice operations. Evan Rice (pictured) the company's VP of Sales & Marketing spent some time explaining how the market is evolving, causing his company's customers to grow into numerous markets.

A Business Lesson that Cost Investors More than $500 million

September 21, 2013

Apple has such a halo around it that when the head of it's retail stores left the company to head up J.C. Penney, many people thought it was an amazing move and would result in the retailer of low-cost merchandise becoming more like one of the most storied tech companies of our lifetimes.

I certainly expressed skepticism about this happening - Ron Johnson's vision was to stop having sales (product markdowns) at the store and building stores within stores and bringing in more high-end merchandise.

About a decade ago an electronics store located in the northeast of the US called The Whiz was closed down. Cablevision had bought the store a few years earlier and the marriage made sense as the cable company was able to attract large amounts of people into its stores because they needed to get their cable boxes repaired or upgraded.

16 iOS 7 Changes to Know About

September 18, 2013

iOS 7 is a radical departure from the previous version of the OS – it is cooler and hipper and really makes your iOS device seem new. Then again, sometimes the familiar is best and change isn’t that good – especially when you are looking for something and don’t know where it went.

Speaking of which, here is a list of changes in iOS7 to know about.

  1. Downloading iOS 7 was perhaps the worst download experience some of you have ever faced. I downloaded it over 30 times on two devices before I could upgrade them.

Cyara Helps Banks Improve Service Levels

September 16, 2013

One of the challenges call center managers have is testing their systems when deploying new solutions or modifying existing ones. As the most crucial link to many customer interactions, the contact center can play a pivotal role in keeping customers happy, continuing to recommend a company and keeping them coming back for more.

To learn more, I sat down with Lynn Evans who is an independent systems engineer deploying call center solutions. In the past she has worked for banks such as Franklin Templeton Investments and Wells Fargo.

Intel Making the 64-bit Apple A7?

September 16, 2013

With 64-bit chips now powering smartphones thanks to the new 1-billion transistor Apple A7 chip used in the iPhone 5s, the logical trend in the market is that smartphone chips will eventually be the processors we use in tablets, desktops and servers. This is not really news as we have seen the migration of processors based on ARM technology showing up across a broad spectrum of devices from handheld to server such as in the HP Moonshot System.

An important point of course is who is making the A7 chip for Apple? We know the relationship with Samsung isn’t going well thanks to a strong line of Android devices – the Galaxy gadgets made by the Korean company.

TMC Hiring Editors

September 13, 2013

The Cloud is Hurting PBX Sales

September 13, 2013

In case there was any doubt about the success of cloud-based telephony growing at the expense of customer-premise-equipment or CPE, the latest research out of Dell’Oro Group should serve as a wake-up call. Alan Weckel, Vice President of Enterprise Telephony research at the company had this to say, “If you look at 8x8, RingCentral, and Shoretel's acquisition of M5, combined they experienced growth in excess of 15% compared to 2Q12.”

ShoreTel has certainly been a visionary in the communications market – they were nimble enough to come up with a cloud solution which they purchased from M5 and are rapidly growing this part of their company as you can see from the research above.

Ben Irvine, the VP of Operations at the company’s cloud division recently told me 20% of customers are asking for cloud-based solutions off-the-bat according to the company’s partners.

SPEECHPRO's Multifactor Biometric Engine Doubles Reliability

September 12, 2013



Now that Apple has decided to jump into the biometrics space with Touch ID, we can expect the idea of finger, face and speech recognition to gain more traction. When it comes to biometrics there are different approaches which companies can take to ensure only specific people have access to computers and information. In Apple’s case the company is looking to make it easier to keep your phone secure. The single finger touch is all that is required to get into many of secrets located on your phone.



The challenge is as I blogged yesterday – a sleeping person can inadvertently divulge all their secrets to other people without realizing it.





AVG Helps Manage Facebook Privacy

September 12, 2013

Spoof Video Mocks WWIII Start

September 12, 2013

Whoops: There is an iPhone 5s Fingerprint Hack

September 12, 2013

Biometric technology is amazing because when it is working perfectly it really is one of the best ways to ensure an individual's identity is verified. I can't guess your fingerprint for example. Sure, I can try to mimic it like you have seen in the movies but generally this isn't very practical.

An easier way to hack your fingerprint however is shown below - Redditor iZeeHunter posted the image Wednesday, along with the caption: "The new iPhone 5S provides unmatched security with its new Fingerprint lock, which makes your personal data even harder to reach!"



Whether this photo hurts Apple or not remains to be seen but a way around such a "hack" is to use multifactor authentication such as finger and voice or finger and password. Of course this would add increased levels of complexity - something Apple tried to reduce in the first place.





GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.



In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

Pipeliner Aims to be the next big thing in CRM

September 11, 2013

When TMC’s Customer Magazine started covering the contact management space in 1982 there were precious few choices of technology to use – typically, most companies used index cards to manage their contacts. Shortly thereafter Salemaker became a wildly popular program which ran on PCs when floppy disks were the way to install software. Then Telemagic came onto the scene and took the world by storm. From the outside, much ofthe company seemed like it was run like a pack on mongooses – or is it mongeese?

Conferencing is Broken and UberConference Wants to Fix it

September 11, 2013

Many conference calls in the corporate world start with lots of beeping and questions. “Did someone just join?” “Hello?” “Who just came on?” Occasionally you also get the stray person from another corporate department that joins by accident. All of this non-core communication to get to the actual call is wasteful and kills productivity. Of course it gives the people on the call extra time to update their Facebook profiles and check out the day’s news but most companies likely are looking to reduce this time-wasting taken for granted as part of the typical conference.

Apple's big post-Jobs Innovation is Plastic?

September 10, 2013

And where there isn’t a discussion of plastic, the company seems to think new colors or fancy cases are the key to wooing smartphone customers looking for the next big thing





Apple made a few big announcements today and together they should be taken as ho-hum. First-off you should know there are a couple of new devices the 5c and 5s – Marc Benioff says the monikers stand for “cheap” and “same”. He is pretty on-point.

Predicting Recession: Google's Real Competitive Advantage

September 5, 2013

Being able to determine global trends before others is an amazing way to increase your chance for success and no one has better access to the needs and desires of the world users than Google. In 2003 just before blogging became all the rage, the company reached out and purchased Weblog software to help create its Blogger platform. Just before video became super-popular on the web, the company launched its own video search service to compete with YouTube. Google determined this move did not slow its competitors growth so the search engine company purchased the leading video distribution company.

John Battelle summed up Google’s access to people’s wants and desires very well in his book The Search which I reviewed in 2006.

Microsoft Buys Nokia Device and Services Business

September 3, 2013

“What’s good for windows phones will be good for the Windows ecosystem,” said Steve Ballmer to CNBC regarding the company’s acquisition of Nokia’s services and device business. He went on to explain that this deal will help Lenovo and Dell. Of course he said this precisely because this strategy is going to cause problems with Microsoft’s relationship with other hardware manufacturers the company relies on. The goal of course is to the thread the needle – similar to Google, by producing hardware and licensing Android to others.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash.

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