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Rich Tehrani
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AT&T's Bullish Investment

March 5, 2008


AT&T is making a major telecom investment in many areas of its business. The telecom giant cites the explosion of high-speed networks, data consuming devices and the move to IP as the reason for this investment.

The money is being spent to become a larger global player as well as a big provider of utility computing services.

Where will the company be spending money?

  • Subsea Fiber: Expect the company to expand capacity to area of the world experiencing economic growth such as Asia and the Middle East.
  • MPLS Routers: The company will add a number of these throughout the world in order to ensure there is proper capacity in areas of rapid business growth.
  • Metro Ethernet: The company will invest in a manner which allows it to have such services available in 39 countries.
  • DSL: Investments will allow AT&T to provide this service in 21 countries.
  • Data Center Increase: AT&T will add 180,000 square feet of global capacity by mid 2009 throughout its 28 data centers.
  • Unified Communications: Integrating and developing recently acquired Interwise - a web conferencing company into AT&T's network.
  • Expanding Audio Conferencing: Expect IP-based conferencing in more than 140 countries with native language support.

Here is my analysis of this news:

As AT&T gets more involved in the utility computing market, I expect them to butt heads with Sun, Amazon and Google. Google is a past foe - Amazon and Sun are new ones.

While a year ago the cable companies were eating the lunch of AT&T and Verizon, there has been a rapid about-face in the market which has been fueled by the wireless arms of both LECS, IPTV and well as international expansion.

I believe the cable companies will have to do something soon to be able to compete effectively in emerging markets.

In all, this news is fantastic for the telecom market as AT&T is spending 33 percent more than last year and double what they spent in 2006.

It will be great to see these investments allow AT&T to can overseas and whether it can compete effectively against other utility computing players in the market.

















TMCnet's New Vertical Communities

March 4, 2008

Over the past decade, TMCnet has become the accepted resource for news, product research and analysis in communications and technology markets - including telecom, VoIP, and contact centers. Moreover, the site has become the defacto location online where companies build loyal communities of interest on a variety of topics. Since 2004, TMCnet has built close to one hundred and fifty communities of various sizes (current communities, channels/microcommunities) for our partners.

These communities have proven time and again to be one of the most successful products TMC has ever launched in conjunction with our advertisers and sponsors. With an astronomical renewal rate of 70% year-over-year, TMCnet communities drive tremendous traffic to our partner's Web sites and help them achieve higher levels of search prominence.In fact, we receive numerous testimonials from companies whose TMCnet communities actually attract more visitors than their own Web sites.

Podcast: Joel Hackney, Nortel

March 4, 2008

If you want some great perspective on Nortel's recent earnings as well as information on which areas of Nortel are doing best, be sure to check out this podcast interview with Joel Hackney, President of the Enterprise Solutions Group at Nortel.

Joel discusses a number of things with me such as the rumored acquisition by his company of the Siemens Business Communications Division.

In addition, Joel discusses how applications leaders in the CIO's office are carrying more and more of the budgets for communications spending. Business processes are becoming more important he says and this allows Nortel to enter into a dialog with customers which we haven't been involved with in some time.

From there, Hackney explained how Nortel provides a choice in the market -- with lower price points, better technology while these solutions have a lower impact on the environment.

In addition, we get to hear his perspective of how SOA and web services intertwine with UC to give more choice to companies looking to implement the best communications solutions possible.

Finally we get to hear his ideas on what Nortel really sees in terms of tech spending going forward. Do they really see a slowdown in enterprise spending or not?

Here is the podcast for your listening pleasure.











TMCnet Services

March 3, 2008

Web 2.0 comes to CRM

February 29, 2008


The above graphic is a bank mashup showing all banks in Norwalk, CT -- where TMC headquarters are located. (credit: Webmashup.com)


A logical place for mashups to show up are in customer relationship management applications where they can allow field sales and support personnel to see the locations of their customers in real-time. Funny, I have been hoping for more and more business mashups to be invented and one shows up right in the CRM space.

TMCnet's own David Sims broke the story yesterday in fact.

Here is an excerpt:

SMaps automatically links addresses and locations of individuals or companies to their location in Google Maps. Viewing full contact information from their CRM database with Google's mapping functionality makes scenes from recent movies like Minority Report "a reality for companies," according to the CRM Workers.   The product lets users use Google's mapping capability with their CRM information such as contact details, price and order history to zoom in and make decisions.










Telecommuting Slowdown

February 28, 2008

While I have been espousing telecommuting and moreover discussing frequently how IP communications enables companies to hire remote workers without losing productivity... Even I have been a bit surprised that some companies have such a large number of at home workers.

This man just received an e-mail requesting he start coming to the office


For example call center agents do not necessarily need to collaborate in a face-to-face fashion with their peers and one imagines there is no productivity lost when these workers work from home.

But other workers do benefit greatly from human interaction unencumbered by internet protocol.

So I guess my surprise comes in response to the types of positions that have been assigned to work-at-home personnel.

It seems that some of the companies who were the leading champions of telecommuting are pulling some of their workers back.

I wonder if these organizations think they may have overdone it it when it comes to telecommuting and are now pulling people back in an effort to find the right balance between the two forms of work.

More














Will Salesforce.com be Sold?

February 27, 2008

Will Salesforce.com be sold soon? I keep hearing rumor after rumor and some say Marc Benioff is getting bored. i haven't had time to reach out to Marc but I thought it worth sharing the news. Likely purchasers would be Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.

I doubt antitrust regulators would get that concerned if even Oracle made the acquisition based on the lack of actions they have taken in virtually all other acquisitions that seem anticompetitive.

I cannot be more impressed with what Salesforce.com has done to date and as an independent company they have been an excellent counterbalance to  some of the major software players in the space.



Some Webinars to Witness

February 25, 2008

If you aren't aware, it seems like my responsibility to at least mention some webinars worth attending. They happen to all be webinars that are hosted by TMC.

I am going to try to attend them all. Some of the more interesting ones to me have to do with cutting edge tech. So multicore, IMS applications, unified communications, hosting and analyzing success factors are ones I am drawn most to.

Of course, you can feel free to take a look at this list and make your own decisions on which one(s) suit your needs most.



More SMB Communications Growth

February 22, 2008

The Problem with Triple-Play Providers

February 20, 2008



I am a cable quadruple customer. VoIP, broadband, TV and the reason I switched from standalone VoIP to cable had to do with dropped packets on my network. After spending days trying to figure out what the problem was with the network I finally threw in the towel and went with cable because I figured they would now own any problems I had. Surprisingly my problems went away as soon as I switched, leading me to believe that either my old cable modem was at fault or the ATA from my VoIP service provider which intercepted every packet on the network.

Yesterday I wrote about Jon Arnold's analysis of Vonage and I said it would be sad if Vonage was to go away.



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