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CBX 2008 Video Interviews

October 14, 2008

Some months back I was invited to be the video reporter at the Telx CBX event which took place in Brooklyn, NY. You have likely already read my CBX blog posts but I neglected to post the video interviews themselves. They have been on YouTube for a number of months but now you have an easy reference with links to all of them:

Overview The Best of Packet Exchange Jason Velody/Chuck Storman PointOne Vic Bozzo Telx Tesh Durvasula Telx Eric Shepcaro Stealth Communications Shrihari Pandit WBS Connect Scott Charter Calient Networks Jim Diestels 4Connections Bill Kosnik



TMC Video Launches

October 12, 2008

Avatars: The Cursor in Communications 2.0

October 10, 2008

One of the people with a long history in the communications space is Neal Shact (pictured) -- CEO of Communitech Services. In the past, Shacht has been a distributor in the headset market and has been early in many new markets such as VoIP, call centers and others.

Shact points out it is impossible for customers to know what they want in UC. He mentions the old story that Henry Ford once said people when asked what they wanted in transportation said, a faster horse.

His point: you need a communications roadmap. Don't rely exclusively on your UC vendor to dictate what you want and need.

You want to check out this podcast as it is rife with references outside communications -- and the tie-ins are fascinating.





AudioCodes a Barometer of Communications Markets?

October 7, 2008

Navigating the Financial Crisis

October 4, 2008

I have been getting more and more questions on where the communications market stands in light of macroeconomic conditions. It is a constant in my frequent conversations. In most cases, when I get this question, people tell me their business is good but they wonder if the housing market problems will trickle down into the telecom space.

The answer is simply, I do believe there is risk to all sectors of the global economy. For the first time in my memory, US and other political leaders have come on TV and mentioned the term global crisis on a frequent basis.

Communications and the Economy

September 29, 2008

Please note this post was written approximately one week ago -- before the news of the bailout bill failing began to spread fear in the financial markets. Stay tuned to learn how the financial markets will affect communications and technology.

Many people asked me recently at ITEXPO West 2008 Los Angeles, what I see happening in the communications market from an economic perspective. Let's just say that on the way to the show, I was watching TV as the stock market plunged and there was talk of another Great Depression. When I got to the show I must say I was unclear how the financial markets would affect the communications space.

Asterisk and Skype Collaborate Update

September 25, 2008

Huge news out of Astricon 2008 -- Skype and Digium will begin to collaborate. I will have more details soon but for now this likely means easy integration between phone systems based on Asterisk and the Skype network. I have talked about Skype trunking before -- this news will likely mean that there will be native Skype trunking in all Asterisk boxes.

This could potentially give these open source platforms a huge advantage over companies like Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, Etc where an external Skype trunking gateway will be needed to communicate with the Skype community.

This can be huge news for telecom markets as the price to make calls will drop substantially from Skype devices and software to Asterisk-based open-source PBXs.

One other point -- the Skype gateway market may now become based on Asterisk appliances/software. This means we could see more interoperability between the Skype network and SIP and other standards.

Update:

My theories were accurate.









ITEXPO Best Show Ever for Microsoft Response Point

September 24, 2008

There was tremendous buzz about Microsoft's multiple announcements at ITEXPO West 2008 in Los Angeles last week and I was very happy to hear that ITEXPO was the best show Microsoft's Response Point team has ever been involved with. It is humbling... But we are just doing our job and as always we do our best to keep our customers and the industry happy.

I really think Microsoft's addition to the marketplace will mark a change in our industry and it is worth partnering with them where possible to add value to the company's various solutions.

Read Best Show Ever for Response Point from the Response Point Team Blog for more.

What is perhaps most exciting for me is how many ITEXPO exhibitors did business at the show. There were many deals taking place on the exhibit floor and exhibitors told me they were selling continent by continent as so many people speaking different languages showed up to buy products.

Going forward we are looking to Make ITEXPO in Miami, Feb 2-4 even better than Los Angeles.







Steve Brubaker's Blog

September 24, 2008

Steve Brubaker has a blog which I have linked to in the past but has now moved to a new home on his company's site: Infocision. I thought this valuable resource was worth pointing out to those people who are interested in the regulatory side of call centers as well as people interested in teleservices and BPO. One of the hot topics in the space at the moment has to do with whether our industry needs self regulation. This is discussed in his first entry.

Generally this is a good idea if you want to keep the government out of what you are doing.

Contact Center Update

September 24, 2008

There are some very positive contact events worth sharing. The first bit of news has to do with how Voxify helped callers prepare for hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Voxify used its managed speech solutions to help hotels and airlines handle massive call volumes which peaked as the hurricane got closer. Callers not only made calls to reserve rooms and forms of travel, they also called to reconfirm reservations.

In other good news, AT&T has opened a call center in Detroit, Michigan to provide DSL service and support. This is an important move as it follows a pattern of other companies moving jobs from other countries back to the US.

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