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Podcast Interview Tata Communications

August 15, 2008

Tata's View of Communications

Tata is a global company which is perhaps closest to what General Electric is in the US or Siemens is in Germany. The company is absolutely massive, having over 5,000 employees and engages in businesses such as building cars, providing chemicals, energy, materials and even consumer products like tea.

In addition, the company is a major player in telecom and has a global fiber network which is worth taking note of as it is large and growing. Tata has been aggressively pursuing US and international business and for this reason I knew my audience would be interested in learning more about how Tata Communications can help service providers, schools, the government and other US based concerns solve their communications problems.

On a podcast interview with Anthony Rossabi, Vice President of Carrier Services for the Americas I had a chance to ask questions about what the company is up to and how it can help carriers worldwide.

A good deal of our discussion centered around TCTS or Tata Communications Transformation Services which provides specific back office functions for carriers such as provisioning, network design, access and access pricing. The company has been focusing on landline but is moving into the wireless space as well.







Motorola Turnaround?

August 15, 2008

Motorola will be breaking up the company, bringing in new management and launching over 30 new products in the near future. Analysts remain very impressed but one wonders if they will be able to turn things around after over a decade of problems. This is a company which had challenges hitting numbers in the late nineties when other companies were booming.

Perhaps the best article headline on the topic is Motorola's Funeral Canceled: On Slow Road To Recovery, Says Citi (MOT).

It is the emphasis on new product development which is supposed to be the ultimate salvation for Motorola. You see, the theory goes the more products you have, the better you do.



Sheraton Gets Surface from Microsoft

August 15, 2008

Microsoft has this new computing initiative (Tom Keating's take with sound) which focuses on surface technology with hand-based gestures. Announced a few months back it is now in production and available at select Sheraton hotels (Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle).

Microsoft says there are vertical applications for this technology such as retail, healthcare, automotive and I am sure they are right. My question is will people use these things in a hotel?

Somehow I doubt they will because I have seen so many technologies in the US which are in public locations not make it. Remember internet kiosks?



Trixbox Certification

August 15, 2008

The open source world of communications is growing rapidly. Recently I discussed the Nortel acquisition of PingTel and what this means for our markets.

Ironically the competition in open source was once between Digium and PingTel and when Asterisk became the the dominant player in the space, it seemed that Digium won the war. It turns out that while PingTel lost steam, a new wave of compeitors in the open source space emerged, basing their products on Asterisk.

One such company is Fonality and their Trixbox platform has become a popular alternative in the open source space. It just so happens that Fonality is collocating their training session in Los Angeles at ITEXPO in a  few weeks.

If you are looking to see all the communications companies that matter in the market and also get a chance to receive certification on a number of topics, be sure to come to the show.





Google Vs. Apple

August 15, 2008

Everyone likes a good fight and even though there really isn't a fight going on here it is worth noting Apple's market capitalization is now ahead of Google's (reminder I own shares in Google).

According to this story, by the close of trading on Wednesday, Apple's market value had edged up to $158.8bn - a shade ahead of Google's $157.2bn.

My take is that while Apple is obviously on fire, Google has a monopoly in search advertising and at the moment the world is in love with the model. Over the past years, Google has hired thousands of engineers to develop innovative products and services. Google's advertising model will be embedded into virtually all of these new services.

Gmail is an example of Google's ad model expanding onto a new service.





VoIP Growing at 53% to $24 Billion

August 15, 2008

The VoIP opportunity is still huge according to a new report from Infonetics Research. At a time when many industries are really hurting, hosted VoIP and managed IP PBX services grew 53% to $24 billion in 2007 after surging 66% in 2006.

Obviously much of this growth is as a result of PSTN replacement but it should be noted that once IP is in place, the potential to add services increases greatly. The great news is Infonetics anticipates growth in the strong double-digits until at least 2011.

Interestingly, IP communications boosts productivity and saves money at the same time. This makes it a great technology to invest in when times are good and times are bad.

Sadly, many companies get the deer in the headlights feeling when they see an economy slow and they sometimes stick with the status quo instead of making decisions which will save them money, boost performance and generate rapid ROI.

Interestingly I have noticed an increased focus on contact center and CRM solutions these past months which leads me to believe companies have finally figured out that if you serve your customers efficiently and well, you make more money.

Contrast this to the last slowdown in 2000 when companies decided to offshore their call centers to save money.









Communications and Technology Stories August 14, 2008

August 14, 2008

Please enjoy some communications and technology stories while having your morning (or evening) tea or coffee. My thoughts in brief -- Extreme is smart to jump on the energy efficient bandwagon, Jajah claims to have over 10 million users in the story below which is substantial. They also have a service which translates short English phrases to Chinese. Very cool but I am not sure this can be monetized.

Virtual PBX now allows callers to be pulled out of voicemail -- this great news and not easy to pull off for a hosted vendor.

One Man's iPhone Journey (phone not included)

August 14, 2008

A few weeks back I was at the VoIP Sizzles 2008 event in Dallas and the day it was over I told Robert Messer the founder of ABP and the Sizzles events that I have been trying to get an iPhone for the longest time. He told me he had a few on order and an extra one even. He said if I wanted I could come with him to the AT&T Wireless store that night and get one.

I was pretty worn out from travel and had to get up at 4:00 AM the next day so I passed on the opportunity. Messer is convincing but I was just too tired to go.

McCain To Support Technology

August 14, 2008

It has been pretty shocking to me to see that the Bush Administration did not embrace technology in a more grand fashion. After all, Vice President Al Gore was so enthusiastic about the Internet he even claimed to invent it.

So while it seems like the companies of importance in the Bush administration have to do with energy, commodities and defense, we may see a McCain presidency focusing at least a little on technology.

In fact there will be a 10% R&D tax credit and opposition to internet taxes. In addition there will be an increase in H1-B visas (thankfully). McCain does not think we should have federal net neutrality laws -- the FCC and other regulators should deal with these issues he believes.

See this New York Times article for more.







Buy iPhone 3G Online

August 14, 2008

If you are an AT&T Premier customer you can now buy the iPhone 3G online. This is much better than having to stand in line but of course it seems that only business customers qualify. Sorry.

I guess that means there will be less complaining from me but why the secret? I suppose there is still a great benefit to the shots of all those people standing in line but isn't this getting old?

Do you qualify for this program?



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