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Rich Tehrani
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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.

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.
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