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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

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What the HP/EDS Deal Means

May 13, 2008

When you look around the tech market you see factors which suck the profit out of every nook and cranny. In hardware there is a trend towards standards-based hardware which is not slowing down. As this trend continues, prices shrink and more competition exists in building computers, etc.

Moreover, as computers get more powerful they suck the life out proprietary solutions. It is very difficult to build a proprietary hardware system and not get undercut by a competitor who uses PC-based technology.

Software should be immune to this trend but open-source has made this segment of the market more challenging.



Digium Picks Integrics to Power Carrier Solutions

May 13, 2008

Perhaps one of the biggest misperceptions among those who dabble in communications is that Asterisk is only used in small business environments. The reality is that Asterisk is being used in service provider environments as well.

Of course this doesn't mean that a product which happens to work great in a small to medium business is also able to simply flip a switch to become the heart of a service provider install.

In other words Asterisk + "a variety of additions" is what Mrs. or Mr. service provider needs to use this popular open source product to power services to their customers.

In an effort to simplify the process of adding Asterisk to the service provider environment, Digium -- the company behind the world's most popular open source communications software has partnered with Integrics, the maker of Enswitch.

According to an article on the subject by TMCnet's Susan Campbell, Enswitch allows service providers to use Asterisk in order to provide, full-featured, telephone management and billing solutions, calling card integration, toll free and number translation services, voice mail, call queuing, ACD, fax to e-mail, and multi-level IVR.

I am pretty impressed with the feature-set of Enswitch. For example, they provide XML and PDF invoices for customers, wizard-based activation, simple sales tax management, web-based administration, sophisticated authentication mechanisms, shared speed dials, .csv integration, dial by name, unlimited classes of service, etc.

In fact you may be hard pressed as a carrier to find a feature that Integrics hasn't thought of.

So what does such an announcement mean to the market? Well first off, service providers are likely to feel more comfortable working with products from Integrics as they now have the Digium brand, muscle and market power behind them.

In addition, we can expect the service provider market to embrace open source at an even more rapid pace than they are already doing.















UMAThought Leader Steve Shaw on TMCnet

May 9, 2008

Cablevision's WiFi Network in New York City

May 9, 2008



WiFi is not new and providing WiFi to a city is not new. What is new and worth noodling on is the fact Cablevision will soon have a WiFi network in New York City -- well over the next few years really.

The network will be voice-ready -- supporting WiFi telephony/VoWLAN and speeds could reach 1.5 Mbps.

Over the decades, Ethernet technology has always evolved to kill the competition. Although LTE and WiMax will be viable options, one wonders what would happen if WiFi continues to evolve -- like Ethernet to eventually cover more and more areas of the world.

Of course this scenario seems unlikely based on the fact that most companies haven't figured out how to make money in the WiFi ISP space. Still, it will be worth watching to see how this all plays out.

After all, I still don't have a WiMax or LTE radio in my cell phone or laptop.

See Also:















PAETEC: Success Under the Radar

May 8, 2008

Recently I traveled to San Francisco to PAETEC World, the largest of annual meetings that PAETEC has with its customers. During this cold San Francisco week, over 350 customers and well over 100 PAETEC employees spent a few days in a downtown San Francisco, CA hotel learning, exchanging ideas and networking at evening receptions.

To my knowledge I am the first analyst or reporter ever invited to this event and this fact coupled with my desire to learn more about the company made me jump on a plane to meet with the company's execs and customers.

In a keynote speech there were slides showing how much farther ahead the Company is than the competition in terms of service. At the same time, PAETEC was frank in recognizing they still have room for improvement, admitted their imperfections, and shared their plans for growth. They frankly want to change the dynamics of the industry.

Now let's sit back and think about that for a moment.





Vonage Record Quarter: Jeff Citron Interview

May 8, 2008

Vonage has done a great job this last quarter --  posting growth numbers in a slower economy. I just had a podcast interview with Jeffrey Citron where he talked about the company's growth rate and the number of new initiatives at the pure-play VoIP service provider.

Citron explains that they are pleased with their financial performance as their revenue was $225 million and this is a 15% increase from the previous year. One great bit of news is that expenses increased and adjusted operating income is now $8 million.

These results were ahead of expectations and in addition to the news on earnings, Citron was proud to explain how well-received his new  products have been. Visual voicemail and unlimited international calling are some of these new items.

Moreover, the company has a new prosumer product and another called Companion which installs on your computer and works in conjunction with your phone service.

Perhaps most importantly, Vonage is becoming a double-play provider by reselling Covad broadband DSL service.







Skype as David, Telcos as Goliath

May 7, 2008

OK, now I have heard it all. Large, incumbent telephone companies are going to launch a competitor to Skype.

But before I proceed with my thoughts, as often the case with such amazing speculation, it is good to air out the details before dismissing them outright. After all, an informed reader may think they know better than me and I have been wrong in the past. Pobody's nerfect as they say.

The Details

Apparently ThinkPanmure, a research firm has been speculating for years that incumbent telecoms from around the world will work together to make a software package that will interoperate on various networks and leverage 3G and wired broadband investments.





Google Pushes Verizon on 700 MHz Open Access

May 6, 2008

Many of us thought the open access provisions of the 700 MHz auction were taken care of and this was the reason Google got involved in the auction in the first place. It seems now that Verizon is saying that open access means open access to any application on their approved devices.

This as opposed tot he concept of bring whatever device you want to the party and it will work fine.

Google's attorneys are writing letters tot he FCC about the matter and this debate underscores the different points of view held by carriers and and Internet companies.

Matthew Lasar over at  ars technica has a great article on the matter.

See Also:

Update: Google concerned about Verizon's open access









Avtech Software Protects Data Centers

May 4, 2008

Companies spend incredible sums of money on their communications and technology infrastructure but all too often they do not focus enough attention on protecting the investment in such equipment. As telepresence, unified communications, handheld devices, mobility and IP communications turbocharge corporate productivity; a simple air conditioner malfunction can put an end to racks of equipment which house the tools many corporate workers need to get their jobs done.

Having said that there are companies whose main focus is to ensure your data center functions at all times regardless of humidity, fire, flood or other factors which generally do not mesh well with your typical server.

I recently caught up with Michael Sigourney, the founder of Avtech Software to discuss how his products are helping companies protect their investments in technology and productivity.

The company’s flagship product is the 26W and for a list price of $1,195 you get hardware, a web interface, alerting and the ability to begin corrective action such as initiating a system shutdown in the case of triggered events.

The Ferrari red colored box (which not coincidentally contains a bright red circuit board) allows connections for a variety of external sensors such as power, flood, smoke, motion, air flow, room entry, sound, light, panic buttons and more.

The data the box collects is output into an unmodifiable file which is great for companies who need such a feature to help them with regulations relating to compliance. And yes, of course you could export this file and modify it elsewhere if needed.

Sigourney proudly tells me that every branch of the US government and the majority of the Fortune 1,000 use his products and even some military aircrafts and missiles have his technology in them.

The company’s latest product the Signal Tower is fairly unexciting as it is essentially a traffic light which can be seen any angle and set to signal problems. Green, yellow and red lights can blink, etc in conjunction with an alarm depending on network and other events.

But having a product that is boring does not mean it is not useful.















Blackberry Outage

May 3, 2008

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