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

CRM

Cbeyond Rides the Hosted Wave

March 14, 2009

The most obvious trend in the tech space is that of outsourced services since companies need to boost productivity by deploying the latest in technology but in general don't have the budgets they used to for large capital expenditures.

Recently I spoke with hosted communications company Cbeyond's VP/GM of channel sales, Brad Linden and VP Marketing Steve Zimba in separate meetings to discuss how the company is doing. They reported solid revenue growth of just under 25% which is impressive for Q4 of 2008 when most companies saw sales decrease.  The good news keeps coming as their channel sales closed on target for January and over target in February.

Interview With Spanlink's Scott Christian

March 13, 2009

Are companies really cutting their investments in customer acquisition and retention in this economic climate?

 


I have known the management of Spanlink Communications for years but haven't covered them in a while. Today I got a chance to speak with the company's relatively new President and CEO, Scott Christian (pictured) and he walked me through what the company is up to and also engaged in a great dialogue regarding how the organization has really focused on adding value to Cisco solutions.

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.

Plantronics Redefines Unified Communications Endpoints

March 10, 2009

Company looks to differentiate itself from other headset vendors through software and innovation

Historically the headset was not an area of the communications space where people expected tremendous amounts of new technology. Certainly wireless standards like DECT and Bluetooth have brought headsets into the tech space but for Plantronics these were a stepping stone for tighter integration into the world of unified communications.

After 40 years of making industry-leading headsets, the company has now upped the ante by announcing a suite of new products which are designed to add intelligence, flexibility and ease-of-use to communications endpoints.

Do Not Call AMEX Unless You Want a Call Back

March 6, 2009

American Express is about to change its terms of service agreement allowing them to call or SMS you on ANY number you call them from. What this means is if you borrow a friend's phone, use a pay phone or a hotel phone to call the company, they can call that number back in reference to your account for any reason. This is not to imply AMEX would divulge your confidential information but the problem here is the lack of respect for customers American Express is displaying with this move.

Moreover the utter stupidity of this change from a CRM perspective makes you wonder as an investor or customer whether you want to be associated with the company at all.

Just Give it Away (at first)

March 6, 2009

I am sitting here at the DFW airport, looking forward to getting home but not thrilled about the 50 degree temperature drop I will be experiencing. While at the food court furiously checking email and blogging, a McDonald's representative walked around with free samples of ice coffee.

You don't think of McDonalds as a company which would engage in guerilla marketing but they are - and when you consider they are the underdog to Starbucks, it explains the move.

What can we learn from this?

SimpleSignal Adds Voice to the Cloud

March 1, 2009

"If it doesn't support FMC it isn't truly unified communications," says David Gilbert whose business card reads "The Big Cheese" at Broadsoft-powered hosted communications company SimpleSignal. Gilbert skipped handing me the lengthy press kits which are customary in our profession and instead gave me a single napkin (back of the napkin -- get it?) which elucidates the unique attributes of the company's solution.

David Gilbert, The Big Cheese at SimpleSignal

 

What pain does SimpleSignal take away for customers? According to Gilbert, "The management of a PBX - the value of a hosted PBX - the ability to unify communications.

TMCnet Blogs Add New Social Networking Features

February 27, 2009

Great news for readers of TMCnet blogs. As you know we now have 40 bloggers and continue to innovate with technology and integration additions to our blogs which allow you to use your social networking login to comment on our blog entries. But that was so yesterday.

They Should Rename it $alesforce.com

February 26, 2009

Wow - record revenues for cloud computing vendor Salesforce.com - the first billion dollar cloud computing company in fact. We are in a recession right? This shows once again the cost-saving benefits of using technology in tough times to become more productive and thereby reduce waste and increase productivity.

Obviously SaaS and CRM are hot buttons at the company and this news shows that when these two areas intersect, you have great synergies.

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