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Rich Tehrani
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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.

Dialogic Buys Cantata

October 5, 2007

Dialogic has been gaining a great deal of momentum this past year and now this momentum has increased substantially as the company has just announced they will be acquiring Cantata. This deal gives Dialogic access to huge fax market share as well as the Excel and SnowShore product lines, significantly enhancing Dialogic’s position in the service provider market according to Jim Machi the company’s Vice President of Marketing.   Machi also explained this acquisition will be significant for Dialogic customers as there is a great deal of service provider know-how which Dialogic will now have access to. He further mentioned the company is extremely excited about this transaction.   In the nineties there were a number of companies in the DSP resource board market -- Dialogic, NMS, Brooktrout, Rhetorex, Aculab and Pika Technologies were some of these names. Through a series of acquisitions Rhetorex became part of Brooktrout which changed names to Cantata.

Unified Communications Gaining Momentum

October 3, 2007

In less than two weeks the communications market will be bolstered by the announcement of Microsoft officially entering the unified communications space in a major way. As a show of their support for the market, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will be speaking about the opportunity to a live audience.   To get an idea of what Microsoft will be rolling out be sure to read my recent article on the company.   The significance of this news cannot be underestimated as Bill Gates is not used by the company to push technologies which are not core to Microsoft’s strategy. If you need proof that Microsoft is serious about unified communications, imagine at a time when Microsoft is rolling out new music players and some of the most popular video games in the world, Bill Gates is taking time to talk unified communications instead of video games or music players.   I would imagine if there is nothing to slow the momentum down, 2008 will certainly be the year of unified communications. This will hopefully be good for the entire communications industry and give more choice for corporate customers.

Response Point

October 2, 2007

For at least a decade PBX manufacturers would speak to me off the record about their trepidation regarding Microsoft entering the phone business. For those companies who hoped the day would never come, they should probably avoid reading this article from TMCnet’s Greg Galitzine detailing the availability of Response Point.   Microsoft has partnered with a number of companies to bring these systems to market. Some of the partners consist of Quanta Computer, D-Link and more recently Aastra. The cost for the systems is between $2,500-$3,000 for 4-5 users.   I have used Microsoft’s Response Point phone system both in TMC Labs and in Microsoft’s Redmond office.

3Com and Digium News

October 2, 2007

If you haven’t been watching lately there has been lots of activity in the IP PBX and networking space from 3Com and Digium. Here is a recap.   3Com was recently purchased and a minority investor was China’s Huawei. This could be good for 3Com as having improved ties in China for manufacturing and distribution is a good thing. This is also good news for Huawei, a company looking to grow more quickly in the US.   In addition, Digium purchased Switchvox and the goal of this acquisition seems to be making Asterisk as easy to use as possible.

Ixia’s New President and COO

October 2, 2007

Loyal TMC readers and visitors are likely aware of Atul Bhatnagar who was a keynote speaker about two years back at ITEXPO in Los Angeles, CA. The year Atul spoke was the first time Internet Telephony Conference & Expo was in the Los Angeles Convention Center and this was also the first time we had Michael Powell and Carly Fiorina as speakers so apologies in arrears to Bhatnagar if these two other speakers may have received excessive promotion by me at the time.   Lately though it hasn’t been Fiorina or Powell making headlines. If you haven’t been paying attention, Bhatnagar has been making some big news of his own as he is now the new President and COO of Ixia. I recently had some time to catch up with him and I was able to learn about his new position at the company.   Although he isn’t ready to preach strategy to me yet he is doing quite a bit of analysis of the business and is spending a great deal of time with current customers. So far he sees lots of opportunity in the business.

Hyperconnected

October 1, 2007

About a decade or so ago I ran across Tony Rybczynski (Tony Ryb to those who know him and/or cannot pronounce his last name) at the COMNET trade show in DC and was so blown away by him that I thought he would be a great writer for TMC publications. Over the past decade, Tony has written many columns that always captivated the TMC community and made me think. Tony spends much of his day trying to figure out what’s next. In my opinion, Tony really gets it and while I don’t agree 100% with everything he writes, I always stop and think when his point of view is different than mine.   More recently, Tony has been invited and has accepted to blog on TMCnet. We could not be happier.

Trixbox Training

October 1, 2007

If you are looking for open source communications training, Fonality Trixbox training is going worldwide and is likely coming to a city near you. If you are looking for a discount on this training, be sure to click on the links below to save $50 per person. This can add up to quite a substantial savings and shows TMC’s commitment to open source. It also shows Fonality’s generosity to help the TMC community get less expensive access to the vital training needed to become a reseller of these very popular solutions.

Switching to Optimum Voice

September 28, 2007

This was a big week for me personally as I switched service providers. I should mention I have free VoIP accounts coming out of my ears. I often test them but I haven’t switched to any of them because to be quite honest, what I have works fine. I have been using AT&T CallVantage for years and the service has been great.
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