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Rich Tehrani
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Telecom Cost Management

August 15, 2007

One of the fastest areas of growth in communications – and there seem to be so many these days, is telecom cost management. In recognition of this fact, TMC has launched a Telecom Cost Management channel which is being sponsored by Optelcon.   Why is telecom cost management an important area? PSTN calls, VoIP calls, FMC, wireless calls, broadband communications, etc have made it challenging to understand phone bills, let alone manage the cost of them.   What sorts of articles might we see on this micro-community? Boy am I glad you asked.   Here is a list of some of the latest content on the site:  

Smoothstone

August 15, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask Jeff Wellemeyer, chairman and CTO of Smoothstone, about the most recent call center solutions and the path Smoothstone is taking to create greater customer satisfaction.   Smoothstone is an IP communications provider that designs, integrates and services specifically tailored solutions including VoIP for medium-sized enterprises. The company’s IP communications platform provides next generation, centrally managed and enterprise strength solutions over a private nationwide network.   Please read more coverage of Smoothstone in TMCnet.   Please outline your new corporate initiatives.   Smoothstone continues to add new clients and to introduce new services. The most recent initiative is the introduction of our new Smoothstone Intelligent Call Control (ICC) platform.

TMCnet New Traffic Record

August 15, 2007

Thanks to all our readers and visitors who have allowed TMCnet to achieve a new traffic record in July 2007.   Here are the numbers:   Page Views 30,977,147 Average Visit Length 35:45 Unique Visitors 3,078,409   Page Views refers to actual pages viewed. So if you look at three articles a month on TMCnet you represent 3 page views. Our prior average was 20 million.   30,977,147 represents a 50+% increase over the prior record.   Average Visit Length represents how much time a person spends on the site   Unique Visitors represents how many unique viewers came to TMCnet in the entire month.   Thank you also to the TMC team for continuing to produce content our audience finds compelling.

Grandstream

August 13, 2007

Grandstream Networks Seeks Growth in SMB VoIP   The SMB VoIP market shows no sign of slowing down and so many companies are vying to get a piece of this market which is projected to grow for many years to come. One player in this area is Grandstream Networks, specializing in delivering easy to use products for SMBs and service providers.   The company says 50% of its revenue comes from selling devices into the business sector and based on the growth of this market they expect this percentage to grow.   Grandstream Chairman & CEO David Li tells me in a recent face-to-face meeting that his company’s products are affordable, have an uncompromised feature set, high quality and interoperate with many major players such as Sylantro, 3COM, Lucent & Avaya. Finally, Li says his company provides excellent support.   I asked where Li sees the company in the next five years and he told me they want to be a major player in voice and video devices for consumers and businesses.   When asked about competition, common names such as Polycom, Linksys and the more specialized Snom came up.   One interesting part of our discussion was regarding a recent customer which is a political candidate. Currently there is a thousand or so phones being used by this politician and it could scale to over ten thousand.

NetXUSA

August 12, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to ask NETXUSA CEO Tom Boone about his business and the direction he is taking the company.   NETXUSA, Inc. is a distributor of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) products and services and has a distribution channel of independent resellers throughout the United States and foreign countries that provide the local end-user installation and support services.   The company distributes products from companies such as Digium, Epygi, PBXnSIP and many others. Tom is one of the more colorful figures in the IP communications space and if you get a chance to meet him, you should take advantage of it.

AudioCodes Interview

August 10, 2007

Anyone in the IP communications business knows quite well that Alan Percy is one of the most well-connected and knowledgeable players in the space. Alan’s day job is Director of Business Development at AudioCodes and I swear his night and weekend job is to travel this great country of ours and the world at large and attend any and every communications event known.   There are few events I go to where Alan is not present. Even I envy his frequent flyer account.   Percy’s years in the business have given him deep relationships at companies making networking equipment, PBXs, ACDs, call center software, softswitches and just about anything and everything in communications.   AudioCodes is a provider of communications enabling equipment, gateways, SBCs and so much more. As the market evolves; I thought it made great sense to pick Alan’s brain about the future of communications.

Office Communicator Voice Quality

August 10, 2007

Hughes Systique Corp Interview

August 9, 2007

I recently had a chance to interview Arjun Roychowdhury, Director, IMS & Broadband Applications Hughes Systique Corp. Arjun will be a speaker at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in September and I thought it worth getting his thoughts on a number of issues.   Please outline your new corporate initiatives.   We have started a SIP & IMS Technology consulting service that has hit a niche in the market. There are many market IMS services (VDC, In-Stat, Gartner etc.) but no pure 100 percent technology consulting solutions. To address this space, my company consults in SIP & IMS technologies, helping OEMs migrate to IMS, architecture consulting and standards update via subscription services.

Voice Peering Growth

August 8, 2007

Last year I proclaimed it the year of VoIP peering. 2007 is becoming the year of rapid VoIP peering growth. Case in point is the Voice Peering Fabric or VPF who recently stated they have reached a 200 billion minute run-rate up from a 100 billion minute run-rate in October 2006.   I recently had a chance to see the VPF’s New York location at the Telx carrier hotel at 60 Hudson Street. Believe it or not, this was my first trip to 60 Hudson.

AudioCodes Has Good Quarter

August 7, 2007

Cisco made a big splash with their earnings news today and subsequently it may be worth pointing out Audiocodes too released great numbers with growth on a year over year of 15.5%.   “AudioCodes’ second quarter financial results were highlighted by our return to sequential revenue growth coupled with continued strength in our networking business,” the company’s chairman, president and CEO, Shabtai Adlersberg, said in a statement to the press.   Adlersberg continued: “Underscoring our strong performance was our ability to generate $2.7 million of net cash from our operating activities. During the quarter we made solid progress towards increasing operating efficiencies and initiated a company wide cost reduction program aimed at improving bottom line performance during the second half of 2007 and beyond.”   Many of the AudioCodes partners I speak with are extremely happy with the partnerships they enjoy with the company. I have never heard a negative comment about AudioCodes and in this business this is unusual.   The one area the company has enormous potential to exploit is the tremendous arsenal of new technologies they have acquired from the likes of Netrake, CTI Squared and Nuera.   Purchasing so many companies in various telecom spaces so rapidly is certainly a big undertaking for any organization but over time if they can get each of these businesses to fire on all or even most cylinders, the company’s growth should be far greater than 15.5%.   This assumes the core network equipment and gateway markets continue to be solid. I have no reason to believe this won’t be the case and in addition AudioCodes is doing something very smart by diversifying into other areas.   Much of the company’s revenue was once dependant on communications equipment providers but now that Audiocodes is a more serious player in the service provider market, they are in a position to have a second revenue stream which should provide cushion if one of the markets was to soften for some reason.
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