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

CRM

Show Me the Opportunities!

July 19, 2008

This past week has had me thinking a great deal about telecom and how it is evolving. I have come to some conclusions worth sharing. The first is that customers could care less about walled gardens. Sure, we hear complaints from some about how walled gardens are bad - but consumers don't care.

The Local Starbucks is Closed

July 19, 2008

If you were wondering whether your favorite Starbucks will be one of the 600 stores the company is about to close, the entire list (PDF) of stores to be closed has been made available.

California will see just under 90 stores shut down while Florida and Texas just under 60. TMC's home state of Connecticut will lose five stores -- the closest is about ten miles away from TMC and a store I have never visited. Digium will lose one store in its home city of Huntsville, Al (Madison Square Mall), Manhattan will lose six and Southhampton is the only location in the prestigious Hamtons to be whacked. Expect stores to close early next year.

There have been petitions circulaing to save specific locations and government officials are trying to persuade the company not to shut certain stores.

What I find amazing about these incidents is that many used to complian that Starbucks killed off the local coffee shop and made coffeee a chain-like experience.





Contact Center and Service Provider Similarities

July 17, 2008

I have been seeing an interesting trend in the communications space. In the last 2-3 years, more and more companies who used to focus on service providers have expanded their focus into the call center space. Acme Packet and NextPoint are a few examples of such companies. This is not so surprising mind you when you realize how remote agents resemble service provider customers and the theing they have in common is the need for an SBC.

In addition there has been growth in the hosted contact center market and as more service providers have become interested in providing such services worldwide they need to work with call center vendors who can supply them with the solutions they need.

ITEXPO Prius Giveaway

July 16, 2008

I have had a number of positive comments about the fact that we are giving away a Toyota Prius at ITEXPO in LA, September 16-18, 2008. Most of the comments are thanking me/TMC for being environmentally friendly and more importantly this car seems to be so hot right now that everyone is excited to come to the show, learn about IP communications and hopefully walk drive away with the new car.

As always, we are excited to help educate the market and as a token of appreciation, we try to do nice things for attendees like give them an energy efficient automobile.

For full details about the show check ITEXPO's website and also be sure to check out the other events taking place at the same time -- Communications Developer and Call Center 2.0.



Sun, Intel Have Positive News

July 15, 2008

Microsoft OCS Training

July 10, 2008

An education like no other is what we promise at ITEXPO -- especially our TMC Universtiy certification classes which take place September 16-18, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

One of the certifications being offered at the show focuses on Microsoft OCS and the peripheral unified communications (UC) market and it will be taught by Tom Cross. Cross will also be focusing on Microsoft ResponsePoint in this session and if you aren't familiar with this product -- it is an SMB communications solution which is very powerful and flexible. It is a great SMB option encompassing easy to configure hardware with speech recognition built-in.

I asked Tom Cross for more information on why you need to be in this course and this is what he said:

Microsoft's OCS-Office Communication Server is the most profound new communications system now available.  Its more than Outlook-enabled unified communications, it changes the paradigm of what we call communications.

Called presence, OCS transforms the complexities of bureaucratic organizational noise and confusion into humanized and personal media communications.  For decades now, Tom has said, strategically, the faster you can communicate, the faster you can change, and those corporations that change the fastest will be the most successful.  With OCS, you will communicate faster and better.  If you want to know how OCS can dramatically impact your organization, then you need to come to this class.  In addition, this class will discuss Response Point Microsoft's SMB and branch office telephony solution and RoundTable an interesting approach to the decades-unsolved and vexing problem of video conferencing.  This class is being taught by certainly one of the great experts in electronic communications, telephony and education, Tom Cross - CEO of TECHtionary.com







Aspect Buys BlueNote Networks

July 9, 2008

Why would Aspect, a company which is the largest pure-play contact center equipment and software player in the world buy BlueNote Networks? I am glad you asked. I had met with Aspect execs about this deal a month or so ago under embargo and have had a good amount of time to mull the reasons over.

In my opinion the need for this acquisition is due to a continuing convergence of industries. We have seen this firsthand...

Open Source CRM Resources

July 9, 2008

Larry Ellison and SaaS

July 4, 2008

Although many people in technology are saying that SaaS is one of the fastest growing segments of the market, Larry Ellison, the founder and CEO of Oracle  had some negative comments about the industry lately. I found an article describing Ellison's feelings by TMCnet's David Sims while perusing the SaaS Snapshot page on TMCnet.

Ellison does have a point as profits in the SaaS market haven't been overwhelming but what is perhaps more important is that this business is different than software sales where you book revenue as soon as the customer decides to pick a vendor.

The article has some great comments from Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow Technologies who does agree with Ellison to a degree. He further explains the annuity nature of on-demand models makes them profitable in the long-term.

One thing not mentioned in the article is that SalesForce.com is doing a great job extending the SaaS marketplace with partnerships with other vendors such as Google and a host of companies most people have never heard of. Moreover, SalesForce.com continually extends their products into such areas as platform as a service and others.

The article also touches on the strength of cloud computing and how SaaS ties into this relatively new paradigm which is projected to see rapid growth over the next few years.

If there is a risk in the SaaS market it is Google who could conceivably give away software in every category just for the fun of it.









Mobile Advertising Update

July 3, 2008

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