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Managing Telecom Expenses Becomes More Important

March 22, 2009

At a time when the world is tightening its belt but still using broadband and wireless services like they are going out of style, you might imagine an increasing portion of companies would be interested in managing telecom expenses. And if you think about it - with companies cutting travel budgets and utilizing technology to substitute for air and other forms of travel, it makes sense that broadband and telecom costs could increase while headcounts shrink.

During the recession of the early nineties telecom costs decreased

more or less in lockstep with business activity and headcount. Nowadays this is far from the case as companies further look to reduce costs with hosted solutions which they used to run locally. In addition, there is an increased focus on accessing information everywhere - via phones, netbooks and smartphones.

Nortel Asks for Executive Bonuses

March 20, 2009

A shot of the Ottawa River in Canada. Click to enlarge.


It is certainly a tough time for Nortel to be trying to get a court to approve senior level management bonuses as just south of Canada here in the US, the government is focusing on taxing bonuses to employees of TARP recipients to death. The good news here is these bonuses - unlike many on Wall Street seem to be tied to cost-reduction and reducing the company's focus - or selling off parts of the business.

Cisco Moves in Opposite Directions

March 19, 2009

With all the opportunity to sell more products in the data center and the consumer electronics space, a company like Cisco can afford to simultaneously attack both markets. To that end, Cisco recently announced its entry into the blade server market and today purchased Pure Digital Technologies for $590 million, the company behind the Flip Video brand of pocket-sized video recorders.

Cisco's efforts in the consumer electronics space have not been nearly as successful as its accomplishments in the enterprise but the company seems to believe if it sells enough products in the connected home, sooner or later it will become a preferred provider in the consumer setting. They could be right but the problem for the industry today is the threat from Apple who will continue to own more and more of the home network and consumer electronics market.

Tango Networks Improves FMC and Corporate Texting

March 17, 2009

I scan over 1,000 news headlines a day when I am not traveling and without a doubt the most popular tech topic in the mainstream media these days is Twitter. David Pogue from the New York Times has even devoted TV airtime to the topic on CNBC and it seems everyone is experimenting with using the service. Then there is the talk of leading social network Facebook modifying its homepage to take on Twitter and Google purchasing Twitter to show ads on all those tweets people send regarding their hunger status and other innocent facts which you wouldn't imagine anyone would take the time to share or read about.

It makes you think long and hard about how companies are integrating consumer technologies like Twitter into their marketing.

Acredo Technologies Update

March 16, 2009

You may have read that Acredo Technologies has closed down. This information is not exactly true. There are Twitter and blog reports regarding layoffs which I can confirm. Over the past six months we have seen many startups under pressure.

SimulScribe/PhoneTag Founder Sounds off on Google Voice

March 16, 2009

After a long 20 months, Google took its purchase of Grand Central and launched it at Google Voice and added a nifty feature, voicemail transcription. When I heard the news I was curious as to what Jamie Siminoff of SimulScribe/PhoneTag thought about the news.

Jamie did not disappoint and came out swinging, explaining that Google can't sustain the business of providing this free service which costs the company $60/year/customer. He argues that ads cannot pay for this service - no way, no how - it is just too much money.

Arunas Chesonis the Secret Weapon at PAETEC

March 14, 2009

PAETEC like a slew of other voice and data providers is looking to differentiate itself but perhaps its biggest asset is CEO Arunas Chesonis (pictured) whose unique style allows him to impress you about the company's direction without coming off as boasting. In fact in a recent conversation with Arunas, he told me the company is still growing and hiring. He mentioned a large non-cash charge this last quarter which made the quarter look worse than it was. I researched a bit and in the company's recent conference call there is a discussion of a goodwill impairment charge which is related to the company's acquisition of McLeodUSA.

Truphone Local Anywhere Makes Mobile Roaming Painless

March 12, 2009

Truphone Local Anywhere is likely one of the more revolutionary products/services you will see this year and consists of a single-SIM, multi-country mobile service that will make any mobile call within the set of supported countries a local call. It combines technology with roaming arbitrage and as company CEO Geraldine Wilson says is, "The ultimate phone service for people who have an international lifestyle."
 

If you find yourself in a situation where you are carrying around multiple SIM-cards or are getting charged high roaming fees, this service which will be available later this year is worth a look. Wilson tells me this service is about keeping you local and on one Truphone SIM.

Interviews With Taqua, Neustar, Genband, Mera, Dash, Covad, Actelis, Stratus Telecom, TW Telecom, Sprint, Profitec and More

March 12, 2009

The TMC Newsroom has been bustling with activity and lately we have had a chance to interview a number of the leaders in the communications space. Check out the TMC Video News Room home page for the latest and some of the recent interviews are below.

One thought - many of you in the communications space should ensure your CFOs listen to how well some companies in our space are doing in the interviews below. Why?

Google Voice Arrives

March 12, 2009

It took a full 20 months since the Grand Central acquisition but perhaps the wait has been worth it. Google just rolled out Google Voice, a service which expands on the one number for life idea.

I spent a few minutes trying to logon to Google Voice and finally realized the company will let me know when my Grand Central account has been upgraded. If you don't have a Grand Central account you need to wait for the company to allow you to become a free Google Voice subscriber but you can add your email address to a list now to expedite the process.

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