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

Conferencing

Live Communications Webinars

April 7, 2008

How do you stay up to date on the latest in communications and technology without leaving your desk? One of the best ways is with a webinar which allows you to sit comfortably in your office while you learn from industry experts.

In today's mobile work environment I should emphasize you really don't need to be at a desk. You could in fact be on a train or anywhere else as you learn everything you wanted to know about important issues such as secure SIP trunking, SBCs, communications enabled business services and how VoIP will coexist with IPV6.

Here is a complete list of upcoming webinars:

Thanks for reading and as a disclaimer I should mention these webinars all take place with TMC representation... A TMC editor and potentially an analyst will be on every one.

In addition, you should know a webinar is one of the few places online where you can learn something and have your questions answered by experts in real-time.







EU Authorizes Fist Fights on Planes

April 7, 2008

OK I may be a bit over the top with this headline but allowing a plane full of passengers the ability to talk on the phone -- all in different languages... What is the EU thinking?

According to TMCnet's Mae Kowalke, we will have the ability to talk in the air very, very soon. Sure, there are challenges like how will you deal with the fact that rows and rows of people will be talking at the same time while you are trying to nap?

The answer is unclear to me but riding on the trains in New York it seems like yelling at the telephone screamer seems to get them to quiet down a bit.

How do you invest to take advantage of such a change in policy.





TMCnet Hits 100 Sponsored Community Milestone

April 6, 2008

All I can say is thank you to our loyal readers who visit TMCnet frequently and our sponsors who have launched communities and channels in partnership with TMC on TMCnet.

Furthermore, thanks for your loyalty and the nice testimonials many of you have provided -- comments like working with TMC via our community program has been partly responsible for lifting your stock price (Sangoma, Interactive Intelligence).

Due to your tremendous support, TMCnet has now hit the triple-digit mark in live, sponsored communities online.

We launched our first ever online community back in 2000 and over the years we have developed sophisticated and proprietary technology allowing our channels and communities to contain the most appropriate content at all times.

This is probably why some TMCnet communities have more traffic than other competitive media sites.

Sure, trade shows are great and those of you attending ITEXPO know that these shows are doing amazingly well.

We believe that for all other times during the year you need to work with an experienced third-party media company to build content-specific communities in order to give your potential customers the best parts of the trade show experience 24 hours every day.

And once again, as TMCnet communities are content driven -- the high quality news and analysis TMC provides on a specific subject makes them worth bookmarking and visiting often.

Some samples of our community program are Open Source PBX, IPTV, Mobile VoIP, Hosted Communications, HD VoiceCall Recording, IP Telephony, VoIP Services , Business VoIP, and Contact Center Research.

Thanks to the positive reaction from our many community partners, we have been able to provide the absolute best quality content while covering virtually all news of significance.

As always, you have our promise that our commitment to quality and our customer service levels will continue to be first-rate as we expand.

If this is ever not the case, I invite you to e-mail me directly.

We thank you once again for the opportunity to serve you.

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Starface Looks for US IP-PBX Growth

April 6, 2008

I recently came across a software-based IP-PBX company from Germany that I have never written about before. Vertico Software GmBH makes a product called Starface which comes in a variety of flavors, from software to an appliance or hosted solution.

The company supports SIP trunking and one of the latest news items Vertico Software released in fact is a partnership with Broadvox, one of the leaders in the SIP trunking space.

The communications software company focuses on low-priced, fully-functional solutions which seem like they have all the bells and whistles a growing small to medium needs.

There is extended backup, different music-on-hold based on individual users or groups, an installation GUI for beginners, an XML menu available on SNOM hardware and a client which allows things like screen pops, call deflection, ad-hoc conferencing and more.

There are other advanced features like rules-based call forwarding, LDAP connectivity, virtual conference rooms with PIN-based access, visual conference participant control, presence detection and dissemination, and connectivity with CRM systems.

One thing setting this system apart from many others on the market is support for many languages (6 in total).

The German company is looking to expand in the US so if you are a reseller or small to medium business looking for a flexible and reasonably-priced solution with built-in international support, check out the company's website.











Save Money in a Slow Economy

March 31, 2008

What is one of the best ways to cut costs without cutting heads or disrupting you key business operations? One simple solution is to explore the adoption of a telecom expense management or TEM solutions.

Recently I had a chance to sit down with the team at Anchorpoint to learn just how they are helping companies cut costs in a painless fashion.

One of the biggest problems with how companies currently deal with phone bills is that they put highly skilled workers in charge of what is really a low skill job. In addition, the job of approving telecom bills is time sensitive as phones tend to stop working when bills aren't paid. So as these highly skilled workers deal with the time sensitive job which they often feel is below their skill set they tend not to take the job very seriously and subsequently rubber stamp bills to get them through.

So companies are paying good salaries to people to do a job which doesn't get done too well.

In my conversation at Anchorpoint's headquarters in Massachusetts, we discussed how in some cases companies deploying TEM solutions can cut headcount but this usually pales in comparison to saving perhaps 10 % or more on a 10 million dollar bill.

So instead of focusing on a company's ability to cut heads they explain that these high value workers could do more important things in the company.

Of course I brought up the $99 flat rate bill phenomenon being marketed by the wireless carriers and the team told me that the result of this new marketing approach is that companies now have a metric they must come below.

So a CFO may expect phone bills to be less than $99 and a compensation plan can even be assigned to a worker based on the percentage of savings over this amount.

We further went on to discuss how telecom cost management compares with travel management.















Polycom's Software Play and More

March 31, 2008

Depending on the era, if I asked people what the name Polycom makes them think of they would give me different answers. In the nineties it was video conferencing and audio conferencing devices. Around 2000 you could add IP phones to this list. With the Spectralink acquisition you then could add wireless phones to this list.

Starting in 2008, the company will also be known for software solutions and in a recent meeting with company execs I got to learn about their new Productivity Suite which retails for a reasonable $11.99/seat.

So what void did Polycom see in the market that would have them go out and start selling software solutions?



Polycom's Durable 8002 VoIP Phone

March 31, 2008

I have to be frank… I have never been in a meeting where I saw a product launch accompanied by a phone being slammed on a table. So I was a bit surprised when Polycom's Ben Guiderian did just that with the company's new 8002 phone.

As it flashed before my eyes on the way to making a big bang on the table, I was told by Ben the new phone is an 802.11b WiFi device which is priced lower than the company's higher-end solutions. The 8002 costs just $349 for a phone, handset and charger and for another $50 you can get an extra charger and battery meaning the phone will always be functional.

On a typical AP you can get 3-4 simultaneous calls. This compares to Polycom's higher-end solutions which can potentially quadruple the number of calls.

So why would I even bother writing about a WiFi phone from Polycom at $349 when for about $150 less you can get a consumer WiFi telephony device which also supports the more robust 802.11g?

Simply stated because this device has a removable battery, Polycom has a great experience with SIP interoperability and if you break one of the consumer WiFi phones, you have now paid more than the virtually indestructible Polycom.







NEC's New Vision

March 31, 2008

Recently I had a chance to sit down with NEC Unified Solution's new president Jeffrey Kane and talk shop. Kane has an extensive background in systems integration having worked at firms like Perot Systems and EDS. Most importantly, he has a passion for success I haven't seen in my NEC telecom contacts over the past fifteen plus years.

He talks of unleashing the power of the 43 billion dollar company and bringing communications and computing together. The company purchased Sphere a while back for its SOA technology and Active Voice too is owned by the computing and telecom giant.

Still, with all that's going for them, in my experience it is always difficult for large multinational companies with non-US headquarters to compete against the likes of Cisco and Avaya.



OnRelay's Mobile PBX Solution

March 31, 2008

Years ago I realized that mobile phones would get cheaper and cheaper and eventually cause a threat to the PBX vendors of the world. Of course… trends are generally easy to spot but timing technology adoption is generally very difficult.

My friends, the time has come for PBX vendors to fear the mobile phone as a company called OnRelay is embarking on a super-aggressive campaign to get us to scrap our desk phones for mobile devices.

In a conversation with company President and CFO Marie Wold I got to see her configure her phone settings right from an application on her Nokia phone. When I asked her repeatedly if you could also use a web portal to change the settings of the phone service, she repeatedly answered, "Why would you need a web browser?" At first I thought she was being difficult but then I realized in most cases she is likely right. Besides, it is tough to argue with a company whose marketing says they will help eliminate 47 million Kg of e-waste.



Skype+Keyboard Convergence

March 31, 2008



Everything seems to be coming together -- camera, phones, e-mail devices, etc. It was just a matter of time before a company decided to merge Skype, a keyboard and silicon to develop a VoIP-ready keyboard with microphone and speaker built-in.

It is bendable, waterproof, has a two-port USB hub, a volume control and LEDs to indicate status.

The only downside is that I am not sure where I would use such a product. Perhaps outside in the rain -- assuming my computer and monitor are protected from the elements?

Would this product be the ideal boating accessory? Perhaps.

Would this keyboard be great for parents who want to work at the kitchen table without the fear associated with spills?

You have to hand it to the designer who got my attention by integrating such disparate items into a single waterproof package.

I guess there is now officially no excuse for not blogging or Skyping in the rain.

[USB Fever via GeekAlerts]















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