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Rich Tehrani
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CRM

FonalityCRM

November 5, 2007

Fonality has made quite a splash in the open source communications market and the most recent news coming out of the California company is an acquisition of Insightful Solutions Pty Ltd, one of the world’s largest SugarCRM development houses.   I had an opportunity to have a podcast interview with Fonality CEO Chris Lyman about the acquisition, the future of telephony, CRM, unified communications and the market in general.   As part of the transaction, Fonality will also begin selling Insightful’s SugarCRM managed service offering called FonalityCRM. The solution is integrated with PBXtra and trixbox Pro and provides click-to-call dialing, agent screen pops, telephone campaign management for outbound sales teams, and a host of other features. It is hosted at one of the six Fonality data centers and available immediately to PBXtra and trixbox Pro customers worldwide. The underlying FonalityCRM managed service platform was developed by Insightful to provide a complete on-demand offering that is updated, maintained, backed-up and available 24x7.   As you may expect, Fonality will leverage Insightful’s knowledge and experience when supporting SugarCRM deployments, as well as support of its other solutions.

This acquisition is infinitely logical and also provides a tipping point in the open-source market.

IP Communications News: October 19, 2007

October 19, 2007

Some of the interesting news of the week shows SMBs will not only be going down the road to purchasing IP communications solutions – they will also be purchasing and installing security solutions. In my research this morning I also came across a wonderful article by SIP legend Jonathan Rosenberg discussing social networking, SIP, VoIP and Web 2.0.   Avaya made some news as well when it announced it will be supplying IP communications solutions to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Of course, I am sure the fact that Avaya is located in New Jersey didn’t hurt this deal one bit.   VoltDelta made news as well by announcing AT&T is using the company’s integrated advertising platform for its 1-800-YellowPages offering in a number of southern states. The way the system works is simple… You listen to an ad and get free directory assistance information.   Rounding out this article but certainly not the end of the week’s interesting news is the fact the iPhone has been opened up to third-party developers.

Which PBX Manufacturers will Survive?

October 17, 2007

The following is a sidebar to the Publisher’s Outlook Column Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch in the November, 2007 issue of Unified Communications Magazine.   ---   There are many PBX companies – well over 25. I am surprised how many of these companies survive “under the radar” thanks to their strong dealer network. Telephony is an interesting business in that relationships can be more important than technology and, oftentimes, price.   Having said that, it is obvious that more and more companies will start looking for UC solutions and not just a plain vanilla IP-PBXs. This means every PBX company must immediately have ready UC solutions either capable of adding value on top of Microsoft’s solutions or else sold as a viable alternative. They must find a way to position themselves for the future and convince customers they are leading, not trailing, in UC technology.   From there, they need to start producing leading-edge software.

Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch

October 17, 2007

Please enjoy the Publisher’s Outlook from the November, 2007 Unified Communications Magazine.   ---   In the history of communications space there has never been a new product roll-out supported by over 50 other companies. Until October 16, 2007, that is. I write this article while on a returning flight from San Francisco, CA, where I got to hear Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and Business Division President Jeff Raikes speak about how Microsoft will change business communications forever through the introduction of a suite of unified communications software, products and services. And yes, over 50 other companies also announced related products and services.   Bill Gates explained to an extremely large audience that this announcement is about applying the magic of software to phone calls.

Keating’s Microsoft Unified Communications Review

October 16, 2007

Communication’s Biggest Week Ever

October 15, 2007

Tomorrow kicks off the biggest week in the history of communications. I have to be honest. After I wrote this statement I had to get up and take a walk and get some tea. I wanted a sanity check and sometimes meandering around one’s office and listening to water cooler conversations about various TV shows and celebrities helps put one’s views in perspective.   So while at the forefront of my mind is the big Microsoft unified communications news, in the background I wonder if indeed Lindsay Lohan is broke.

What eBay Should do with Skype

October 14, 2007

Please enjoy the unedited November 2007 Publisher’s Outlook column from Internet Telephony Magazine.   ---   OK, I was wrong. Really wrong. Over a billion dollars wrong in fact. Why?

Network Engines Buys Alliance Systems

October 10, 2007

If you have been in the telecommunications market for any period of time you are no doubt aware of Jon Shapiro the founder of Alliance Systems the company responsible for building bullet-proof communications servers. Alliance Systems has great industry partnerships with vendors like Interactive Intelligence, AudioCodes and Dialogic.   Alliance Systems was just sold to Network Engines for about $40 million dollars and according to the acquiring company, this addition of telecommunications products and services blends nicely with the company’s storage and security business.   As always, stay tuned for more.

Here is a letter Jon just sent out:
Dear Friends

I am very pleased to share some exciting news with you.  This morning, Network Engines announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire   Alliance Systems, Inc., a leading provider of server appliances and computer infrastructure that support telecommunications and enterprise communications solutions. 

This acquisition represents a major milestone for Network Engines and Alliance Systems. 




Siemens Unified Communications

October 7, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark Straton the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at Siemens about his thoughts on unified communications and where the telecom market is headed. Straton spent the early part of the conversation talking about Microsoft’s vision.   This vision in his words is basically that the first generation of VoIP solutions were tied to hardware but now you can overlay the communications software and migrate to a fully software-based approach. It should be noted the Siemens VP agrees with this vision.   But he argues that Microsoft has started to put walls around their systems. He says other providers must operate within this environment.   Straton thinks there needs to be an open approach to UC and one vendor cannot provide everything – we need flexibility he says.   Straton mentions to scale such a solution is a very difficult task… He points to the decades of telecom development embodied in the HiPath 8000 from people who are communications experts.   At this moment he took the opportunity to explain the fact that HiPath sales are rapidly accelerating at a number of major Fortune class organizations including the deployment of a massive hosted solution provided by Global Crossing in the UK.

TMCnet Searches

October 5, 2007

I thought it would be interesting to see what people search on when they come to TMCnet. It should be noted these searches are on TMCnet proper which unfortunately at the moment does not include blogs.   These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because if a search is embedded in a web link and that link is crawled repeatedly by search engine spiders you come up with a situation where numbers may be skewed. Be that as it may, it is worth sharing some of the information from the last month if for no other reason than as a diversion from more important pursuits such as doing your (and my) job.   1 Avaya No surprise here but shouldn’t Cisco be more popular based on company size and product portfolio? 2 Witness+Systmes I get the feeling this is one of those odd pages (with a typo by the way) that gets crawled repeatedly.
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