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

CRM

AudioCodes Has Good Quarter

August 7, 2007

Cisco made a big splash with their earnings news today and subsequently it may be worth pointing out Audiocodes too released great numbers with growth on a year over year of 15.5%.   “AudioCodes’ second quarter financial results were highlighted by our return to sequential revenue growth coupled with continued strength in our networking business,” the company’s chairman, president and CEO, Shabtai Adlersberg, said in a statement to the press.   Adlersberg continued: “Underscoring our strong performance was our ability to generate $2.7 million of net cash from our operating activities. During the quarter we made solid progress towards increasing operating efficiencies and initiated a company wide cost reduction program aimed at improving bottom line performance during the second half of 2007 and beyond.”   Many of the AudioCodes partners I speak with are extremely happy with the partnerships they enjoy with the company. I have never heard a negative comment about AudioCodes and in this business this is unusual.   The one area the company has enormous potential to exploit is the tremendous arsenal of new technologies they have acquired from the likes of Netrake, CTI Squared and Nuera.   Purchasing so many companies in various telecom spaces so rapidly is certainly a big undertaking for any organization but over time if they can get each of these businesses to fire on all or even most cylinders, the company’s growth should be far greater than 15.5%.   This assumes the core network equipment and gateway markets continue to be solid. I have no reason to believe this won’t be the case and in addition AudioCodes is doing something very smart by diversifying into other areas.   Much of the company’s revenue was once dependant on communications equipment providers but now that Audiocodes is a more serious player in the service provider market, they are in a position to have a second revenue stream which should provide cushion if one of the markets was to soften for some reason.

Telephone System Channel

August 6, 2007

If you aren’t aware, TMC has built with its partners, the largest collection of business to business online communities in the communications and technology space. Channels are micro communities which live on the left navigation of TMCnet menus. Global Online Communities are in yellow and live in the top navigation area of TMCnet’s home and other pages.   The latest channel/micro community we have built is in partnership with IPitomy and is called obviously enough the Telephone System Channel. On this channel you will find all the information on telephone systems you could ever want.   For example, here is an article which discusses research firm ABI’s thoughts on SIP and how it is transforming telephone systems today.

VoIP/IP Communications Stories August 6, 2007

August 6, 2007

In case you are behind on your reading or perhaps were away and want to catch up quickly; I have assembled some of the top stories from last week and today. Topics of interest include Cisco’s purchase of an equity stake in VMware, Inter-Tel’s small business push and the article on VoIP call recording.  

Loving Asterisk

August 3, 2007

ITEXPO Weeks Away

August 3, 2007

I just can’t believe that Internet Telephony Conference & Expo is five short weeks away. I just can’t wait for September 10-12th in Los Angeles. Boy is the summer going by fast. Thankfully I read Ken Kamp’s blog where he talks about the show and it reminded me about the timing of this event.   Tom Keating too reads Ken’s blog and he beat me to writing about Ken’s post.   I am very excited about the show… It is just amazing how much the communications market has evolved in a few short years.

Call Center/CRM Stories August 3, 2007

August 3, 2007

Here are the call center/CRM stories for the week of August 3, 2007. Enjoy. I really don’t have a favorite but if you press me I might say the Argentina and Central American call center stories are of interest.   Report Shows Contact Centers Still Fighting High Attrition The Unified Agent Desktop: An Inside Look Call Center Furniture: How to Buy the Right Chair Report Shows Growth Expected in Argentina Contact Center Applications Market Implementing CRM Software the Right Way Study Examines the Contact Center Market in Central America Phone Systems in Today's Business Predictive Dialer for the Small Business Research Indicates UK Companies Not Ready for New Year OFCOM Change Loquendo TTS to Power Voice Messaging Solution for Ontario Systems

Kiosks

August 3, 2007

Mitel/Inter-Tel Finally Merge

August 2, 2007

Mitel's proposal to acquire and merge with Inter-Tel has been approved by Inter-Tel stockholders. Here are the details:  
  • US$723 million merger
  • Creates a market leader in SMB IP communications industry with the scale to strengthen and extend its reach in the enterprise market
  • Anticipated revenues of over US$800 million
  • Once the transaction is completed, Mitel will have approximately 3,400 employees in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia, and count an active worldwide distribution channel some 1,500 value-added resellers, distributors and systems integrators covering over 90 countries.
  My take on this is the deal is good for shareholders and customers as they will get the benefit of two strong technology-focused communications companies working synergistically. This does not mean the integration will be smooth as lately we have seen a number of larger telecom acquisitions causing indigestion and poor earnings.   In this case however, the deal size is not so big and the corporate cultures are very similar so I don’t see “M&A indigestion” as a major challenge.

Aastra Intecom/BroadSoft

July 30, 2007

The IP communications market gets more and more exciting by the day and if you aren’t paying attention it even may get confusing. Today’s big news comes in the form of a partnership between two companies who you may not think would work together.   Broadsoft is a company providing applications platforms enabling such services as IP Centrex to be provided. The company typically targets service providers who in turn target businesses.   AAstra Intecom sells call center and PBX systems to large enterprises that typically have 2,500-3,000 seats.   One would imagine these companies have little in common but the two have just come together to provide large enterprises with an IP communications phone system with the power of BroadSoft and Aastra Intecom in a single solution. Service provider solutions are always more reliable and robust than their counterparts in the enterprise so I can only imagine combining the best products from these two companies means an even better solution than either can provide by itself.   Other products which will be sold as part of this solution are IBM blade servers, EdgeWater Networks for remote access solutions, AudioCodes gateways, Extreme Networks for LAN infrastructure and Covergence for SBCs.   Aastra’s all IP solution is called Clearspan and if you want a hybrid solution you can go with their Pointspan product line.   Aastra Intecom now has a broad range of solutions for virtually every large enterprise need.

Accela Inc.

July 28, 2007

The hosting and VoIP services market continues to do well. Providing VoIP service to companies is a much easier proposition than the residential space as the pure-play market leader Vonage charges so little, even they struggle to make money.   Thankfully Vonage has not decided to aggressively pursue the business market with unsustainable prices. By not doing this, they have allowed a slew of companies to focus on the mom and pop business space by providing reasonable pricing and excellent service levels.   8x8’s Packet8 service is an example of a company having great success on the low end of the SMB space. More recently I met with Tom Keffer CEO of Accela Inc. whose company is targeting larger companies and call centers with a hosted IP communications solution.
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