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Rich Tehrani
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Conferencing

AT&T's Bullish Investment

March 5, 2008


AT&T is making a major telecom investment in many areas of its business. The telecom giant cites the explosion of high-speed networks, data consuming devices and the move to IP as the reason for this investment.

The money is being spent to become a larger global player as well as a big provider of utility computing services.

Where will the company be spending money?

  • Subsea Fiber: Expect the company to expand capacity to area of the world experiencing economic growth such as Asia and the Middle East.
  • MPLS Routers: The company will add a number of these throughout the world in order to ensure there is proper capacity in areas of rapid business growth.
  • Metro Ethernet: The company will invest in a manner which allows it to have such services available in 39 countries.
  • DSL: Investments will allow AT&T to provide this service in 21 countries.
  • Data Center Increase: AT&T will add 180,000 square feet of global capacity by mid 2009 throughout its 28 data centers.
  • Unified Communications: Integrating and developing recently acquired Interwise - a web conferencing company into AT&T's network.
  • Expanding Audio Conferencing: Expect IP-based conferencing in more than 140 countries with native language support.

Here is my analysis of this news:

As AT&T gets more involved in the utility computing market, I expect them to butt heads with Sun, Amazon and Google. Google is a past foe - Amazon and Sun are new ones.

While a year ago the cable companies were eating the lunch of AT&T and Verizon, there has been a rapid about-face in the market which has been fueled by the wireless arms of both LECS, IPTV and well as international expansion.

I believe the cable companies will have to do something soon to be able to compete effectively in emerging markets.

In all, this news is fantastic for the telecom market as AT&T is spending 33 percent more than last year and double what they spent in 2006.

It will be great to see these investments allow AT&T to can overseas and whether it can compete effectively against other utility computing players in the market.

















TMCnet's New Vertical Communities

March 4, 2008

Over the past decade, TMCnet has become the accepted resource for news, product research and analysis in communications and technology markets - including telecom, VoIP, and contact centers. Moreover, the site has become the defacto location online where companies build loyal communities of interest on a variety of topics. Since 2004, TMCnet has built close to one hundred and fifty communities of various sizes (current communities, channels/microcommunities) for our partners.

These communities have proven time and again to be one of the most successful products TMC has ever launched in conjunction with our advertisers and sponsors. With an astronomical renewal rate of 70% year-over-year, TMCnet communities drive tremendous traffic to our partner's Web sites and help them achieve higher levels of search prominence.In fact, we receive numerous testimonials from companies whose TMCnet communities actually attract more visitors than their own Web sites.

Podcast: Joel Hackney, Nortel

March 4, 2008

If you want some great perspective on Nortel's recent earnings as well as information on which areas of Nortel are doing best, be sure to check out this podcast interview with Joel Hackney, President of the Enterprise Solutions Group at Nortel.

Joel discusses a number of things with me such as the rumored acquisition by his company of the Siemens Business Communications Division.

In addition, Joel discusses how applications leaders in the CIO's office are carrying more and more of the budgets for communications spending. Business processes are becoming more important he says and this allows Nortel to enter into a dialog with customers which we haven't been involved with in some time.

From there, Hackney explained how Nortel provides a choice in the market -- with lower price points, better technology while these solutions have a lower impact on the environment.

In addition, we get to hear his perspective of how SOA and web services intertwine with UC to give more choice to companies looking to implement the best communications solutions possible.

Finally we get to hear his ideas on what Nortel really sees in terms of tech spending going forward. Do they really see a slowdown in enterprise spending or not?

Here is the podcast for your listening pleasure.











TMCnet Services

March 3, 2008

Bain and Huawei Resubmit Bid

February 29, 2008

Bain and Huawei are changing their bid for 3COM in a manner that does not change the financial elements of the deal but it minimizes Huawei's access to certain Ethernet technologies.

Last week, the parties pulled their application with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, a 12-agency government panel amid concerns it would be rejected. A number of members of Congress had expressed concern about the security implications of allowing a Chinese-owned entity to exercise influence over the technology company.

If this transaction does go through, I believe it will increase the number of Chinese companies investing in US-based companies.

This may lead to more consolidation in the market but just as important, it is possible the Chinese will have the deep pockets needed to help grow a number of US-based technology companies at a time when capital may be more difficult to come by.

More from the AP and Wall Street Journal







What Nortel Should do Now

February 27, 2008

Nortel will be cutting 2,100 jobs and shifting about one thousand more to areas which have lower costs. These actions are in response to a wider loss in the fourth quarter.

The company remains optimistic about its long term future and they are in a good position from the standpoint of having an enterprise and carrier business. As I have said in the past, generally, one is strong while the other is weak.

The challenge for Nortel may just be the sheer size of the company which makes it difficult to manage. Having so many divisions and product lines makes it tougher to turn the ship on a dime.

I have a number of strong relationships across the carrier and enterprise sides of the business and as an outsider I feel the company can do better if it brings its various units together even more closely than they currently work.

This is not an easy task of course but the company has solid technology, a great relationship with Microsoft and plays in multiple spaces which should offset one another.

These job cuts along with some restructuring could help the telecom giant become more nimble which should assist them as they head into a tougher economic environment.

And one last point...











Siemens has Large Cuts

February 26, 2008

Close to 8,000 positions will be eliminated at Siemens in their communications division as part of a reorganization which allows the company to shift from being a hardware vendor to one that produces software. Over the past five years the performance of off the shelf computing products has increased to the point that hardware in the communications space has become commodotized.

In such  a market shift, when the music stops, you don't want to be stuck carrying products that require steel and silicon.

While this reorganization is taking place, the company is also divesting itself of a number of worldwide call centers as well.

As global telecom markets become more competitive, this move should help the communications division as it will have less overhead to deal with. They will now have more pricing power and be a stronger global player.

That is always the goal of such cuts anyway.

More









Some Webinars to Witness

February 25, 2008

If you aren't aware, it seems like my responsibility to at least mention some webinars worth attending. They happen to all be webinars that are hosted by TMC.

I am going to try to attend them all. Some of the more interesting ones to me have to do with cutting edge tech. So multicore, IMS applications, unified communications, hosting and analyzing success factors are ones I am drawn most to.

Of course, you can feel free to take a look at this list and make your own decisions on which one(s) suit your needs most.



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