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Rich Tehrani
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Conferencing

Communication’s Biggest Week Ever

October 15, 2007

Tomorrow kicks off the biggest week in the history of communications. I have to be honest. After I wrote this statement I had to get up and take a walk and get some tea. I wanted a sanity check and sometimes meandering around one’s office and listening to water cooler conversations about various TV shows and celebrities helps put one’s views in perspective.   So while at the forefront of my mind is the big Microsoft unified communications news, in the background I wonder if indeed Lindsay Lohan is broke.

What eBay Should do with Skype

October 14, 2007

Please enjoy the unedited November 2007 Publisher’s Outlook column from Internet Telephony Magazine.   ---   OK, I was wrong. Really wrong. Over a billion dollars wrong in fact. Why?

Extreme Video Solutions Update

October 14, 2007

This past week I had a few minutes to spare while in New York City so I went to the Wall Street location of Extreme Video Solutions to see a demo of their technology in action. You may recall I wrote about this video conferencing company a while back.   Making a call was as easy as pointing a remote control at the MCU and pressing a few buttons. The video and full duplex sound quality was great.   The codec box allows myriad devices to be plugged in from a PC for a PowerPoint presentation to a DVD recorder.   Although the company will be releasing some new features in a few weeks I am not at liberty to disclose them at this time. What I can tell you is the single 61” monitor has been replaced by two slightly smaller ones allowing you to see what your camera is transmitting, a PowerPoint or another point in the conference.

Strategic Technologies for 2008

October 11, 2007

I was reading an article on Wireless News regarding Gartner’s top 10 strategic technologies for 2008. Here are those technologies with the analysis from Wireless News. Obviously I agree with the first two items on this list and I do agree with a number of others here as well.   Here is the full article.   Green IT. The focus of Green IT that came to the forefront in 2007 will accelerate and expand in 2008. Consider potential regulations and have alternative plans for data center and capacity growth.

Network Engines Buys Alliance Systems

October 10, 2007

If you have been in the telecommunications market for any period of time you are no doubt aware of Jon Shapiro the founder of Alliance Systems the company responsible for building bullet-proof communications servers. Alliance Systems has great industry partnerships with vendors like Interactive Intelligence, AudioCodes and Dialogic.   Alliance Systems was just sold to Network Engines for about $40 million dollars and according to the acquiring company, this addition of telecommunications products and services blends nicely with the company’s storage and security business.   As always, stay tuned for more.

Here is a letter Jon just sent out:
Dear Friends

I am very pleased to share some exciting news with you.  This morning, Network Engines announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire   Alliance Systems, Inc., a leading provider of server appliances and computer infrastructure that support telecommunications and enterprise communications solutions. 

This acquisition represents a major milestone for Network Engines and Alliance Systems. 




RingCentral VoIP

October 8, 2007

The folks at RingCentral have had a great virtual PBX service for ages and it was almost a surprise to hear the company still didn’t have a VoIP module. Even if you weren't aware... Fear not as I've got your back and I mentioned it back in June of last year and again a few months ago. In my most recent article I ended it with the following:   The service has some big news coming soon which will make it even more useful but I can’t tell you yet what it is.

Siemens Unified Communications

October 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark Straton the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at Siemens about his thoughts on unified communications and where the telecom market is headed. Straton spent the early part of the conversation talking about Microsoft’s vision.   This vision in his words is basically that the first generation of VoIP solutions were tied to hardware but now you can overlay the communications software and migrate to a fully software-based approach. It should be noted the Siemens VP agrees with this vision.   But he argues that Microsoft has started to put walls around their systems. He says other providers must operate within this environment.   Straton thinks there needs to be an open approach to UC and one vendor cannot provide everything – we need flexibility he says.   Straton mentions to scale such a solution is a very difficult task… He points to the decades of telecom development embodied in the HiPath 8000 from people who are communications experts.   At this moment he took the opportunity to explain the fact that HiPath sales are rapidly accelerating at a number of major Fortune class organizations including the deployment of a massive hosted solution provided by Global Crossing in the UK.

TMCnet Searches

October 5, 2007

I thought it would be interesting to see what people search on when they come to TMCnet. It should be noted these searches are on TMCnet proper which unfortunately at the moment does not include blogs.   These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because if a search is embedded in a web link and that link is crawled repeatedly by search engine spiders you come up with a situation where numbers may be skewed. Be that as it may, it is worth sharing some of the information from the last month if for no other reason than as a diversion from more important pursuits such as doing your (and my) job.   1 Avaya No surprise here but shouldn’t Cisco be more popular based on company size and product portfolio? 2 Witness+Systmes I get the feeling this is one of those odd pages (with a typo by the way) that gets crawled repeatedly.

Dialogic Buys Cantata

October 5, 2007

Dialogic has been gaining a great deal of momentum this past year and now this momentum has increased substantially as the company has just announced they will be acquiring Cantata. This deal gives Dialogic access to huge fax market share as well as the Excel and SnowShore product lines, significantly enhancing Dialogic’s position in the service provider market according to Jim Machi the company’s Vice President of Marketing.   Machi also explained this acquisition will be significant for Dialogic customers as there is a great deal of service provider know-how which Dialogic will now have access to. He further mentioned the company is extremely excited about this transaction.   In the nineties there were a number of companies in the DSP resource board market -- Dialogic, NMS, Brooktrout, Rhetorex, Aculab and Pika Technologies were some of these names. Through a series of acquisitions Rhetorex became part of Brooktrout which changed names to Cantata.

Freeconferencecall.com

October 4, 2007

If you are interested in how services like Freeconferencecall.com make money be sure to check out this article in the Wall Street Journal (paid content). In short, large phone carriers like AT&T and Verizon have to pay 5.3 cents per minute to terminate calls in rural parts of Iowa due to the way the telecom regulations in the US work.   So free conference calling services, chat and sex lines were set up with numbers connecting to rural Iowa. The rural carriers split the incoming revenue with the internet companies.   The large phone companies started to block calls, the free conference calling services complained to the FCC and now the large phone companies stopped blocking calls and instead refuse to pay.   If nothing else this article shows just how inconsistent the telecom policies are in the US and moreover how technologies like the internet and IP communications have been able to open up large business opportunities.
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